Graveside Service


Published: 05/20/2010

by Funeral Home Resource Team


For many different reasons, a family may choose a Graveside Service, rather than the more formal Visitation or Funeral Service inside a Chapel or Church. Sometimes its for religious reasons or family tradition; or even simply personal preference. A Graveside Service can be anything from a small, casual gathering of family and close friends, to a larger grouping with no formal schedule of events.

In a graveside service there is no church or chapel service, however sometimes a graveside service will follow a memorial or traditional funeral service.

Personal mementos, photographs or video, special music, poetry or readings, and floral arrangements may be used in the graveside service to spark memories of the one who has died. Many consider graveside services as a open service without walls and ceilings.

* Choose a time and a date you wish to have the graveside service. Provide the funeral home with this information

* Decide how formal you want the graveside service to be. A pastor, priest or other speaker can formally conduct the service, or you can do it informally, asking friends and loved ones to come forward and speak about their memories of the deceased.

* Consider your religious beliefs. Incorporate those traditions in the ceremony, if desired.

* Make arrangements for special musical pieces or songs during the graveside service if appropriate.

* Notify friends and family of the time and date of the graveside service. Be sure you include the name of the cemetery. You can also submit an obituary to the local newspaper. The obituary should contain the information as well.

* Be sure there is a canopy for very warm weather or rain. Likewise, be sure that there are chairs for elderly people and for the family. The cemetery or funeral home can arrange this.

* Begin the graveside service on time and keep it relatively brief. Remember there will be people standing throughout the service.