Service Planning: Funeral Home and Cremations in Seattle, WA

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Columbia Funeral Home and Crematory has been serving the Seattle area since 1907 and is still family-owned and operated to this day. It is still located at its original site in Southeast Seattle at the corner of Rainier Avenue and South Alaska Street. Feel free to call (206) 722-1100 us with questions about any of the services we provide.

Caring for a fallen loved one can be an emotionally challenging life experience. In the moments and days following there passing, there is a real need to grieve and mourn the loss. Yet, at the same time, there is much to do. Services need to be planned and carried out, and key decisions made. In this context, family members responsible for making funeral arrangements may need to wait until later to truly grieve. Fortunately, a funeral home and cremations service in Seattle, WA can be a bastion of help in planning and conducting the desired care and disposition of a loved one.


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When a funeral home is hired for help, they immediately begin managing the logistics of funeral care event planning and coordination. They will also serve as the caretaker of the remains of your loved one. As the family representative, you will directly interact with the funeral director. The director will guide you through the planning process, asking you to make important decisions.

Here are some brief insights into the points you will need to consider:

Preferred Disposition

Early in the funeral planning and arrangement process, you’ll need to decide how you wish the remains of your loved one to be cared for. Do you want a funeral and casket burial? Cremation care? An aquamation service (alkaline hydrolysis)? How you choose to lay your loved one to rest is up to you. All of the options have their own unique advantages and are all dignified ways to care for the body.

Traditional burial care is a time-honored way for families to say goodbye. A viewing service serves as a reception where friends and family can gather with the deceased person. There they can pay their respects to the fallen, visit with each other, and share the burden of their loss and pain. The funeral service and burial are often ceremonial in nature, taking on the character of faith and cultural beliefs. The act of holding a formal gathering is a powerful catalyst to aid in the healing process.

Cremation care offers modern families an alternative to traditional funeral burials. In an age where discretionary spending is down, and family budgets are tight, cost matters. Cremations are less expensive because they do not require casket purchase, embalming services, or a cemetery burial plot. They also give families the flexibility to choose how and when they will commemorate their loved one.

When and Where

Funerals are usually held within several days of a death, but memorials can be held long after the cremation has occurred. Both services are similar in purpose and form, but the body is not present at a memorial service. This provides more options to families on when and where they will hold a celebration of life. Common places to hold funerals and memorials include houses of worship, funeral homes and cremation centers in Seattle, WA, public civic centers, private homes, and outdoors.

Funeral Officiant

You’ll need to decide who you’d like to lead and conduct the tribute services for your loved one. For many people, this is a member of the clergy of their traditional faith, such as a minister, priest, rabbi, bishop, etc. But it does not need to be a religious leader that officiates at a funeral or memorial. You can also choose a secular leader, such as the funeral director or a professional life celebrant. Some families will ask a family member or a close friend to lead the services. The choice is yours. Make your invitation as soon as possible, and provide any guidance and instructions you wish at the time you make your request.

Service Attendance

Take a moment to consider who will likely come to the service. Write a list of names, starting with immediate family, then extended family. Move on to close family friends and community. The act of writing will lead you to think of more names. When you finish your initial list, consider the following writing prompts to identify others you may want to include in your headcount:

     • Workplace colleagues

     • Sport and hobby friends

     • Civic groups

     • Faith community

     • School and university connections

You may not know all of the people who could possibly wish to attend. Just do your best. The news will be shared through the connections you do know and make its way to those who may wish to attend. You can share the service details via email, social media, and public obituary notice. It’s best to contact close family and friends in person to let them know firsthand.

Experienced Funeral and Cremation Service in Seattle, WA

Columbia Funeral Home & Crematory feel privileged to serve the community. The work we do is meaningful, bringing our years of expertise to help families care for their deceased loved ones and begin to mend their broken hearts. When you need a funeral home and cremations provider in Seattle, WA, call us for immediate support at (206) 722-1100. You’ll find us at 4567 Rainier Ave S Seattle, WA 98118. 


Funeral & Cremation FAQs

  • What is aquamation?
    Aquamation is a water-based method of final disposition that is available for both our human and pet loved ones. It is the same process that occurs as part of nature’s course when a body is laid to rest in the soil. A combination of gentle water flow, temperature, and alkalinity are used to accelerate the breakdown of organic materials. Learn more.
      
  • Is it okay to bring flowers to a funeral?  
    Bringing flowers to a funeral is appropriate but not required. Bringing flowers can symbolize a celebration of beautiful life that had passed. Check out our recommended local florists here.  

  • What is acceptable as a funeral donation?  
    - Flowers, memorial gifts, and sympathy cards 
    - Offer a gift voucher in lieu of money 
    - Give money to the bereaved family’s chosen charity, cause or organization   
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