What are the types of funeral services in Canada

What are the types of funeral services in Canada?

If you’re preparing for a funeral service but aren’t quite sure where to start, you’re in the right place. Funeral services have evolved over the years, but there are still religious, cultural, and social traditions that are in effect.

When preparing a funeral service, it’s important to reflect on the person whose life is being celebrated and the traditions they honour.

Here you’ll find the different types of funeral services practiced in Canada.

Traditional Funeral

Traditional funeral services often take place in a funeral home chapel or a place of worship. Your chosen funeral home will provide a casket, either opened or closed and visitation hours prior to the burial.

During the visitation hours, members of the family respond to the condolences of visitors. If you’re close to the family but unable to attend, it’s often appropriate to send flowers instead. 

Direct Cremation

A traditional funeral takes place over the course of several days. Meanwhile, a direct cremation will be a stand-alone event. 

In this kind of funeral service, there is no celebration of life, memorial service, or visitation. Instead, the funeral home or crematory will return the remains to the family who may or may not opt to have a memorial service in the future.

This is often the least expensive option for final disposition because there is no need to rent a space for long-distance visitors or for the actual viewing, or to prepare catering for visiting guests.

Direct Burial

Similar to direct cremation, a direct burial will not involve any memorial service or formal visitation. Instead, the funeral home directly buries the casket.

In this case, the members of the family are often present and may say a few words before the casket is buried. 

Graveside or Committal Service

A graveside or committal service often takes place at the cemetery or the place of burial or scattering right before internment. This service is often led by a member of the clergy, a funeral director, or a person chosen by the family.

The funeral attendees gather at the place of the funeral service and participate in eulogy readings, music, or prayers except the affair is often shorter than a traditional service.

Memorial Service

A memorial service is one of the most common types of funeral services which involves practices similar to a traditional burial, except the remains will not often be present. In a memorial service, an urn, a photograph or both are used as the service’s focus. 

The memorial service may take place whenever the family deems appropriate. It may occur right after death or somewhere down the line.

The location is typically a funeral home, a place of worship, a private residence or apartment of some sort, an event space, a banquet hall, or any other space that feels appropriate and will reflect the life of the person being celebrated.

More Resources

Funeral services celebrate life and involve customary practices that uphold religious, cultural, and social norms. For the best funeral services, we suggest contacting the best funeral homes to help you. 

We also suggest taking the time to celebrate life while your loved ones are still with you. You can do this by checking out the activities available in Edmonton here: