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Can I Still Have a Funeral if I’m Cremated?

Published: March 2, 2020

Yes, you can absolutely have a funeral if you choose cremation. When planning a funeral more and more people are choosing cremation as a means of disposition. Cremation can offer more flexibility when scheduling services and you also have choices of what can be done with the ashes after a body is cremated - from holding onto them in a special place, scattering them in a place of significance, or even burying them in a family plot or mausoleum. But were you aware that this flexibility extends to how you’d like to have your life memorialized? Contrary to what some may believe, if you choose to be cremated you can still have a memorial or funeral service.  

Timing of Services

How you decide to honor your life, or the life of a loved one is entirely up to you. When it comes to cremation, funeral services can be held either before or after the cremation takes place.  For many, it is important to have a casket present and to have the opportunity to view their loved one to say a final goodbye. Some funeral homes will offer cremation caskets or will rent a casket for this circumstance. When opting to have funeral services prior to cremation, services will typically need to happen relatively soon after death occurs; in most instances within two weeks.

When opting for memorial services after the cremation, the timeline is a bit more relaxed. Once the body is cremated, your loved ones can take their time in organizing and planning a memorial service that reflects your life in the way you want it. This also allows time for family and friends to travel to where your ceremony will occur. 

Do you have to have a funeral or memorial service?

While you are certainly able to choose to have a memorial or funeral service, you can also decide not to have either and go the route of direct cremation. Direct cremation is the cremation of a body very soon after they pass away (2-3 days). It eschews the typical remembrance services, in favor of a simple cremation. It is a more cost-effective choice, although it still affords you the option to have a memorial service at a later date. 

Tips for a Cremation Funeral or Memorial Service

Commonly, a cremation funeral contains the same elements of a typical funeral service - greetings, prayers, eulogies, memory tables, friends and family sharing memories, and special readings. As previously mentioned, funeral services can take place either before or after the cremation and some may even decide to do both. Many will have services prior to the cremation then choose to have a separate ceremony with the ashes present at a later date and/or go elsewhere to have the ashes scattered. 

When thinking of both funerals and memorial services, some special components can be considered. Some of these include:

Speakers - Who do you want to speak at the service? A religious figure, friends, family, etc. 

Music - With both cremation ceremony options, you can choose meaningful music pieces and arrangements

Altar or Urn Display - A typical pre-cremation funeral will either rent or purchase a casket as the centerpiece of the ceremony. However, after cremation, if having a memorial service, a pretty urn could be the focal point. You could also choose to display important pictures or keepsakes. 

Special Videos or Slideshows - In case there are no speakers arranged, or people are unable to get through a speech, a wonderful way to be remembered and relive meaningful memories; is to display a video or slideshow of pictures. 

Of course, these are just a few ideas to guide you in creating a memorial or funeral service to use in conjunction with your cremation. It can also highlight how similar these aspects of services are to a ‘typical’ funeral with a casket burial. Really, the possibilities are endless as you pre-plan your funeral, or assist a loved one in planning theirs. You can also download the Raynor & D’Andrea personalization brochure – Celebrating Life in all its Glory - for more ideas. 


Contact Us

If you’d like to learn more about funeral services, memorial services, or cremation, our knowledgeable staff is standing by to help answer your questions. You can contact our West Sayville location at (631) 589-2345 and our Bayport location can be reached at (631) 472-0122. We also have a straightforward and easy form on our website you can fill out if you need to contact us. And keep in mind, when you make decisions about your memorial or funeral the most important thing is to choose options that honor your legacy in a way that you’d like to be remembered. 

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