Cemeteries all over the country offer lots of different services with the overall intention of helping the bereaved not only plan and execute a respectful service to honor the deceased, but also to get through the many different steps and actions associated with a death. When most people think about cemeteries in Charlotte, NC, they most likely picture undertakers in dark suits, flowers and caskets. Cemeteries are actually much more than that.
Some common cemetery services include help with planning:
- Committal (or Graveside) Services – While memorials and funerals oftentimes include a graveside service, graveside services can also be performed independently from other funeral and cremation services. When a graveside service is not preceded by a funeral or memorial, it’s called a committal. Committal services are generally very brief but have some ceremony around lowering the body into the grave and covering it with soil. These services take place at the cemetery, columbarium, mausoleum, or wherever the body’s final resting place may be.
- Memorial Services – Memorial services are very similar to funerals, except for a few key differences. Fist, the body does not have to be present at a memorial service. Since the body is not present, there is no time or scheduling constraints for memorial services, and the body can be cremated beforehand. Memorial services are typically less religious and more informal than funerals and are hosted in a variety of locations.
- Viewings and Visitations – Viewings and visitations are also generally held in tandem with a funeral or memorial as they allow family and friends to visit with and express sympathy for the funeral hosts. Viewings and visitations help people grieve together in an intimate, less formal setting. Visitations are events in which family, friends, acquaintances and more can stop by to express sympathy and grief with the immediate family of the deceased. They are usually held at the funeral home, but can sometimes take place in a church, home or other location. Viewings are when the deceased’s casket is open for final goodbyes and visits. They occur before or during the visitation.
- Funerals – A funeral is a formal event or ceremony about the deceased, typically with religious or cultural leanings. Funerals are mostly used to remember and celebrate a death, and to allow family and friends to grieve together. A funeral usually happens a few days after death in a funeral home, church, or even the deceased’s house. For an event to be a true funeral, it requires the body to be present and intact. Most funerals have reading, hymns, sermons, eulogies or speeches throughout the ceremony.
Cemeteries can also help the bereaved with transfer of the deceased from the place of death, notifying relatives, friends and coworkers, filing all permits, certificates, and authorizations, planning special ceremonies or events including Veteran’s services, and assistance with social security claims.
Not every cemetery offers the same services, so be sure to check with your local cemeteries for a complete list of their services. Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden offers a range of Charlotte, NC cemetery services. Call us today for more information about what we can do for you.
Loss is never easy, whether you’re at a cemetery in Matthews, NC, or long after the service is over. If you see a friend or loved one suffering through a loss, it can also be hard to know how to help. Get some inspiration with these tips:
- Let Them Cry: Crying is an important part of expressing grief, so never say “don’t cry.” Its ok to just be there when someone is crying, offering a hug or tissues, or even just a calming presence.
- Support Past the Funeral: Grief doesn’t stop after the bereaved leave the cemetery, so your support shouldn’t either. Keep checking in in the following weeks. A phone call or a text of support is great. Don’t be offended if they don’t want to talk, as grief can make concentrating or talking difficult.
- Don’t Avoid: It may feel easier to avoid a grieving friend, but it’s the worst thing you can do. A hug, kind word, or a supportive presence can go a long way. If you can’t think of what to say, a simple “I’m sorry” is all you need.
- Share: It can be helpful to hear similar bereavement stories; so, don’t be afraid to share. It makes people feel better to know that others have gotten through the grief.
- Don’t Talk About A Dead Pet: In that vein, never compare their loss to your loss of a pet. It’s not comparable and can be very insulting.
- Help with Everyday Tasks: Grief is physically and mentally debilitating, so it can be hard to accomplish seemingly easy tasks like cooking or cleaning. Help out by offering to cross things off the to-do list like grocery shopping, cooking a meal, or mowing the lawn.
- Provide Funeral Help: It can be hard to plan and host a funeral, and help is always welcome. Even a small thing like bringing flowers or offering to go with them to sign the death certificate is meaningful.
- Let Them Bring Up Religion First: Don’t make it about religion until the bereaved do. Everyone has different beliefs, and you don’t want to accidentally offend.
- Laughing is Good: Don’t be afraid of making them laugh. Offer up silly stories of your day, or even happy memories of the deceased.
- Remind Them Grief Isn’t Short: Be sure to express that you understand the grieving process is lengthy, and that you will be there throughout. Bereaved can feel lonely or even abandoned after leaving the cemetery, so make sure they know you’re still there.
