Contemporary Funeral Services are those in which the content and format arise out of the present day and age. These services reflect contemporary expressions for the funeral ritual and practices. This is contrasted with the traditional services, which reflects practices handed down from previous generations and times.
The contemporary practices may include the same elements as traditional services and are listed below.
- Viewing or Visitation: This helps in the grief process by helping us accept the reality of death. It also provides opportunity for person to express sympathy, concern and love to family and friends of the deceased.
- Funeral Service: This Contemporary Service may be known by a variety of names, such as "Service of Remembrance:, "Celebration of Life Service" or a "Contemporary Memorial Service". This service whether conducted at a place of worship, funeral home or other location, is the ritual for the deceased person's rite of passage from this life. In addition, it is this service, in which family and loved ones have the opportunity to say goodbye. It is often lead by a person who has experience in conducting funeral rituals.
- Private or Public Service: Depending on the wishes of those making the arrangements for the deceased, the service may be private or public in nature.
- Committal Service: This takes place after the deceased is taken to the place of final rest. This service rite often includes prayers and words of departure or goodbye. It also provides opportunity for persons to express sympathy, concern and love to family and friends of the deceased. At the end of this service everyone departs.
- Post Committal Practices: It is the practice of some families to gather at a home, restaurant or other suitable place for food and fellowship following the committal service. This gives opportunity for persons to come together and gain the strength and renewal of ties with family and friends.
An example of a contemporary service held at night in a garden.