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he traditional funeral is a service that includes a visitation service, a funeral ceremony, procession and committal service.  Personalization is the hallmark of a meaningful traditional funeral service.  At the arrangement conference we will discuss the many ways we can work together to create and unique and meaningful experience.

The visitation service or wake, is typically held the afternoon or evening before the funeral ceremony.  The casket is typically open for a public viewing.  An open casket is the most personalized part of any funeral service.  There is value to an open casket viewing that can not be obtained any other way.  Grief is something that must be experienced and worked through, it can not be avoided.  Many people recall the viewing of a loved one as the moment the loss became "real" to them.  When someone is lost at sea or missing in the woods we as a society spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to "bring them home" and see them one last time.  The last viewing is a natural and time honored tradition of human society, a tradition we hold dear. 

You will greet friends and family, share stories and may even learn something you never knew about your loved one.  Clergy may attend this service and say a few words.  If your loved one was a member of a fraternal organization or club, they may wish to perform a short service at this time as well.

The day after the visitation service will be the funeral ceremony.  From the ceremony we will process to the cemetery for a committal service.  After the committal service you may choose to go to a reception.

Every part of the traditional funeral has meaning and benefits for those in attendance.  You can read more about these elements here.

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Prescott Park, Portsmouth, NH July 2011

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