- Mention the Deceased: Don’t be afraid to talk about the deceased. You might make them cry, but that’s ok! It feels good to know that the deceased isn’t gone from everyone’s thoughts and memories.
- Note Big Dates: Note important dates like birthdays or anniversaries and be sure to reach out around those times for extra support down the line.
You can contact Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden to learn more tips, or get more information on Matthews, NC cemeteries.
Whether you’re speaking at a memorial service, or at a funeral in a cemetery in Huntersville, NC, it may seem like an impossible task to write a eulogy for someone you know and love after they’ve passed away. You can use these tips to help make your eulogy writing easier:
- Keep it Short – Although it seems tough to cram a whole life into a few minutes, the eulogy should not be longer than 5 minutes. Focus on the main parts of the deceased’s life and be sure to write your speech down so you don’t stray off topic.
- Say Personal Things – Focus on the good and positive things in the deceased’s life, and don’t be afraid to add a bit of mild humor to keep things light. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to add a few personal stories or memories.
- Mention Biographical Information – While you can structure the eulogy with stories and moments, it’s easier to frame it as a short biography. Include details like place of birth, marriage, children and other big milestones to keep the story linear and easy to follow. Though these details may seem trivial, they are an important part of every eulogy.
- Remain Optimistic – Although cremations and memorials are somber, you should still remain focused on the person’s life and not their death. Avoid talking about negative moments or things that might cast a poor light on him or her, as the purpose of the eulogy is to honor the deceased.
- Be Organized – Write your eulogy before the service. That way, everything you are going to say is planned out, so you don’t have to worry in the moment. Print it out on a paper so you’re not messing with a phone or tablet.
- Delivery is Important – You don’t have to be a professional actor or public speaker but be aware of your delivery. Try to use a light conversational tone and look up from the paper every few sentences to connect with the rest of the people at the service.
- Add in Details – Don’t forget to add details like your name and your relationship to the deceased. You should also be sure to thank everyone for coming and mention why everyone is gathered.
- End On a Good Note – End your eulogy on a good note, like a fond memory or the impact the deceased had on your life. You can also finish by saying a final goodbye or mentioning that this is exactly the way the person would want things to be. You never want to leave the funeral attendees feeling more upset than when they arrived.
Giving a eulogy doesn’t have to be stressful if you are prepared. Use these tips to make sure you’re as prepared as possible to honor your lost loved one through the eulogy.
Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here for you if you want more tips on eulogies, or want to learn more about Huntersville, NC cemeteries. Please pay us a visit or give us a call for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.
Losing a pet is never easy. However, just like how funerals and burials can make the loss of a loved one a bit easier, burial services for pets can help ease the pain. Luckily, there are many cemeteries in Charlotte, NC that offer various types of services for pets.
Planning pet burials, funerals and cremations starts with deciding how you want to send your friend to his final resting place. Pet cremation is one great way to memorialize your pet. You can scatter the ashes somewhere special after the cremation or keep them in a pet cremation urn.
Pet burials are another common and more traditional option. You can bury your pet in the comfort of your own yard, or in a special cemetery dedicated to pet burial. You can also plan a pet funeral or memorial service to go along with the body disposition. You can hold the service at your home, where you plan to scatter the ashes, in a funeral home, or in the pet cemetery.
Be sure to choose a location that allows you to express your grief in a healthy way and sets you up to properly begin the healing process. Also, be sure to get any necessary permissions or permits before you host a ceremony in a public space, especially if you plan to bury the pet or scatter the ashes. Just like a traditional service for a deceased person, a pet funeral or memorial is an honorable way to memorialize your pet’s life and say goodbye in a constructive way.
There are many different ways you can celebrate your pet in a memorial. For example, you can invite friends and family members who were a part of your pet’s life or understand how important he was to you. Gather around the grave or ashes and share pet memories or stories. You may also choose to play music, read poems or share feelings. You can ask attendants to help eulogize, say prayers, or just talk about how your lost pet made them feel. Bring along special stationary, cards or paper on which people can write down their feelings or thoughts. This way you can hold onto these ideas and memories to go through later on when you miss your pet.
Also, just like traditional burial services for humans, most pet funeral and memorial services can benefit from some sort of visual representation of the deceased. You can craft a small tribute or viewing in the memory of your pet by decorating a table with memories of your lost pet like tags, collars, favorite toys or photos. If you chose to cremate the body, you may also choose to display the urn for the viewing.
