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5 Types of Funeral Services May 8, 2021

When a loved one passes, there are usually many logistical decisions to make regarding the service. In some cases, the deceased had made clear what type of service they wanted. But it’s also commonly the case that surviving loved ones need to decide how, and when, to hold the service. By enlisting the help of an experienced funeral director, this process can be made much easier. Your funeral director can take into account your desires and budget, and then help you make a decision about the type of funeral service that is best for your situation. Here are five types of funeral services.

Traditional Funeral Service

This is the most familiar type of service. For it, the bodily remains will be present, whether in a coffin or urn, and loved ones will hold a commemoration in a church or other facility. There may be a chance for a viewing or visitation prior to the service. If it is a religious funeral, a pastor traditionally gives a sermon. Often, there will also be opportunities for friends and family members to speak. Following the service, the remains will be delivered via hearse to the cemetery, where there may be a short graveside service.

Memorial Service

A memorial service is largely the same as a traditional funeral service, but with one big difference: the remains aren’t present. Oftentimes, a memorial service is chosen when the plan is to hold the gathering at a much later date.

Direct Burial

In some instances, the family opts to bury their loved one without holding a service. For such a situation, direct burial is often chosen. If you’re on a tight budget, this is a more affordable option. Also, you can still hold a memorial service at a later date—when the time feels right.


A wake is held as a precursor to a service. It is a traditionally Catholic ceremony during which loved ones pay their final respects and say the Rosary. However, wakes are now also held by those who aren’t Catholic, and serve as an opportunity for close family members to share some moments of remembrance in a private residence before the larger service is held. While the body is often present for a wake, this isn’t always the case.

Scattering Ceremony

Some people prefer to be cremated and to not have a traditional service held in their honor. In such cases, a scattering ceremony may be held, during which a small group of loved ones gathers to release the ashes at a treasured location.

If you need help with planning a service, be sure to get in touch with an experienced funeral director. For a trusted funeral director in Marysville, Everett, Lake Stevens, Lynwood, Arlington, Stanwood, Tulalip, Granite Falls, and Monroe, WA, contact Funeral Alternatives of Snohomish County at 1-888-381-6993. Funeral Alternatives also provides funeral services in Seattle, Bellevue, and King County. Feel free to contact Funeral Alternatives to ask any questions that you have about planning a memorable service.