Funerals have been part of our human story since the beginning of time. That is because when someone we love passes away, we have a desire to mark the significance of their lives, to share our thoughts and feelings, recall memories and support each other. Funeral services can help us do those things plus acknowledge the reality that someone we cared about has died.
Funeral services can take many forms. There are traditional funerals, which we will talk about on this page as well as burial services, cremation services, memorial services and celebration of life services that you can learn more about on other pages in this site. We can assist you in choosing the services that best honor and pay tribute to your loved one.
A traditional funeral
A traditional funeral is what most of us associate with honoring a loved one. Their body is present in a casket or the cremains are in an urn. The funeral service takes place at one of our chapels or in a place of worship.
There are often four aspects to the funeral process, and we can assist you with the details and arrangements of each one.
- Visitation, viewing or wake. This is an opportunity before the funeral service for friends and family members to pay their respects, view the casketed body and spend time with the grieving family. You often set up photo boards, display flowers and special mementos in the visitation room for others to see and talk about. We can assist you by putting together a video slideshow of favorite photos as well as share a playlist of music you request or provide over our sound system.
The visitation usually occurs the afternoon or evening before the funeral service, although it may take place an hour or two before the service, too. In some religions, it is traditional to hold a prayer or scripture service during a set time in the visitation. This is also a time when family and friends can publicly share their memories or eulogize your loved one.
- Funeral service. This event commonly takes place at the funeral home, a place of worship or at the graveside. The service can be led by your clergy, a friend or family member, or we can assist you in finding someone. During the service, you can include music, the reading of literary or religious passages, a eulogy, prayer and the singing of favorite songs. For our active military, veterans and those that have served in public safety, we also post flags and help provide appropriate honors.
- Committal service. If you plan to bury your loved one, this involves the procession to the cemetery. This procession can be a traditional ride in a hearse, by horse and carriage or another meaningful transportation. We have arranged to have loved one’s caskets transported by their John Deere tractors, in their favorite truck and more choices unique to the individual. At the cemetery, there is a graveside service, often with prayers or readings, and for our veterans, special honoring ceremonies.
- Funeral reception or repast. A reception, funeral luncheon or repast following the funeral service is a time to continue fellowship and memory sharing. We can offer you space to host your reception at our St. Joseph Chapel, assist you in finding a caterer or help you find a restaurant or place to gather near our other community chapels. Just let us know your needs.
We are here for you before, during and after the funeral service.
We understand that this can be an emotionally overwhelming time. Please lean on us to help you make choices, consider ideas, handle the details and help you every step of the way in honoring and celebrating the life and memories of your loved one. It begins with a phone call.
For answers to the most frequent funeral service questions we are asked, please go to our FAQ page.