Losing a pet is painful, but a burial service can help ease the pain. Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here to help if you want to learn more about pet funeral or cremation services, or have questions about Charlotte, NC cemeteries in general. You can visit us or give us a call at for more information.
You aren’t limited to displaying or housing your loved ones remains in an indoor urn after a cremation. In fact, there are hundreds of options when it comes to body disposition post cremation at cemeteries in Matthews, NC.
From scattering and water burials, to inurnment in a columbarium and more, you can get as creative as you want for your loved one’s post-cremation final resting place. One option is burial, inurnment or display outdoors. You can easily house your loved ones cremated remains in an urn above or below ground outside. If you decide to go this route, however, you do need to choose an urn that specifically made for outdoor use. These outdoor urns are designed to remain intact and even beautiful even after long years of outdoor exposure to dirt, dust, rain, snow and more.
When shopping for an outdoor urn, you first need to decide if the urn will stay above ground, or be buried below ground, as there are both above and below ground urns.
Many cemeteries have a columbarium. Columbarium are spaces, rooms or buildings designed to hold and display cremation urns. They have numerous individual niches carved into the walls for this purpose. If you’re planning on inurning your loved one’s cremated remains outdoors but above ground, it will most likely be in a columbarium. When choosing an above ground outdoor urn, a metal urn is best. Bronze, brass, pewter, and stainless steel are great choices, although almost any urn designed for human remains will most likely work. However, it’s important to keep in mind that unless the outer wall of the columbarium is made of glass, you probably won’t be able see the urn once it’s been placed. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about decoration too much. You can choose ceramic or glass, but these urns are not ideal for outdoor use as they are more vulnerable to cracking.
You can also choose to bury your loved one’s cremated remains. Like traditional full body burial, burying cremated remains allows you to have a defined place where family and friends can go to remember the lost loved one. In some cases, many families already own a burial plot, and want to use this land even if the deceased is cremated.
Most cemeteries require an urn vault when burying cremated remains. The vault is typically sealed to keep out moisture and other elements of nature. Since the vault will bear the brunt of the natural exposure, any kind of urn will do. If you don’t have to have an urn vault, you need to choose an urn that is durable. Strong urns from metal, composites or resins are ideal. A cremation urn made from wood, ceramic, or glass would most likely to lose its integrity over time, leaving the deceased’s remains exposed.
Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is a Matthews, NC cemetery. We have years of experience and can give you more information on outdoor cremation urns and more. Please call or visit us today.
If you’ve chosen cremation for your or a recently lost loved one’s body disposition, you also have to decide what you want to do with the cremated remains. There are plenty of options for cremated remains at cemeteries in Huntersville, NC.
There are many post-cremation options at cemeteries because you can easily have a burial and a cremation. In fact, many people have both as you can easily bury or entomb cremated remains. This option helps you stay more on track with traditional burials and funerals while also using cremation services. There are a few options for burial or entombment after cremation including:
- Crypt or Mausoleum: Go more religious or familial with a crypt or mausoleum. These options are usually preferred by Roman Catholics but can get pretty expensive.
- Family Plot: The most traditional burial for cremation remains is in the family plot or cemetery. Burial in the family plot is an easy way to use cremation services while still enjoying classic burial and funeral traditions.
- Columbarium: Columbarium are spaces specifically dedicated to housing and interring cremated remains Most often found in churches, there are also a few freestanding columbarium options as well as those attached to cemeteries.
- Memorial Object: A non-traditional burial method for cremated remains is in a special memorial object like a bench, grave marker, rock or even in a tree. This method and special objects help loved ones memorialize and celebrate their lost in more personalized ways.
There are other post-cremation options besides burial. The most commonway to inter cremated remains is by scattering. The options for scattering are almost limitless, but some widespread choices are:
- Casting: Casting ashes simply means tossing the cremated remains on the wind, usually in a special location. Be sure to check the wind direction to avoid uncomfortable moments.
- Raking: Raking ashes happens when a family member or loved one by pours the ashes over loose soil and rakes them to combine the two. Local ordinances and laws generally prevent raking at any old spot, so make sure to check with the authorities before raking in a public garden or park.
- Water Scattering: You can also scatter ashes into any body of water, again with permission from the local authorities. Another version of water scattering is to sink a water-soluble urn into the lake, river or ocean.
- Ringing: Ringing involves more of a ceremony than other post-cremation choices. It involves forming a ring around an object like a house, tree or other special thing with the ashes, almost to compound the idea that the deceased is always with you and protecting you.
