The business of dying is harder on the ones left behind. When someone you love passes away it is up to you and your family to plan a ceremony that is dignified, solemn, and respectful. Instead of holding the ceremony inside a dark, muted, somber, and cold funeral home, go for a graveside ceremony. It’s held outdoors with fresh air, green grass, and sunshine. It’s likely to be easier emotionally and financially for the grieving family, too.
Here’s how to plan a graveside ceremony.
- Speak with the administrator of the cemetery. Inform him of your family’s plan to hold a graveside service. Ask for a brochure of services along with a price list.
- Consult your family about the time and date of the graveside ceremony. Once you get a lock on these details, coordinate this with the funeral home so the casket holding the body of the deceased can be transported to the cemetery.
- Inform family relations and friends about the graveside ceremony. You can assign someone to do this for you if you are still overwhelmed by the loss. Make a list along with corresponding contact numbers so the information about the date and time can be passed along. This is one occasion you don’t need an RSVP for.
- Compose a short program for the graveside service. This doesn’t have to be elaborate. Simply state who will lead or preside over the ceremony and who will share their memories about the dearly departed.
- Request a priest or pastor to lead the ceremony. Depending on your religious affiliation, do enlist the services of your priest and pastor to lead the prayer, blessing, and send off to the dearly departed.
- Introduce the members of your family, relatives, or friends. If they plan to speak during the ceremony, please introduce the person to the congregation. You can also simply inform the person beforehand to make his introductions.
- Rent chairs and a tent. Though you intent to keep the ceremony brief and bereft of fanfare, you must still make sure that your guests are comfortably seated and shielded from harsh sunlight, snow, and rain.
- Contact a florist. She will be in charge of the floral arrangements during the ceremony. You can also choose to provide flowers from your garden as accents then have the florist arrange one huge bouquet if you want to minimize spending.
- Consider mood music. This can be provided by a violinist, flutist, or guitarist.
- Close with a poem and a prayer. Any member of your family can do this. Pick a poem that speaks about the person who passed away and then segue to a heartfelt prayer thanking the Lord Almighty for blessing your life with a person like (Name of the deceased).
After the ceremony has been completed, invite everyone to your home for a simple meal.