There are many things to consider when planning a funeral. One of the first decisions you will make is whether to have a burial service and where to hold it. We will assist you with the decisions. Here are some of the things we will talk with you about:
Selecting a cemetery and burial location
Traditionally, most families choose internment or an earth burial in one of our serene, local cemeteries. Often they are cemeteries where their extended family is buried so other family members can visit the gravesites. Other times, families choose to entomb their loved one’s casket or ashes in an above-ground mausoleum or columbarium.
We will explain the different guidelines, receptacles and markers each of our cemeteries requests, so you can choose what is best for your loved one. When you meet with us, we will ask you to bring the necessary documents to prove ownership of burial rights. We can go over the fees at each cemetery as well as talk with you about whether you want to order a headstone or grave marker now or later, the inscription you wish and installation.
If your loved one does not have a pre-arranged burial site you will need to locate a cemetery and select the burial property. Because of our close relationship with local cemetery administrators, we can assist you with these decisions, but here are some things that you should know:
- When you buy cemetery property, such as a burial plot, mausoleum crypt or columbarium niche, you are merely buying the right to inter (or bury) an individual (or individuals) in that location. The property you now have the rights over remains the property (and the responsibility) of the cemetery administration.
- A stated portion of the money you pay for these interment rights will be contributed to an irrevocable fund used in the ongoing care of the cemetery grounds.
- The burial — as well as any future commemorative visits you make to the location — will be subject to the specific by-laws as written by the cemetery administration.
- The cost of burial property rights range widely in price, depending on the exact location of the plot, crypt or niche
Choosing the right casket or urn and vault
At your Starks Family Funeral Homes chapel, we will show you a selection of caskets, urns, and burial vaults. The wooden caskets are available in walnut, cherry, maple, oak, pine and other species of wood. Our metal caskets come in various thicknesses and a wide array of finishes. Or, if you choose our cremation services, you will be able to choose from many urns, boxes or keepsake designs. We will help you find an affordable and appropriate choice for your loved one.
If your family wishes to have an eco-friendly burial, we offer beautiful seagrass and wicker caskets as well as biodegradable urns and containers.
Most cemeteries in Michigan also require that you use a vault or outside burial container for the internment. This keeps the grave from caving and, if sealed, protects the casket or urn.
Planning a burial service
There are several reasons for holding a burial or graveside service. You and your family will draw emotional and spiritual comfort from being at your loved one’s final resting place, whether it is a gravesite, mausoleum or columbarium niche. The natural surroundings at our local cemeteries offer beauty and serenity.
The burial is also an act of respect, made most meaningful when witnessed by those who shared in the life of the loved one. It is part of healing to gather and commemorate your loved one and say final farewells together.
There are also profound religious reasons, especially among Christian, Islamic and Jewish believers, for coming together to pray, sing or carry out religious traditions that have been honored for centuries. It is rich in symbolism and many draw strength from this service.
You have choices
At each of our Starks chapels, we can help you plan a meaningful and affordable burial service. It may be a:
Graveside funeral service led by a minister, celebrant or one of our staff. You can include military honors, masonic rights, a bagpipe solo, or a meaningful activity such as releasing butterflies or making the last radio call on a police officer’s cruiser.
Committal service held after the funeral took place at the funeral home chapel or your place of religious worship.
Direct burial when there is no formal funeral or graveside service. This is the most affordable choice and is often preferred when no family or friends live nearby or a memorial service is planned for a later time.
Personalizing your graveside or committal service
When you meet with us, we will come with no expectations or limitations of how traditional or creative you wish to be in your burial service plans. We want the service to be genuinely meaningful to you and your loved one’s family and friends. Together we will determine the best date and time for the burial service, and select the best readings, songs and activities for the service. This is where your heart plays a big part in what you decide.
Your chapel funeral director will discuss who you would like to lead the event — it could be your funeral director, a member of the clergy, celebrant, family member or close friend. We will sit with you for as long as needed to help you explore your loved one's life, your memories, find the essence of who they were, and how you can reflect it in the graveside or committal service. Our family will care for yours.
Ready to discuss your loved one’s burial services?
Call or visit your Starks community chapel. We will listen, answer your questions and help you make the burial service a tribute to your loved one and family.