After the death of a loved one, the funeral provides friends and family with the chance to say goodbye to and honor the deceased. One option for a funeral service is a graveside funeral.
A graveside funeral service is a burial ceremony that takes place at the deceased's final resting place. For example, it might take place at a cemetery if your loved one opted for burial, or it could be held at the site where your loved one's ashes will be scattered. When planning a graveside funeral, follow these tips.
1. Decide If You Want to Combine the Graveside Service With a Viewing
Graveside funeral services are usually short; there might be a few short speeches or musical numbers, but they're typically shorter in length than conventional memorial services. One component that graveside services don't incorporate is a viewing of the deceased's body.
Decide if you want to hold a viewing session prior to the graveside service, or if you prefer to skip this option. Some individuals find it comforting to see their loved one a final time, while others prefer to remember them as they were when they were alive.
2. Limit the Guest List
Since graveside services are held in small spaces, they're ideal for intimate funeral services. Due to the spatial limitations, you'll need to limit the guest list to close friends and family.
Most cemeteries and mausoleums simply can't accommodate large throngs of people. If you have more loved ones who want to say their goodbyes, consider holding a larger memorial service beforehand or a funeral luncheon after the graveside service.
3. Make Plans for Inclement Weather
Unfortunately, the weather may not cooperate for your graveside funeral. You may find that you're dealing with rain, snow, or unbearably hot temperatures. Ideally, plan to set up a few tents or portable shelters to shield mourners from the elements.
Have some umbrellas on hand; these will be useful in the event of rain or extreme heat. Depending on the layout of the site for the graveside service, some potential attendees may not be able to navigate wet or slippery ground. Consider setting up a live stream for those who can't attend due to the weather.
4. Determine If You Want to Incorporate Any Special Activities
While graveside funerals usually limit their activities, it's fine to incorporate a special sendoff for your loved one. Maybe your family wants to sing a meaningful song, or perhaps you want to hand out a memento before the attendees leave. Make your plans as soon as possible so you have time to prepare.