Funeral and Memorial Services
It’s often seen as easier to not have a funeral or memorial service, and its certainly seen as a less expensive alternative. But in all our years of experience helping families through this difficult time, we can honestly say an easier, cheaper path is not always the better one. Grief experts all agree: a funeral or memorial experience plays a critical role in helping family and friends heal after the loss of a loved one. Without that chance to come together, to draw support from family and friends, to cry and laugh, to reminisce about all the great times together and to remember a wonderful life lived, a void will be left that extends the grieving process.
Create Healing Experiences
In the depth of early grief, you might think that it would be ‘easier’ to just take care of things as simply – and as quickly –as possible. But easier – especially in this circumstance – simply isn’t better. You must set the stage for the future by giving your family and friends the opportunity to start the healing process.
Gathering with friends and family gives everyone the opportunity to share memories, express emotions, and find comforting support. Whether you choose burial or cremation; whether you select a formal funeral or a more relaxed memorial service, the need for acknowledgment of the loss with family and friends is ever present. We can help you create a unique meaningful ceremony to express the genuine individuality of your loved one.
We offer families a beautiful setting in which to come together to honor your loved one. But, you may certainly choose to celebrate their life in a more unique setting. No matter where you decide to gather together, such a service will make a difference in the lives of all who attend.
If burial has been selected, usually any ceremonies we design revolve around the casket being present. You can choose to follow tradition, with a viewing, and then a funeral service in a church or memorial chapel. Or you could decide to have a more relaxed service, even in your family home.
Let’s just say this: there is no ‘hard and fast’ formula for honoring your loved one when burial has been selected. We’re here to listen to your concerns, share our experience, and help you to arrive at the perfect way to gather together before your loved one's interment in the cemetery of your choice.
Cremation only refers to the manner in which you or your loved one has chosen to deal with the physical remains. We want you to know that this decision doesn’t limit the ways you can honor your loved one's life.
We heartily suggest that you have a funeral or memorial service, because your need for such a healing experience is not lessened by the decision to be cremated. Again, the options are limited only by your imagination. We hope that you will contact us to discuss the wide variety of celebratory options open to you.
home service options
Pray's have a number of ways to help families who prefer to hold a funeral or memorial celebration in their home. These range from providing memorial packages, to personnel who can help conduct the services in your home.
family affirmation services
For those who want something different than a traditional funeral, Pray Funeral Home offers the Family Affirmation Service. This option, which is an exclusive of Pray Funeral Home, offers a less formal structure to the ceremony along with many opportunities to personalize and affirm the life of the one who has died.
The Family Affirmation Service is a celebration that a life has been lived and that that life had meaning and value.
A Family Affirmation Service can be conducted by family members, a member of the clergy, a close family friend, a master of ceremony, a certified Celebrant, or one of our funeral directors.
Like all services, a Family Affirmation Service can be held in a funeral home, church, park, or the deceased person's favorite place, whether that be the pond behind the house, their lake property, or even the local fire barns.
To assist family members, we have available the Family Affirmation Service Handbook that explains the various options and functions that make this service, meaningful and special to those who will be attending.
Pray Funeral Home offers In-Sight Certified Celebrants to provide meaningful, personalized funerals for families regardless of their religious affiliation or no affiliation.
This is an invaluable resource for our families who do not have, or do not wish to utilize a clergy person.
Richard Mitterling, a member of the Pray Funeral Home staff and a minister by training, is a Certified Celebrant who is available to serve families through Pray Funeral Home.
We believe that all individuals should have the opportunity to participate in a meaningful ceremony when someone they love dies. The time immediately following the death of a loved one is important to help family adjust to the transition from a relationship where the person may have been present at all times in one way or another, to a relationship of memory where they will only be present in the survivors memory.
Learning to live without the physical presence of a loved one is a difficult transition. Meaningful memorial ceremonies can be a vital and integrative part of beginning to heal from loss.
In-Sight Certification means that Rich has been trained by Doug Manning and Glenda Stansbury of the In-Sight Institute.
The many areas of training included studying the value of the funeral; family visits; listening skills; presentation skills; elements of funeral planning; code of ethics.
Pray Funeral Home, Inc. makes available several "green" options and is one of a select group of funeral providers approved by the Green Burial Council; a nonprofit organization that encourages the use of burial as a means of facilitating the restoration, acquisition, and stewardship of natural areas.
For such arrangements, formaldehyde-based embalming is prohibited as is the use of metal or concrete grave-liners, burial vaults, or other permanent burial containers. Non-Formaldehyde based embalming is available as well as caskets, coffins or alternative containers used to enclose and transport the deceased that are made of bio-degradable materials and are available in a range of prices.
Home wakes, public visitations, funeral chapel services, Family Affirmation Services®, church funerals and graveside services are options that may be arranged within the time frame green burial requires.
If you would like to read more about Green Burial, Joe wrote a blog post about it here.
In our modern society, people aren't given enough time to grieve their losses. The pressures of work, even the simple emotional need to ‘be busy,’ often bring the bereaved back into the ‘real’ world far too soon.
Also, many families are choosing to scatter the cremated remains of their loved one in a favorite place; the ocean, or even in the skies above. While that may seem fitting at the time, it means that you do not have a consistent place to connect with the memories of the person you loved so dearly...a consistent place of Healing.
Having such permanent place - in a cemetery, mausoleum, or cremation garden - that can be visited regularly by family and friends is an essential part of the time following a death. It becomes a focal point of memorialization, and gives everyone a special place to go to remember your loved one, or to commemorate important occasions. It can help to make a birthday or anniversary less painful.
A permanent place to reflect on your loved one becomes a way of connecting to a family's past. Visiting the resting place of grandparents or great-grandparents may provide children with an anchor to their personal history. It is a connection to the past, to love shared. It truly honors the relationship you still have – and will always have – with that person.
You Can Never Go Back and Do it Over
Some say it’s harsh to remind you of this, but we know we must. We want you to honor your loved one in a way that allows you to look back, years from now, and be thankful that you did the best you could to honor their life. Creating a ceremony that calls together the hearts and minds of all who loved them is a gift to everyone involved. A gift of memories, a gift of healing...a truly priceless gift of peace-of-mind.
Contact us today to speak with one of our directors.