Is There Still Value in a Funeral Ceremony?

All cultures honor the passing of loved ones.

Honoring the passing of our loved ones has existed since the very beginning of our history. There is even evidence that Neanderthals performed some ritual of goodbye as well.

The way we honor those who have passed is as varied as the plethora of cultures that exist. In the past few decades, with more and more people identifying as not religious, there have been more and more questioning of what do we really need in order honor those who have moved on? Do we need a sometimes costly, traditional funeral service and ceremony, or would something more intimate and personalized be more apt?

We can assure you that the two are not mutually exclusive; Traditional services can be intimate and personal and they do not need to be costly, especially if you plan in advance. However, we also know that the needs of our community change with time, and so should the services that we offer.

One thing that will not change for us is that we do know there is great value in having a service to say goodbye. Studies have proven that having a gathering for a loved one helps those grieving to move forward with their lives.

What COVID-19 has taught us.

One thing we all certainly learned during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic was the importance of coming together and what it does for our psyche. When a loved one dies, this is especially needed. Being together brings comfort and healing in times of need.

Outside of the immediate family, a gathering can be beneficial for more distant relatives and other members of the community who might not feel permission to have the space to grieve had there not been a ceremony.

That is not to say that you need to make the goodbye a grand public event, but sometimes it can be amazing to hear from strangers how their lives were touched by your loved one and to hear stories that you might not have heard before.

There are so many options when it comes to have a “non-traditional” service. From spreading ashes out in Narragansett Bay to having a celebration of life at your loved one’s favorite spot. At Memorial Funeral Home, our staff are highly trained in making sure that a service can be as unique as the person it is for.

Ultimately, it is up to you as the family and, of course, the wishes of the deceased, on what to do. We are here to help guide you through this process, however simple or complex.

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