What Is Involved With a Traditional Funeral Service?

June 21st, 2022
What Is Involved With a Traditional Funeral Service?

The answer to the question in the title is “it depends.” What is traditional to one family may be different for another family. The discussion of funeral services is a big topic, but in today’s blog, we will give you a rough idea of what traditional funeral services mean.

Burial or Cremation

The beginning of any kind of funeral services starts with a death. Sometimes the deceased that person’s family already have a clear idea of how they want the funeral to be, and sometimes they have to make those decisions after the fact.

The family contacts the funeral home and the funeral home collects the body of the deceased and issues a death certificate. The family then has to decide if the person is going to be buried or cremated.


For some families an obituary is important. Some kind of small obituary in a local newspaper and/or online is usually included in the price of the funeral, and can be written by funeral home staff. In other cases, family may wish to write an obituary themselves that is much longer and then pay extra to have it in a major newspaper. Some families prefer to have no obituary.


If burial is chosen, then a casket needs to be picked out and the body is prepared for burial. In addition, a cemetery plot will need to be chosen and possibly a headstone depending on the rules in each individual cemetery. Some cemeteries do not have headstones, and sometimes a headstone is not erected until a year has passed.


If cremation is chosen, then an urn will be selected and cremation will take place not less than 48 hours after death.

Chapel service

Some families want a chapel service with or without music. The chapel offers a place to gather and sometimes friends and family or a clergyperson will speak. Usually there is a guest book that people can sign. This type of service normally takes place within a week or two of death.

Cemetery service

If the individual is to be buried, some families wish to have a graveside service. Sometimes this service is large with a big attendance, and otherwise it may be small, with just close family members attending. This service would take place within a week or two of death.

Celebration of life

Some families wish to have a larger gathering with food and drink. Sometimes this occurs right after the chapel service at the funeral home, and sometimes it is at a larger gathering place like a restaurant or in someone’s home.

Often the celebration of life may take place much later, even months after the death. There is no rule on when or how this should be done.

Funerals are very personal, and each family decides what works best for them. What is chosen depends on the wishes of the deceased, if they are known, what the family wants, and the culture or religion of the family and the deceased.

If you have questions about traditional funeral services in British Columbia, please feel free to call us at (604) 463-8121 in Vancouver.

Maple Ridge Funeral Chapel and Crematorium, based in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, provides has been providing compassionate funeral services on the Lower Mainland for over 60 years. We have deep roots in the community and take great pride in caring ethics and exemplary service. If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about funeral services, please call us at (604) 463-8121.