What Are Committal Services?

Do you know what a committal service is or how they relate to funeral homes Northern Cambria, PA? Keep reading to find out!

A committal service is a graveside service in which you commit the body to the ground or bury the body. These services are generally the final goodbye for the family before the deceased is buried. The origin of the phrase “committal” in this context is thought to have been derived from a burial sermon in the Book of Common Prayer that states, “We, therefore, commit this body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust; in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection to eternal life.” As the ritual is usually brief, about 15 to 20 minutes, many families choose to have a committal right after the funeral service. Still, you can have a committal without a funeral or memorial.

Committing your lost loved one to the earth or another burial location is a beautiful way to say goodbye. Here are tips for planning committals:

  • Plan the service – You must find an officiant to run the committal, whether your pastor, priest, or even a family member, friend, or other loved one. Once you have given an officiant, work with them to choose what you want to serve to include, such as readings, prayers, eulogies, or a sermon. If you don’t want a formal service, that’s ok. You can have attendees say a few short words about the deceased.
  • Mind the weather – As committals are usually outdoors, the weather plays a significant role. Be sure to plan for heat, snow, rain, or wind.
  • Choose a burial site – Does your family have a plot with other family members? If so, call the office and reserve a property for the deceased. If not, do some research and choose a cemetery in which you’d like your loved one to be buried. You can often buy a plot directly from the cemetery or an individual.funeral homes Northern Cambria, PA
  • Connect with the cemetery sexton – The cemetery sexton is the person in charge of running the cemetery’s day-to-day operations. As such, he will take care of the details for the commitment ceremony, like making sure the grave is dug and prepared, bringing the casket or urn to the tomb and placed on a lowering device, and getting the surrounding area ready for the service with chairs and other decorations.
  • Consider Cremation Committals – You can have a committal service for cremated remains. You can commit the cremated ashes to the ground in a burial urn or have them inurned in a columbarium niche. Cremation committals often look and feel almost the same as a service for a whole body. The urn is usually set on a table before the commitment, and some families choose to decorate the table with flowers, photos, and memorabilia.

For more tips on committals or information on funeral homes Northern Cambria, PA, get in touch with us today.