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Rochester Funeral Services
Traditional Funeral Services
A funeral service, whether traditional or more modern (memorial service or celebration-of-life), has two functions: to acknowledge the death and lifetime achievements of an individual and to bring grieving family members and friends together in support of one another during this difficult time.
One of our main mission is giving your loved one a final tribute they deserve. Contrary to common belief, funeral services are not all the same. They can take on many different formats and styles. We can plan and execute funeral ceremonies that follow very traditional practices to those that take on less formal, more unique styles. We work with you to create the funeral service that best honors your loved one’s life, allows the best way for you to say goodbye, meets your family's specific wishes, and fits within your financial budget.
We have years of experience in this industry, and we take pride in offering families quality and affordable funeral services in Rochester. We hope to help as many families in need as we can as their Rochester funeral service provider, and we promise to help each and every family member heal as they embark on their journey with grief. On this page, we have provided a breakdown of the traditional funeral process included in the services we offer as well as a brief history and overview of what a funeral is.
If you have any questions about our Rochester funeral services, please feel free to contact us.
What is a Funeral Service?
All we need to do is say the word "funeral" and within microseconds, you have an image in your mind of what a funeral looks like. This mental image comes from many sources: the geographical place, culture and society in which we live; our faith; our life experience. Obviously then, a funeral in Rochester would look very different from one held in Tanzania; there are even significant differences between the funerals held in ethnically and/or geographically diverse regions of North America.
Yet, despite the differences, these funeral services have much in common. We invite you to read further to learn the really simple answer to the question "what is a funeral?" Should you have questions about what you read here, we encourage you to call us. One of our funeral professionals will be delighted to explore the commonalities behind the wide spectrum of funeral ceremonies seen around the world.
Components of a Funeral Service
All traditional funerals contain the same main components. We explain each component below:
1) Wake or Visitation
The purpose of a wake or visitation is to give people the opportunity to pay their respects to the deceased and the family. You often do not have this chance during the funeral service. The body is placed in a casket, and is either open or closed based on family preference. Often people say a short prayer by the casket then proceed to say their condolences to each family member. A good suggestion is to just say something simple to each family member such as "I am sorry for your loss", especially if there are a lot guests waiting to pay their respects.
2) Funeral Service
As opposed to the visitation, the purpose of the funeral service is to honor the life of the deceased, remember what he/she contributed to our lives, and to say a final goodbye to their presence. The funeral service can take place at the funeral home chapel, a church, or at the graveside/cemetery. Often prayers are said, hymns are sung, liturgy or religious passages are read, and the eulogy is given.
3) Committal Service
After the funeral service has concluded, there is a vehicle procession to either the cemetery or the crematory depending on the type of disposition that has been chosen. If burial has been chosen, the family and guests will congregate at the open plot or mausoleum. The Rite of Committal, the final set of prayers are given for the deceased, is said at this component of a traditional funeral service.
4) Funeral Reception
Many families choose to have a social gathering after the committal service with food and refreshments. It is a chance for the family to thank guests for attending, and it is a chance for everyone to share memories and provide support to each other.
The funeral service component is the biggest and most important component that we mentioned above. A traditional funeral service has long been associated with religion. For the most part when people think about a traditional funeral service, people imagine or have a Christian style funeral in mind. To further illustrate the funeral service component, we will examine it through the lens of a Christian style funeral. However, please remember that you can still have a traditional funeral that is not Christian.
What is a Funeral?
All we need to do is say the word “funeral” and, within microseconds, you have an image in your mind of what a funeral looks like. This mental image comes from many sources: the geographical place, culture and society in which we live; our faith; our life experience. Obviously then, a funeral service in Borneo would look very different from one held in Tanzania; there are even significant differences between the funerals held in ethnically and/or geographically diverse regions of North America.
Yet, despite the differences, these funeral services have much in common. We invite you to read further to learn the really simple answer to the question "what is a funeral"? Should you have questions about what you read here, we encourage you to call us at (585) 436-7730. One of our funeral professionals will be delighted to explore the commonalities behind the wide spectrum of funeral ceremonies seen around the world.
What Makes a Funeral Service?
No matter where it's held, a funeral is a structured ceremony, with a beginning, middle and end. Each is intended to engage the living participants in activities which will transform their status within the community, provide mourners with a collective grieving experience, and celebrate a life lived. It's a socially-acceptable way for members of a community to re-affirm and express their social attachments.
