Funeral Service has always been a subject of avoidance. Death, in particular, is considered a taboo topic no matter which country, race or religion. A funeral ceremony is the last farewell meant for the deceased to share his or her walk of life and memories with close friends and family members. Often, mourners are seen head hanging low in grief and sorrow, due to the sudden departure of a significant person. Whenever the topic of death is mentioned, people often reflect on their death and what happens if the inevitable phase of life approaches. The unpleasant thought of death often causes people to avoid the topic. Due to the wide selection and competition amongst funeral home, the ceremony packages vary and often depend on the religion of the affected.
Funeral Homes: How should the ceremony be arranged?
Taking countries like Singapore for an example, the small island comprises of multi-religion and living in harmony. In Singapore, different religion funeral services can be seen daily, such as Buddhist, Taoist, Christian, Free-thinker and many others. Each of the funeral services is arranged catered to the specific religion. Buddhist funeral services in Singapore, are often led by monks; chanting and mass praying are deemed as form respect to the deceased.
Similar to the Buddhist, there are Taoist funeral services, where it is often led by priests who are the ones performing rituals for the deceased for a smooth passage to the afterlife. On the other hand, we have Christian funeral services. In Singapore, Christians can choose to hold the funeral ceremony outside of the church, specifically, under the housing apartment of the deceased. This kind of Christian funeral arrangement are often held for friends and family to pay their last respect and most of the times, the arrangement is made by the funeral director and the church pastor makes all the decisions such as duration of the ceremony and schedule as well.
Just like the Christian set-up, free-thinkers in Singapore can also choose to hold funeral service just for grieving friends to send their condolences and sympathy. With the absence of chanting and rituals, Christian and freethinker funeral are generally shorter in duration where the setup lasts less than three days. Funeral Services Singapore, includes eulogy from friends and family members giving their sympathy and showing condolences.
Modern Funeral Etiquette: What should you give to the affected families?
Attending a funeral means a lot to the mourners, friends and relatives should always be by their side to give them the support they need at such a vulnerable time of their lives. Showing up at the funeral service can be better if you have a gift in addition to your presence. Popular funeral gifts such as funeral flowers wreaths and condolence money are key to easing the pain that the mourners are dealing with. Floral gifts symbolize sympathy and compassion, while condolence money, in the form of cash, can aid the family’s funeral expenses greatly. Do take note of the types of flower meant for different religion and customs of the ceremony. Usually, white colour flowers such as lily and carnations are preferred and are more versatile and suitable for a most solemn occasion.
Funeral Director: What do the undertakers do?
The whole funeral arrangement process is rather tedious and complicated. Many runners and executives are needed with dedication from a funeral director. Right from the moment of death occurrence, the place of death matters, whether it happened in a hospital or outdoors due to unnatural deaths, the procedure varies. Funeral directors are activated as soon as the person dies. He will have to summon hearses and provide coffin to ferry the dead to the funeral service location. Immediately, the director will have to engage tent and canvas providers to assist with the set up of the service hall. The director will also have to contact religious leaders such as monk, priest or pastor to lead the prayers and rituals. Coordination is key and often, the ceremony can only be considered successful if the mourners are satisfied with the arrangement and efficiency of the director managing and overseeing the whole process.
Post Funeral: Memories and Remembrance
Funeral Services often ends in three different ways, there are, Land burial, Sea burial or Cremation for ashes storage. Often, people will relate post-funeral to land burial as it is often the preferred choice worldwide. However, countries with limited and scarce land, such as Singapore, will often opt for cremation. Ash will then be stored in columbariums for memorial purposes. It is often installed with a columbarium marble plaque where, the deceased’s information such as date of birth, death date and names will be engraved onto a marble tablet. A porcelain photo of the deceased will also be installed on the memorial plaque. There are also other forms of remembrance such as using the ashes or bone remains of the cremated deceased to make a piece of jewellery out of it. The popular keepsake items are necklace, pendants, rings and bracelets.