The Importance of a Gathering

A family leaning on each other for support at a viewing ceremony before to cremation


The funeral service is a ritual that has comforted grieving families for eons. For over 150 years, Chapman Funerals & Cremations has been supporting the Massachusetts community by offering the opportunity to come together to honor a loved one. A service offers a powerful sense of closure, and is an important step on the path toward healing.


As cremation becomes the disposition method of choice for more and more families, misunderstandings about the process are common. For instance, many families do not know that a traditional funeral or memorial service is an option for cremations. Not only is it possible, but there is flexibility that makes a service a good choice for most families. The service can occur before or after cremation. It can include a viewing, or the urn can take a prominent place on an altar. It can occur in the funeral home, a place of worship, or graveside. Just as with traditional burial services, there are many ways to customize the service to best celebrate the life of a loved one.


Funeral Services and Direct Cremation

More and more families are choosing direct cremation. The cost makes this a good option for many. However, we encourage families that choose direct cremation to consider a gathering afterward. Allowing the deceased’s family and friends to gather in remembrance is a powerful way to commemorate a life. Opting not to have any sort of funeral or memorial service can be damaging to the healing process, because it does not allow for shared grieving, or a chance to say goodbye.


Why Gather at All?

Gathering to honor a loved one offers the deceased’s family and friends the chance to come together, sometimes for the first time in many years. Their shared love for the deceased is a profound way to bond and heal. Sharing stories is a wonderful way to honor a life lived, and shared grieving reminds everyone that they are not alone.


The Cost of Opting Out

When you choose to not have a funeral or memorial service, your family and friends miss out on this opportunity. For many people, the funeral could be their first interaction with the deceased in many years. It is an important moment to make amends, express love, or just say goodbye.


A Funeral Service Is For You

Despite this, some families still consider not having a funeral or memorial service. It is true that planning a service in the midst of grief can be difficult. There are many decisions families have to make about the service, and many of those decisions involve guessing at what their loved one would have wanted. It puts a great amount of pressure on everyone involved.


Many families simply decide that the burden is too heavy, or they think, “My loved one wouldn’t have wanted any of this fuss, anyway.” But we believe firmly that the service isn’t just for your loved one. It’s for you. It’s for your family. And it’s for everyone whose lives were touched by your loved one, and wants to mourn and pay tribute to them in kind.


You Have Service Options

Cremation does not preclude a meaningful service. Through traditional means, such as a viewing or graveside service, or through more personalized means, such as a celebration of life, a gathering can be an invaluable source of comfort for you and your family. Any service that is traditionally part of a burial is possible before or after cremation, including burial of the cremated remains in a grave. There are options that fit the needs of every family, and we are here to help you navigate the process.


Cremation services are an important decision, and a deeply personal experience for those saying goodbye to a loved one. We are always available to answer any questions you might have. Call us at any time at one of our funeral homes nearest you.

Feeling overwhelmed with the options and decisions that accompany a loved one’s cremation? We’re here for you.



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