Anthropologists label a funeral as a rite of passage, which affects everyone involved – including the deceased. His or her social status changes dramatically, from a living member of the community to one whose contributions are in the past and relegated to memory. But the status of each of the survivors – the immediate family most especially – has also changed. In fact, the funeral service can be the start of a defined period of mourning for bereaved family members, making this transition in a uniquely identifiable way.
It could be said then, the focus of a funeral - no matter where, no matter when - lies in acknowledging change. And without doubt, human beings (as individuals and as a community) have trouble dealing with profound changes like the death of an integral member of the group. When you take this perspective, it becomes easier to understand the importance of ceremonially acknowledging the tear in the social fabric and the symbolic restoration of its integrity.
A Breakdown of a Christian Funeral Service
A Christian funeral follows the 4 parts we already touched on above: the visitation, funeral service, committal service and finally the funeral reception. The funeral service part is where most of the specific Christian rituals occur. The funeral service takes the form of any other Christian mass with a couple nuances. The main purpose of a Christian funeral service is to pray for the soul of the deceased, and to provide support to the grieving family.
The funeral service starts with guests entering the church or chapel and taking their seats. It is recommended that guests arrive about 15-20 minutes prior to the start of the service. There is then a small procession down the main aisle of the church by the immediate family and the pallbearers who are carrying the casket. The casket will generally be placed in front of the altar, and the immediate family and pallbearers will sit at the very front. Once everyone has gathered together, the priest will give an opening statement that is either a prayer or a statement of support for the family, or a combination of both. After the opening statement, the mass officially begins. A traditional funeral service typically includes scripture readings from the Bible, a homily from the priest, prayers, and hymns. A homily or sermon is a speech given by the priest after scripture has been read. The Priest will provide insight into the scripture readings and will relate it to the life of the deceased in some manner. Generally, the family will choose close relatives or friends to say the prayers and the scripture readings. The funeral service often concludes with the delivery of the eulogy. The eulogy usually covers the deceased’s life, his/her values, personality, accomplishments, etc.
Since there are so many sects of Christianity there will be small differences between a catholic funeral compared to a Lutheran funeral, but for the most part the funeral rituals are the same.
Popular Christian Hymns
Here I am Lord
By John Michael Talbot
Be Not Afraid
By John Michael Talbot
By Leann Rimes
By Elder Joseph Brackett
Popular Christian Readings for Funerals
Come To Me...And I Will Give You Rest: Matthew 11:25-30
At that time Jesus said in reply, "I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him. "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."
The gospel of the Lord.
Where Sin Increased, There Grace Abounded All The More: Romans 5:17-21
A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans
For if, by the transgression of one person, death came to reign through that one, how much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of justification come to reign in life through the one person Jesus Christ. In conclusion, just as through one transgression condemnation came upon all, so through one righteous act acquittal and life came to all. For just as through the disobedience of one person the many were made sinners, so through the obedience of one the many will be made righteous. The law entered in so that transgression might increase but, where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through justification for eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Word of the Lord
Rejoice and Be Glad, For Your Reward Will Be Great In Heaven: Matthew 5:1-12
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain, and after he had sat down, his disciples came to him. He began to teach them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The gospel of the Lord.
Whoever Hears My Word and Believes Has Passed From Death To Life: John 5:24-29
"Amen, Amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life. Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave his Son the possession of life in himself. and he gave him power to exercise judgment , because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation."
The gospel of the Lord.
All People Will Be Brought To Life through Christ: 1 Corinthians 15:20-24. 25-28
A reading from the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a human being, the resurrection of the dead came also through a human being. For just as in Adam all die, so too in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order: Christ the first fruits; then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ; then comes the end, when he hands over the d and Father, when he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death, for "he subjected everything under his feet." But when it says that everything has been subjected, it is clear that it excludes the one who subjected everything to him. When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will (also) be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.
The Word of the Lord
Whether Alive Or Dead, We Belong To The Lord: Romans 14:7-9. 10-12
A reading from the letter of Paul to the Romans
None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord; so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's. For this is why Christ died and came to life, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written: "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend before me, and every tongue shall give praise to God." So (then) each of us shall give an account of himself (to God).
If you are interested in making funeral arrangements for a loved one, we invite you to call us at (585) 436-7730 to begin. We would be honored to assist you in each step of planning a funeral service for your loved one.