The funeral is a ceremony that has great value for the family and friends. It provides them the opportunity to come together to pay tribute to the deceased and to express their love, respect and grief. In the sharing of sorrow, they give comfort to one another. The funeral is also an occasion at which the living accept the fact that the death has occurred. Acceptance of a loved one's death is the first step toward overcoming grief.

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Funerals provide a time and place to face the loss of a loved one. They serve as a statement that the loved one has died and your life is now changed. Without this time, it is easy to deny both the death and the grief that follows. Funerals provide an opportunity for both family and friends to say good-bye. Basically, there are three kinds of funerals: Traditional, Memorial, and at the Graveside.

The Traditional Funeral usually includes visitation, a service in a church or funeral home, and procession to the burial or entombment site followed by a committal service.

A Memorial Service is similar to a funeral service except the body of the deceased is not present for the ceremony. Visitation may occur with or without the body. The deceased or the family may choose burial, entombment, or cremation of the body before or after visitation and prior to the service. The memorial service is most likely to take place at the funeral home or church.

A Graveside Service is a ceremony that is held at the place of internment. Usually, only members of the family are in attendance.

What About Visitation? The physically catastrophic effects of illness often create a tendency for survivors to not want to view the body after death. There is also the common thought that it is better to remember people "as they were" and quickly decide that it is not necessary to view the deceased. This can be a mistake. The memories of ourselves and our loved ones are often quite deceptive. Simply recall the number of occasions when you've looked at photographs of yourself, or listened to your own tape recorded voice, and exclaimed, "that's not me!" Memories are much more complex than can be illustrated in a snapshot. We remember the "entire" person— through all of our five senses. The exclamations of emotion and reactions to each moment of life are what we remember about a person.

Burial Products

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Whether you are preplanning for yourself or choosing for a loved one, a casket selection is a very personal decision and an expression of your feelings. A casket that reflects the personality and taste of your loved one can be your final tribute to their life.

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Metal Caskets, including those made from bronze, copper, stainless steel, and steel, are known for their protective features and unique finishes. Bronze and copper are among the most durable and beautiful of metals; both are naturally non-rusting. Stainless and carbon steel caskets come in a variety of grades, gauges, styles and finishes. Manufactured and tested to be completely resistant to the entrance of air and water, metal caskets combine lasting protection and beauty.

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Hardwood Caskets include a variety of species: mahogany, walnut, cherry, maple, oak, pecan, poplar, and pine. These caskets are the choice of families who appreciate and cherish the qualities of natural wood. The warmth, beauty and personality it brings to fine furniture ideally suits it for the construction of quality caskets.

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An outer burial container is designed to be the receptacle that a casket is placed into when earth burial takes place. State or local law may not require that you buy a container to surround the casket in the grave, however many cemeteries require such a container so that the grave will not sink in. Metcalf & Jonkhoff offer both grave boxes (basic concrete, offers no protection from entrance of outside elements) and burial vaults in several qualities.

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