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|What is the significance of a funeral service?
|From the beginning of recorded history, societies have honored those who died with a traditional ceremony. According to beliefs at that time, the purpose of the ritual was to send the deceased on his or her journey into the afterlife.
Today, however, many experts agree that the benefits of a service are for those who are left behind after a death. A "closure" of sorts must occur to help survivors adjust to their loss and recognize that a death has occurred. A funeral service provides the opportunity for friends and family to celebrate the life that was lived and allow the healing process to begin.
|How much does a funeral cost?
|Funeral costs vary depending on the funeral home and type of service selected. There are two types of costs associated with a funeral: (1) services and merchandise provided by the funeral home and (2) service provided by outside vendors such as cemetery, church, newspapers, etc. Burke Family Funeral Homes accept the following methods of payment: Cash, Bank Checks, Personal Checks from local banks, VISA and MasterCard.
|Is everything included in the price given to me by the funeral home?
|All charges involving the funeral home's services and merchandise are available from our professional staff. We will provide a general price list with all charges.
|Can I make my funeral arrangements before I die?
|Yes. Today, pre-arrangement and prepayment of funerals are becoming more common. Prearranging will provide you with more time to review your options and give you a choice in your own funeral service. Pre-arrangement will provide you with the peace of mind that everything has been taken care of, relieving your family of the emotional and financial burden that often comes with making arrangements when a loved one passes away. Oftentimes, making arrangements in advance also guarantees a service and funeral at today's prices, free from inflation.
|I have already made arrangements and funded my funeral in advance. What if I move or want to use another Funeral Home?
|Existing funeral arrangements can be reestablished with another funeral home and nearly all funding vehicles are transferable by the owner. Our funeral home is pleased to honor pre-arrangement contracts filed with other funeral homes. If you'd like to transfer your pre-arranged services to our funeral home, simply contact us to schedule an appointment.
|How do I acquire Death Certificates?
|Once the original certificate of death has been filed, certified copies are available from the city/town clerk of the place of death. After a period of time, copies are also available at the city/town clerk of the deceased's place of birth and place of residence at the time of death. Each city/town determines their charge for a certified copy and often copies may be requested by mail.
|How many types of caskets exist, and why are some more expensive than others?
|Caskets are made of either metal (bronze, copper or steel) or wood. Prices vary, depending on the exterior and interior materials used. Bronze, a semiprecious metal, is more expensive than steel. Mahogany, a rare hardwood, is more expensive than the readily available softwood pine.
|What is embalming and is it necessary before services are held?
|Embalming is the temporary preservation and sanitation of a deceased. The process of embalming allows the family a greater span of time in preparing for a meaningful funeral service.
|Is embalming required by law?
|No. In Massachusetts however, embalming is required when death is caused by a reportable contagious disease or when a deceased is to be transported from one state to another by common carrier, or if final disposition is not to be made within a 48 hours period.
|What is involved in the cremation process?
|Before cremation occurs, the death certificate must be completed and signed by the attending physician or medical examiner, and all civil and medical authorities must have issued all required permits. In addition, necessary authorizations to cremate must be obtained from the next of kin or authorizing person and no objections to the cremation can be raised. The cremation then takes place and the cremated remains are placed in the designated container or urn selected for final disposition.
|Are special cremation containers and caskets available?
|Burke Family Funeral Homes offer a wide variety of cremation containers and caskets and urns to meet each family's needs.
|Are the services held before or after cremation?
|Services are held at the discretion of the family. A traditional funeral service first may be held followed by the cremation, or a memorial service may be held after the cremation has taken place.
|What happens to the cremated remains?
|There are many options to consider with a cremation. A family can choose to bury the remains in a cemetery, store and display them at home in an urn or scatter them in a place special to the deceased. It is advisable to check local restrictions on scattering remains on public property and obtain permission for private property.