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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.

With traditional burial services - you have many options. You can choose to having visiting hours the night before the formal service or have all services in one day - visiting hour prior to the service. This can be held at our beautiful funeral facilities or at a place of your choice. Even if you wish to have all of the services in your home back yard or country club. O'Donnell Cremations - Funerals - Celebrations can create a fitting tribute in the location of choice. 

Having a traditional service might mean omitting visiting hours and having just a celebration of life with the remains present in a casket or a graveside service. Allow our experience funeral directors, home funeral specialists and life celebrants help walk you through creating a fitting and moving tribute. 

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 for a final farewell. This can be done the night prior to the service or all in one day. - We can also arrange for a private final farewell for family before guest arrive. This can be done days in advance of the public services or an hour before your friends arrive. 

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 funeral home at the end of the service. often times pallbearers assist in carrying the casket to the gravesite and stand in a place of honor surrounded the casket. 

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. Capturing the life of a loved one in words is a difficult task but can add so much to a final farewell. 

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. We have the ability to assist in any musical selection you wish. Music can mean so much to many and adds personality to a final farewell. 

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. We will have a lead vehicle to make sure safety is of the utmost importance. 

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. In Jewish funeral tradition this is part of the ceremony itself. If the family chooses to leave prior to burial, our funeral home promises to stay to make sure everything is taken care of properly. 

Whether your family would like to follow every tradition to the letter or pick and choose the traditions that feel meaningful to you, the team at O'Donnell Funeral Home 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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