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.