The passing of a loved one is an incredibly difficult time in someone’s life. The grieving process can be overwhelming, albeit incredibly important. However, if you’re in charge of taking care of everything, you may not have the luxury of grieving yet.
Fortunately, there are people out there who can help you plan, coordinate, and execute a wonderful cremation ceremony for your loved one. Although, it’s important that you take the time to honor the deceased properly in a way that only you can orchestrate.
If you’re in charge of taking care of everything once someone has passed, you were likely one of the deceased closest friends or family members. You know what type of flowers and music they liked, who to invite, and who to ask to speak in their honor.
However, we understand that this can all feel overwhelming. We’re here to take some weight off of your shoulders. Keep reading for our top 11 tips on how to plan and host a cremation ceremony.
Step 1. Get the Finances in Order
The first step in hosting a cremation ceremony is figuring out how much you can afford to spend and where the money is going to come from. The deceased may have taken care of it in advance if they knew their time was coming to an end. They may also have set up provisions in their will or with life insurance.
However, if you must pay the cremation ceremony yourself and aren’t sure where to come up with the money, there are several options available to you, for example:
- Take out a loan
- Ask the friends and family of the deceased to contribute
- Organize a fund-raising event
Step 2. Choose a Date
Your next step in hosting a cremation ceremony is choosing the right date. You can choose based on what you feel the deceased would have wanted, such as a favorite day of the week or an affinity for certain numbers.
You could also choose based on the most convenient time and day for the ceremony attendees, or by what’s most practical.
Step 3. Lock Down the Right Location
The date you choose, however, may be affected by the funeral home that preforms that performs the cremation ceremony. You may be forced into a date based on their schedule.
Most often, the choice of the funeral home is more important than the date. Perhaps the deceased has already set up arrangements with a particular funeral home. Alternatively, it may be a funeral home that the family traditionally uses.
Step 4. Decide How to Best Honor the Deceased With the Ceremony
What were your loved one’s greatest passions? What was there a favorite type of music? What were their life’s greatest works?
Diving deep into the personality and life of your loved ones can be a healing process, even if it’s painful at the time. However, it’s quite necessary for determining the “theme” for the ceremony. Honor the deceased by personalizing the cremation ceremony based on their life.
Step 5. Start Notifying and Inviting Friends and Family
One of the hardest parts of being in charge of the passing of a loved one is taking on the role of messenger. Unfortunately, it’s up to you to be the bearer of bad news.
You need to take some time and come up with a list of people who need to know about your loved one’s passing. Call their friends and family members and ask who else needs to be notified. Social media can be a great tool for reaching out and letting people know.
From your list, decide who among them should be invited to the cremation ceremony. Will it be open to the public or be a private ordeal?
Step 6. Preemptively Deal With Any Drama or Controversies
Unfortunately, one of your roles as the host may be to prevent or intercede with any drama between family and friends. All families have quarrels, but not all families handle them the same way. Make sure no controversies are allowed to interfere with the cremation ceremony.
Step 7. Find the Right Service Leader
While the funeral home may provide their own service leaders, you may need to reach out to someone in particular. For example, many people who pass prefer their pastor or religious leader perform the ceremony, pray over their passing, etc. Alternatively, you may want to do it yourself or have a family member or friend in mind who would be best.
Step 8. Determine the Ceremony’s Structure
Now it’s time to get into the details. How will the cremation ceremony play out?
This is where you can start planning the flow of the event, from the music and opening words to the readings, reflections, and closing words. This is where you can plan any rituals like lighting candles, choosing how to tell the deceased’s story, where you’d like individuals to read, and so on.
Step 9. Ask Loved Ones to Speak
Once you’ve decided who you want to speak at the ceremony, you need to make sure it’s something they’re comfortable with. Many people share a fear of public speaking. Though, most can overcome that fear for this type of occasion.
This is an important step to take in order to prepare potential speakers so they can start planning what they want to say. It also gives you time to find alternatives for people who won’t be able to speak.
Step 10. Write the Obituary
At some point, you need to write the obituary for your loved one (not necessarily step 10). This can be a painful process as well. However, it’s important to let the community and anyone who wasn’t on your list know about their passing.
If you’re holding an open cremation ceremony, the obituary can include the time, date, and address of the event.
Step 11. Figure Out the Rest of the Logistics
Lastly, once the bulk of the planning is complete and the wheels are in motion, you can start figuring out the rest of the details. For example, what kind of flowers will you choose? You also need to think about memorial gifts, memorabilia, photos, and more.
Finally, you need to figure out a plan for the reception after the ceremony.
Are You Planning a Cremation Ceremony?
If you’re planning a cremation ceremony for a loved one, you don’t have to do this alone. We can help. We offer eco-friendly, low-cost cremation ceremonies to help people just like you.
Good luck, and remember to take time for yourself to grieve once this is all over. You deserve closure just like everyone else.