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Browse some frequently asked questions

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A funeral is a declaration of a death that has occurred and a testimony to a life that has been lived.

What is a funeral?

Cremation is not a substitute for a funeral. Cremation is simply an alternative to burial or entombment. It is a component of the funeral, which may include a viewing and or a memorial or religious service.

Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?

Embalming is the replacement of fluids in a dead body with chemicals for disinfection and temporary preservation.

What is embalming?

The temporary preservation is to permit the body to be present for the period of the funeral, including the visitation or wake, and for the funeral service.

What is the purpose of embalming?

For many people having the body viewed is important. It is an opportunity for reminiscence and acceptance of the death. Preparation, restoration and the use of cosmetics provide an image for recalling the deceased.

Should the body be present and viewed?

Some people want the casket open. Some people prefer the casket to be closed just before the service begins, especially if there is a religious service.

Should the casket remain open when the funeral service begins?

It is an outer enclosure (made of concrete, steel, fiberglass, copper, etc.) into which the casketed remains are placed. Cemeteries may require the use of some type of outside enclosure to maintain the integrity of the grave space.

What is a burial vault?

visitation area