Contact Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden to learn more about your options for after cremation at the cemetery. No matter what you choose, we are here to help you with all your Huntersville, NC cemetery needs. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call for more information about what we can do for you in your time of loss or preplanning.
Serving the United States through the armed forces is a truly remarkable and generous sacrifice. All veterans deserve to be honored for their service, even after death. One way our country shows thanks to its veterans is through funeral services. Many cemeteries in Charlotte, NC offer special veteran’s services. If you recently lost a loved one that was a veteran, keep reading to learn more about veteran’s services and how they can help you honor your lost loved one.
The United States has laws that provide eligible veterans with military funeral services honors at cemeteries at no cost if the family requests. Some of these honors include the Flag Folding and Presentation. All eligible veterans will have at least 2 Armed Forces members serving as an honor guard during the funeral service. At least one of these guards will be from the deceased’s service branch, and this guard will present a traditionally folded American flag to the next of kin or designated person. There is also Taps. “Taps” is a bugle song long associated with military and patriotic funerals. Though live bugle performances are rarely seen these days, military funeral honors require that a high-quality recording of the song be played at any eligible funeral services if no live bugle is available.
Another veteran’s funeral service funeral homes offer is a flag burial. A flag is provided at no cost to the family to drape the casket or accompany the cremation urn of the deceased. The flag will be folded and presented to eligible family members including the next of kin or requested friends. Family members may donate their flags to national cemeteries with Avenue of Flags so the flag can be flown on patriotic holidays to honor the deceased.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can also furnish a headstone for your loved one’s cemetery burial at no cost. These veteran’s headstones are available for any veteran regardless of date of death. The headstones are available in bronze, marble and granite in various styles to match existing headstones in the place of burial. This same service is available for cremated remains in the form of niche markers for columbarium. While the headstone itself is free of charge, the family is in charge of all installation fees.
Military funeral service honors are given to members of the United States Armed Forces that consist of the Marines, Army, National Guard, Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard. The individual must also meet one or more the following requirements:
- Died in active duty or Selective Reserve
- Completed at least one term of enlistment or initial obligated service in the Selective Reserve, and were not dishonorably discharged
- Served on active duty, or in the Selected Reserve, and were not dishonorably discharged
Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here to help if you have more questions about veteran’s funeral services or about Charlotte, NC cemeteries. Please pay us a visit or give us a call to learn more about what cemetery, funeral and veteran’s services we offer to help you and your loved ones in your time of loss.
Celebrants are becoming more and more popular in cemeteries in Matthews, NC and beyond. But what is a celebrant? And what can one do for you or your loved one’s funeral? A funeral celebrant is a qualified Master of Ceremonies that helps to officiate funeral services by planning, overseeing and carrying out the proceedings. They can host both religious and non-religious funerals.
They are called celebrants because most people aim for the funeral service to be a celebration of the deceased’s life. This celebratory approach puts more emphasis on a life well lived, unique traits, and special memories rather than grief and loss. A celebrant can help you craft unique funeral services with substance, personalization and meaning.
You should hire a funeral celebrant if you want someone to take charge of hosting and speaking during the funeral. Celebrants are more flexible and open to new things that traditional funeral hosts like ministers or priests, so you can add more customization to the service. A celebrant can also help you come up with ideas for this customization. This help can be very meaningful during a difficult time of loss. While most funeral homes or cemeteries can recommend a celebrant, it’s a good idea to also do some research on your own. Make a list of possibilities, do some Googling, then call each one to get your questions answered. If you need more information, feel free to meet with your options in person to get a better feel for what they can bring to the table. During your first meeting with a potential celebrant, explain what kind of funeral you want, and how much you’d like him to be involved in the proceedings.
Remember, your funeral celebrant is there to help you, and should therefore be willing to work with you to develop the funeral services you want. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, as the right celebrant will be more than willing to help out in any way he can. If he or she doesn’t want to answer your questions, they’re probably not the celebrant for you. While vetting potential celebrants, think about and ask the following questions to get a better idea of what they offer:
- Do you make house calls?
- How much do you charge?
- How often to you host funerals?
- What’s the best way to reach you? How often are you available?
- Can you provide me with a funeral script?
- Can I have referrals from previous clients?
- Do you have any additional fees?
Hiring a funeral celebrant is an out-of-the-box way to make sure your loved one’s funeral or service is unique, celebratory and respectful. There are celebrants for hire all over the country, but not every celebrant is a good choice. Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is a Matthews, NC cemetery with years of experience. We would be happy to recommend you to a celebrant, connect you with someone who can meet your needs, or give you more information about our funeral services and us. Please give us a call today to learn more about what we can do for you.
