Planning a Burial Service? Follow These Three Important Steps

Burial service

Funeral services, memorial services, and burials have long been part of human existence.

Although most of us are familiar with these rites of passage, when it comes time to make graveside service arrangements for a beloved family member, it can still be a daunting process. There are many elements to consider and it can be challenging to create a truly meaningful, personalized event without proper guidance.

In the following article, we have outlined some key benefits of burial services and the major steps involved in the funeral planning process.


Why do people choose graveside services?

You probably never gave it much thought before, but there are a number of advantages associated with well-planned burial services, including:

  • Bonding with nature: What better place to celebrate the life of a loved one than under the open sky and among trees and greenery? No matter the type of cemetery where you hold the burial service, the emotional and spiritual comforts of the natural surroundings will be keenly felt by everyone in attendance.

  • Religious considerations: For many religions, burial services fulfill specific requirements, For example, most Christians throughout the centuries have wanted to be buried after death with a ceremony that proclaims the message of resurrection. Today, there are other options besides burial for Christians to consider, and cremation, though not considered as traditional as burial, is becoming more popular. Jewish families and those practicing Islamic traditions also have strong religious and social commitments to burial, as well.

  • Respect: Cultures around the world incorporate burial into their practices and belief systems. Burial is seen as an act of respect for the departed, and it is made most meaningful when witnessed by loving friends and family.


What's involved in planning a burial service?

There are three primary elements of orchestrating a burial service: the selection of cemetery property; choosing a casket and burial vault, and planning the details of the graveside service.


Selection of the cemetery

Your departed loved one many have already chosen and purchased a burial plot or mausoleum crypt. Long ago, a relative may have purchased a number of plots in a cemetery with the intention of reserving spaces for the future burials of family members. If either of these situations applies, bring the documents proving ownership of burial rights when you meet with your funeral director. If no such plan is in place, you will need to locate a cemetery and select the burial property. When you buy a cemetery property such as a burial plot, mausoleum crypt, or columbarium niche, you are merely buying the right to inter (bury) an individual in that location. The property itself remains under the ownership and responsibility of the cemetery administration. The cost of burial property ranges widely in price, depending largely on the location of the plot, crypt, or niche. A stated portion of the money paid for interment rights will be contributed to an irrevocable fund used in the ongoing care of the cemetery grounds. Other costs include fees charged by the cemetery for the opening and closing of the site, the headstone or grave marker and its installation and the purchase of a casket and burial vault.


Choosing a casket

Although the casket is often the most expensive funeral purchase, it should not cost more than you can afford. There are many reasonably priced caskets and burial vaults to choose from and your funeral director will work with you to adhere to your established budget. Aside from cost considerations, the type of casket you select will be based largely on personal preference. There are caskets made of walnut, cherry, maple, oak, pine, and other species of wood. Metal caskets come in varying thicknesses and a wide array of finishes. Again, your funeral director will be able to assist you in the selection of the most appropriate casket and vault for your needs.

Planning the graveside service

While the selection of the cemetery and burial plot are practical decisions, planning the service is where the heart takes over. For example, if elegant simplicity is your primary focus, the burial service might look quite different from one guided by formal religious doctrine. Your funeral provider will work with you to determine the best date and time for the burial service and they will assist you in selecting the most meaningful readings, songs, and activities to be featured. At that time, you will also decide who should lead the event. This could be a member of the clergy, a celebrant, a family member, or a close friend. Your funeral professional is there to guide you in creating a beautiful, fitting graveside funeral ceremony that appropriately honors the life of your loved one.

When you need to discuss burial services for a beloved friend or family member, we are here to listen. If you have questions or wish to make arrangements, please feel free to reach out to our compassionate professionals anytime.


About Evan W. Smith Funeral Services: Since 2009, residents of Wilmington, Dover, and the surrounding Delaware community have relied on the caring staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services to help them through their darkest hours. Family-owned and operated, the company offers an array of elite funeral care services, including traditional funerals, cremations, memorials, pre-planning, and more. With decades of experience in caring for families from all cultural backgrounds and diverse walks of life, Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is committed to creating memorable, uplifting experiences that always exceed expectations. For more information, please visit

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