Checklist of a Traditional Funeral

Aside from honoring the deceased, services at funeral homes Westmont, PA, have long been the reflection of your tradition, culture, and family values. The near and dear ones gather at one place and offer one last tribute to the lost loved one.

As such, every funeral is unique but there are some elements common to almost all funerals. Check out what should you expect in a traditional funeral:


As its name indicates, visitation is an event for the family, friends, and other community members to gather and mourn the loss. They offer condolences and sympathy to the bereaved family and give one last tribute to the deceased.

A visitation usually takes place one or two days before the funeral service. Many families choose to arrange a visitation in a funeral home but it’s also common to hold it in the deceased’s family home or any other private venue.

The family can also decide on whether or not to hold Viewing in association with the visitation.

Funeral Readings

Whether the funeral is religious or not, it’s a common practice to have two or three readings in a funeral It is a great way to express your love and condolences for the deceased. Religious funerals involve reading Bible passages and praying for the peace of the deceased’s soul.

The non-religious readings include poems, song lyrics, and other grief and bereavements quotes. The purpose is to honor the lost loved one while exhibiting how you feel about the loss. There are certain restrictions on the type of readings but in general, any passage that is tasteful and appropriate can be used regardless of the genre.


Just like funeral readings, music is also an important element of most traditional funerals. It helps the bereaved family as well as the guests to acknowledge the loss and deal with painful emotions. Most families choose music as a way to personalize the funeral. As such, they play the deceased’s favorite song or band to invoke special memories.


It is a short speech – usually 10-15 minutes long – given by a family member, a close associate of the deceased, or a clergy member. The tradition of delivering a eulogy is centuries old in North America and it is considered as a last gift to the lost loved one.

A eulogy includes major highlights, achievements, hobbies, and other important details that reflect the deceased’s personality.

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Also known as graveside service, it is a brief memorial service just before committing the deceased’s remains to their final disposition. It is brief, often religious, and requires utmost respect from the invitees.

Usually, it takes place at the gravesite and involves clergy members, immediate family members, and close friends.


A funeral reception happens soon after a funeral or even several weeks after it. It provides an informal, casual atmosphere for the loved ones to gather together and support each other in the grief journey.

The bereaved family also serves refreshments or a full meal depending on their budget and desire. It is often held in a private place or the loved one’s family home. Many people arrange it in a room at funeral homes Westmont, PA, or on church grounds.