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Graveside Service: What You Can Expect

Published: April 18, 2022

Are you attending a funeral service for a friend or relative and feeling nervous about the graveside service? If so, you are not alone. Most of us have not had to attend one before so the first time we do can bring with it feelings of anxiousness. What directors from funeral homes in Hallsville, TX. want you to know is that learning what to expect ahead of time can make you feel much more comfortable when the time of the service arrives. Here is a little about what you can expect.

What is a Graveside Service?

First, a graveside service may be a standalone event, follow directly after a funeral service, or even before a memorial service. These services take place at the cemetery next to the grave or crypt site for the deceased and are shorter in length than the funeral or memorial service.

During the Service

When you arrive at the location, there may or may not be chairs set up. If there are chairs, they are typically reserved for immediate family so rather than sit in a chair, take a place behind them and stand. Wait for everyone to be seated, and if there are chairs left over, it is normally okay for guests to take a seat. However, if you notice that someone needs a chair more than you, such as an elderly or disabled guest, allow them to take a seat.

The service will start with the funeral officiant or religious leader starting off by reading a prayer or passage. Then eulogies may be given before, finally, the body is lowered into the ground.

During the services, there may be opportunities for guests to participate. For example, with some religious prayers, there is a call-and-response format. If you are familiar with the prayer, feel free to join in. If you do not know the format or feel comfortable participating, simply standing quietly and respectfully is absolutely okay.

Also, with many funerals, it is custom for guests to each take a turn and scoop a little dirt with the provided shovel and toss it over the casket in the grave. If you are nervous about this, simply watch what the other guests do and mimic their actions. Typically, the family will perform this action first and once all the family members have had their turn, the guests will then start. This will give you ample opportunity to watch what others do.

Should You Attend the Service?

If you have been invited to the funeral but are not sure if you should attend the graveside service, wait to hear more from the family. Some families like to keep the graveside service private and for family only in which case it will not be open to the public. If the family wishes for everyone to be able to attend, they will have the details of the service announced at the end of the funeral services. If they do not announce any details, honor their wishes, and do not attend the graveside event.

While these services can bring on feelings of anxiousness if you have not attended one before, knowing what to expect ahead of time can help ease some of your nerves. Funeral homes in Hallsville, TX. understand this is a difficult time for you. If you have any further questions about what you might expect when attending a service like this, feel free to call or come by anytime as we are always available for you.

 
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