Different Types of Funeral Services

When a loved one passes away, things become hard for the family. Time is needed to recover from their loss, and that is why funeral services are held to commemorate and help in the acceptance and healing process. There are different types of funeral services – traditional or complete, memorial, graveside, complete cremation, and immediate disposition.


Traditional funeral services are the most common type of service done for the deceased. Embalming is needed for the remains since the viewing may take a few days to a week, and it is required by law that all bodies placed for viewing for more than 12 hours need to be embalmed.

CremationDuring the public viewing, the casket can be opened or closed – it all depends on the discretion of the family. The viewing can be done at home, at a chapel, or at a funeral home. After the viewing, a procession to the cemetery may occur, and the casket may be carried by a hearse.

A memorial or commemorative service can be done on the grave if deemed necessary by the family. They can also choose whether they want their loved one to be buried above ground or on ground level. If the body is going to be ground-buried, a grave liner is required to hold the earths’ weight.

This is considered an expensive type of service since it requires a casket, burial clothes, viewing location, embalming, cemetery crypt or plot, transport vehicles, flowers, funeral goods, and certain services.


Graveside services are a commemorative service done prior to the burial, either on the graveside or at the chapel. Here’s something not many know about a graveside service – it doesn’t have to be part of the funeral, meaning it can be given its own schedule.


Memorial services are done when there is no body for viewing. These are often done when the body was buried immediately, cremated, or was not recovered or found. If cremated, an urn will be presented instead of a casket.


A complete cremation service follows the same process as the traditional service. The only difference is that there is no burial that will follow after the viewing, instead the body will be cremated. Caskets are either rented out or special cremation caskets are bought instead of the traditional caskets.

The ashes of the deceased can be placed in an urn to be kept in their homes, in a cemetery plot, or in a columbarium. If the deceased or the family wishes the ashes to be scattered in a special place instead, a permit must first be acquired. Do keep in mind though, that while cremation is often perceived as cost friendly, it still entails certain fees most of the time.

Immediate Disposition

Immediate disposition is a non-commemorative funeral. The deceased is either cremated, buried, or the body is donated to medical science as soon as possible after death. There are no funeral services done to remember the life of the deceased.

However, there are special ceremonies done during the funeral service when the deceased is part of a special organization such as the military or the police. There are times when these funeral services are not done and followed because of the family’s religious customs and beliefs, as well as their cultural traditions.

Wakes have been held since the ancient times because it is a custom to watch the deceased before burial to make sure that no one’s being buried alive by mistake, or in hopes that the deceased will “wake up” once more. Having a wake is an important step for families, as it helps them accept death and facilitates the healing process.

Author Bio:
Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel has been the premier North Knoxville Funeral Home since 1948. Whether you are in need of traditional funeral options or cremation, we can accommodate any need, and any budget.