How Different from a Funeral is a Graveside Service?

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Graveside services are a way of honoring the deceased. There’s usually no visitation beforehand and not as many people attend (generally speaking). As a result, it’s often easier for those closest to the deceased to get through this type of event. Let’s have a deeper a look at graveside services.

What is a graveside service?

A graveside service is a type of memorial service that takes place beside or near a burial plot. It’s an alternative to a funeral and can take place for any age group, including babies and children. A graveside service usually involves family members and friends who want to honor the life of their loved one. Because it doesn’t require much planning or preparation, people often describe it as low-key or casual compared to traditional funerals.

The main difference between a graveside service and a funeral is that they take place at different times and places. Most funerals take place indoors (usually at the church), while a graveside service takes place outside at the cemetery. This makes the latter easier on families because they don’t have as many obligations. Especially compared to what they would if they were hosting an indoor ceremony—they simply have to show up!

Grave services and funerals

A funeral is when someone dies and then their body is buried or cremated. A graveside service, on the other hand, doesn’t always have to involve a burial at all. It’s an opportunity for friends and family to gather around the grave site of their loved one. They can then celebrate the deceased’s life and reflect on them during their funeral.

Timeline of a graveside service

So, graveside services are different from funerals. As we discussed already, a funeral often takes place in a church or other venue. Many different people can attend: friends, family members, and coworkers of the deceased. Graveside services are typically held after the interment has taken place.

The order of a graveside service varies from person to person, but it generally follows this pattern:

  • Opening prayer or reading.

  • Eulogy (a speech about what kind of person the deceased was).

  • Reading an obituary that includes some things about their life (if there isn’t one already prepared).

  • Benediction (a blessing said at the end of a religious service).

  • Invocation (a request for divine guidance before beginning something significant).

  • Final farewell with tears flowing freely among those present in attendance as well as those looking on from afar via digital means.

How long is the service?

Graveside services are much shorter than funeral services. They also don’t include the time it takes to dig a grave, since gravediggers have already taken care of that. The length of the service will vary depending on how many people are attending, but it tends to be between 30 minutes and an hour.

No visitation

A graveside service is similar to a funeral, but the family is not welcoming guests in the funeral home before or after the ceremony. A graveside service takes place directly at the burial site.

What happens if the weather is bad?

If the weather is bad, the service can be delayed until it improves or postponed until another day. It’s also possible that if it’s too dangerous to attend a graveside service, the family cancels it.

Who attends the graveside service?

The mourners who attend a graveside service are usually family and friends of the deceased. The officiant, if there is one, will be the pastor, minister or rabbi of the deceased’s church or synagogue. If you’re not religious but still want to say goodbye to your loved one in person at their final resting place then you can still attend as well!

A burial is important for all families because it provides closure for both those left behind and for those who have died. It also allows us a chance to reflect on our lives so we can learn from our mistakes. This way we may become better people in future years ahead.

A graveside service also gives everyone who attends an opportunity to say goodbye in their own way. They can stand next to the casket or urn for a few moments, share their thoughts about the person who has died and how they will miss them, and then say goodbye one last time before leaving the cemetery.

Final Thoughts

The bottom line is that a graveside service is not the same thing as a funeral. They are similar in that there’s often a ceremony and some type of memorial. However, they differ in both how they take place and who attends. It’s important to know the differences so you can plan accordingly when necessary.

With Myend’s funeral planner, you can organize and plan your own funeral or graveside service. Or maybe even you can help your loved ones with their needs. Get ready to explore this for yourself with a free account today.


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