Choosing a cemetery in Huntersville, NC isn’t the only important step in planning a service after a cremation. In fact, there are a lot of other choices to be made about memorials as cremations make it simple to make sure your deceased loved one’s memorial service is unique to him or her.
It can be overwhelming to plan a memorial service for after a cremation, especially when you’re grieving a loss. Use these tips to help you plan a memorial service for your lost loved one after a cremation.
Start with the date and time. One nice thing about cremation services as opposed to burials and funerals is that you don’t have a deadline or specific timeline. With a burial, you need to have the funeral service within a few days of death because of decomposition. With a cremation service, however, you have as much time as you want since the body is already broken down. You can easily plan memorial services at later dates to allow people to come from out of town, or to have it be on an important or meaningful day.
Once you’ve chosen a day, you can start planning the specifics. There are practically zero restrictions on what services should or need to be, so feel free to get creative. Think about the deceased and what he liked, stood for, or is most remembered for and expand on that. Have a theme party, make video tributes, scatter ashes in a ceremony, or even do things the deceased liked to do. For example, if the deceased loved golf, have a golf themed cremation service. You can order a golf ball urn for the ashes, and have guests take turns at a driving range. If the deceased really loved one specific park, hold the service in the park and scatter his ashes there (with a proper permit.)
Finally, don’t forget to ask for help. While planning memorial services can be bittersweet or even exciting, they also happen during a time of loss and can bring up stressful feelings. You might need help with the planning, and that’s OK. Ask for help from other family members or loved ones or hire professionals. Find a funeral home or cemetery nearby that has experience with memorial services to help you plan your event with compassion and attention.
Memorial services are for both the living and the dead, as they help honor the deceased while providing a healthy and constructive place for the living to grieve. An ideal service helps you and your loved ones mourn the loss while bringing together those that cared for the deceased so that everyone can pay tribute in a positive way.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to planning memorial services for cemeteries. If you want more inspiration or guidance for a memorial service or want to learn more about your options for Huntersville, NC cemeteries, just get in touch with Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden. We are here to help you in whatever way we can in your time of loss. Call or visit today.
From choosing a cemetery in Charlotte, NC to picking out flowers, there’s a lot to accomplish when you lose a loved one. Your long to-do list can be stressful, so why not learn some basic information about one of your tasks now to help assuage this stress?
You can start with obituaries. Obituaries are a traditional way to let family and friends publicly celebrate the life of the deceased and announce the death in a compassionate manner. To be better prepared to write an obituary for your lost loved one, here are the common parts of obituaries:
- Announcement of Death – Obituaries usually start with basic information such as the name, age, and place of residence of the deceased. This is followed by the death announcement, including the time and place of death. Most people choose to use a softer word or term that “death,” such as “passed away”, “died”, “went to be with the Lord” etc. Many people are unsure whether or not to list the cause of death in the obituary. At the end of the day, the cause of death is only the family’s business, and does not need to be shared unless the immediate family chooses. However, if the death was sudden and unexpected, listing the cause of death in the public obituary might field questions and repetitions at the funeral.
- Biographical Sketch – The key word in this portion is “sketch.” Many people are tempted to write a full account of the deceased’s life. While some people may find that interesting or helpful, the obituary is only meant to detail the most important aspects of his life. Some key pieces to include are the date and place of birth, parent’s names including mother’s maiden name, date and place of marriage, birth name of spouse, education, work, and military service. Feel free to list events chronologically, or to take a more creative approach. Don’t forget to mention specific important relationships and the effect the deceased had on people’s lives. For example, did he have a great sense of humor? Did he always make time for the kids? Was he an exceptional host, golfer, singer?
- Family – A key element is listing the surviving family members and loved ones. Take care to not forget anyone, but don’t feel the need to list every single member of the extended family.
- Service Times – While tradition varies on this element, most obituaries include funeral information so people can attend if they choose. List the essentials: time, full date and place of service along with the name of the officiate; time, full date and place of burial or interment if applicable; and finally, time, full date and place of visitation.
While it’s not traditional nor imperative, some people also to include a special thank you or message at the end of the obituary. This may also include a prayer or poem. Other people choose to include a photo. While this adds to the cost, it is a lovely way to remind people of their connected to the deceased.
Gethsemane Cemetery and Memorial Garden is here to help if you have more questions about obituaries or Charlotte, NC cemeteries.