Hi everyone, my name is AnaMae Merton. I recently lost my birth parents during a heavy storm. Their deaths left me reeling, though we were not very close. Furthermore, I was the only surviving kin, so it was my job to arrange the funerals for both of them. The funeral arrangement process was incredibly difficult without knowing much about their personalities or passions. I struggled to find the best songs, outfits, caskets, burial sites and flowers. Luckily, the funeral director helped me identify suitable options for my birth parents' funerals. I hope to help people understand all of the different funeral arrangement options available today. Please visit my site anytime to learn more.
Religious expectations and requirements are a common source of conflict in funeral preparations, particularly when decedents were affiliated with religions different from their families. Resolving these conflicts to the satisfaction of all parties involved can be challenging, but here are two tips for working things out.
The Decedent's Wishes Should Take Precedence
"Funerals are for the living" is a common sentiment meant to highlight how these ceremonies can help friends and family members find closure and healing after their loved ones have passed. At the end of the day, though, decedents are the main characters of their funerals, and the service should reflect their desires.
Thus, any religious preparation required should default to the faith of the deceased person when it differs from their family's religion. This may seem like common sense, but sometimes family members will attempt to override the decedent's wishes and have the funeral designed according to their own faith, especially in situations where they didn't approve of the decedent's choice to convert.
In these situations, having something in writing that specifically states what the deceased person wanted, such as a will or preplanned funeral document, is always a good defense against unwanted meddling. Almost all funeral homes will honor the decedent's instructions as long as it's spelled out in a legal document.
If no such instructions exist, then the decedent's legally recognized representative has the final say. This could be someone the person appointed in their will or the next of kin as recognized by state law. Hopefully, this person will honor the decedent's wishes and lay them to rest according to their faith.
Try to Compromise When Possible
Defaulting to the decedent's preferences doesn't always mean you have to completely ignore the family's wishes. Sometimes aspects of multiple religions can be integrated into the service that will honor both the deceased person and the people left behind.
For instance, in Jewish funerals, flowers are generally not included. Only a small spray or bouquet is allowed to be placed on the casket. However, in Christian funerals, it's common for attendees to send flowers to be displayed near the casket.
A good compromise would be to have a single conservative display and direct attendees to donate either money or flowers to a local charity in the decedent's name. This way, people will still feel like they've honored the decedent while still conforming to the person's faith.
If you're having difficulty reconciling the religious needs of the decedent and their family, it's best to consult with a funeral director who can provide advice about how best to handle the situation. For more information or help with this issue, contact local funeral services.