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Traditional Services

Traditional Values

Traditions hold strong emotional value for many people, especially when it comes to funeral traditions. They can enhance the sense of purpose in a ceremony as well as make us feel closer to the generations before us who practiced the same traditions, reminding us that we are part of something larger than ourselves.

Funeral and Burial Traditions

Visitation/Viewing: Before the funeral service, family and friends gather to view the body of their loved one to say their private goodbyes. This may be a private event open only to immediate family members or it may be open to anyone who wishes to see the deceased up close one last time.

Pallbearers: Pallbearers are traditionally chosen from among the close family or friends of the deceased to carry the casket to the head of the room at the beginning of the funeral service. The pallbearers may also carry the casket out of the chapel at the end of the service. 

Eulogy: A eulogy usually consists of the fond memories, feelings, and thoughts around the life of the deceased. It may be given by a child, parent, spouse, sibling, or anyone who was close to the deceased. There may be one eulogy or several.

Reading: Often, a reading is prepared for the service. If the decedent was religious, it’s common for certain verses of scripture to be read. For more secular services, a poem may be read by a friend or family member.

Music: It’s common for hymns to be sung by the congregation in religious funeral services. Even those families who aren’t religious frequently choose to incorporate music into the service, choosing a secular number for everyone to sing or preparing a personal performance. 

Procession: At the end of the funeral service, a procession is usually led to the cemetery where the decedent will be laid to rest. This procession is typically a motorcade led by the hearse that carries the body of the deceased.

Burial Participation: After the casket is lowered into the gravesite, mourners often symbolically begin the burial process by throwing in a handful of dirt one at a time. Traditionally, the spouse or other close family member throws the dirt first. 

Whether your family would like to follow every tradition to the letter or pick and choose the traditions that feel meaningful to you, our staff can help lay out a ceremony that reflects traditional values and promotes healing.

Let us help guide you

Contact Us


O'Donnell Cremations - Funerals - Celebrations DANVERS
|
167 Maple St.
| Danvers, MA 01923
|
Tel: 1-978-774-6600
| Directions
O'Donnell Cremations - Funerals - Celebrations SALEM
|
84 Washington Square
| Salem, MA 01970
|
Tel: 1-978-744-2350
| Directions

You are welcome to call us any time of the day, any day of the week, for immediate assistance. Or, visit our funeral home in person at your convenience.

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