A funeral represents a purposeful opportunity to reflect on the meaning of a life that has been lived and to determine the impact of that meaning for the family and friends. There is no single proper funeral service. It is a time for human sharing in its deepest sense. You and the ones you love are at the very center of the process, and the choices you make will determine its significance for you. As you participate in the planning of the funeral service, you help create a meaningful experience for everyone.
It is the goal of Stewart Funeral Home to help people complete the relationship with the one who has died and to provide a climate that encourages each person to give and receive emotional support. During the funeral service, family and friends have the opportunity to relate to each other at the deepest levels and find mutual strength.
Complete Funeral Service
Traditionally, the funeral will be a Complete Funeral Service. This includes a family or public viewing of the deceased. Following this will be a service, typically in the church or at the funeral home. This would be followed by the earth or above ground burial of the casketed remains. Caskets selected may cost from several hundred dollars to several thousands of dollars depending on the material the casket is constructed of. Many cemeteries require that a minimum grave liner be used to encase the casket when earth buried. These minimum liners are constructed of concrete and are designed to hold the weight of the earth, maintaining the cemetery property. A sealed vault may also be used. The vaults are also constructed of concrete and are designed to not only protect the gravesite, but are manufactured with inner liners that not only restrict the entrance of graveside elements (water and earth) but increase the strength of the vault.
The Graveside Service can be another selection. This many times would follow a time of visitation at the funeral home. The casketed remains would then be transferred to the cemetery where a graveside ceremony could take place followed by the burial.
Complete Cremation Service
The Complete Cremation Service is another type of selected offering. This service will be just like a Complete Funeral Service except cremation will follow instead of the casketed burial. This can be accommodated by the use of a cremation casket (casket that is designed to be cremated) or even a rental casket may be used. Following the viewing, service or ceremony, and eventual cremation, the cremated remains can be buried, properly scattered, or returned to the family for safe keeping. Urns are used to hold the cremated remains. Urns can be constructed out of basic materials like cardboard or plastic, or constructed out of more protective materials like basic and semi-precious metals, ceramics, and woods.
Immediate Cremation Service
The Immediate Cremation Service can be arranged as an immediate disposition of the body, but is most times followed by a memorial service at the church, funeral home or other location. A Memorial Service is one where the body is not present. We recommend that if you select an immediate cremation that you are allowed a time, if possible, to privately view the body as a family. If the viewing can be done in a matter of a few hours after the death then embalming will not be necessary. If there is to be a long delay (more than 8-12 hours) then embalming would be encouraged. State laws vary as to when embalming becomes required. Viewing of the deceased is a very important step in acknowledging that the death has occurred. Having some type of service or ceremony is also a key ingredient to a healthy recovery of a loss due to a death.
At Stewart Funeral Home, we encourage families to create very personalized services. It is important to acknowledge that life that has been lived and to offer to the community a way in which to celebrate that life. By offering services and memorialization features that are personal and special, a unique life can be remembered and honored in an individualized way that is comforting to the family and friends.
How Your Funeral Director Can Serve You
When a death occurs, your primary responsibility is to yourself and the ones you love. There are a number of things that require attention simultaneously. Regardless of the day or hour, Stewart Funeral Home is always prepared to respond to your needs quickly and competently. The funeral director's main function is to assist you with the necessary details of the funeral process. Among the services funeral directors provide are:
- Arranging funeral plans
- Securing necessary permits and death certificates
- Care and custody of the body
- Coordinating all details with the clergy
- Arranging the music you have selected
- Placing obituary and funeral notices in newspapers
- Assisting in arranging for burial or cremation
- Assisting in arrangements for cemetery space, grave opening and closing, flowers and monuments
- Arranging transportation for you and the members of your family prior to, during, and after the funeral
- Supervision of the funeral or memorial service
- All necessary arrangements for transportation, funeral service, and burial if the deceased is to be sent to a distant location
For more information about our Professional Services, please contact us by e-mail or call at 202-399-3600. We're here to help.