The value of the traditional funeral service is realized in a number of areas. The death of a person profoundly effects relatives, friends, and associates in countless ways, and the funeral ceremony provides an opportunity for those survivors to express their love and respect, and to share their grief with others. It is an important part of adjusting to their loss. With careful, professional planning, the funeral can be a uniquely personal event which not only recognizes the end of a life, but also serves to celebrate how much the deceased contributed to the lives of those that he or she left behind.


Gathering in the presence of the body provides a means of sharing common sorrows, and serves as an important part in accepting that death has occurred.  Psychiatrists have long recognized that denial is a common reaction to a sudden loss, and viewing the body in the casket begins the process of closure, which is necessary for the emotional health of the survivors.  The rite of separation begins with the visitation. 

The visitation can be private, but is most often open to the public.  This gives an opportunity for community members to express their sorrow and offer their support to the immediate family.  A private visitation, on the other hand, may shut out people who have a sincere need and desire to share their own sorrow with the family.

The number of days and the hours of visitation vary according to religious, cultural, and local customs.  Consideration should be given to those who must work or travel, so most often both day and evening visitation is provided for.


Our staff will help you plan a service that best meets the needs and preferences of the survivors. Clayton & McGirr Funeral Home offers an atmosphere of beauty and reverence appropriate to the importance of the service, but a church or synagogue could also serve as a suitable location.  The ceremony can have a traditional religious theme, or we can offer alternatives to personalize the service in a non-traditional way. 

The service might include the reading of religious passages and the offering of prayers, or it may include a eulogy or other tribute offered by a close friend or relative.  Those offering the tribute might include personal observations on the life of the deceased, or share thoughts that reflect upon how their lives were effected by having known that person.  Whatever your desires are, we will assist you in making your decisions by offering suggestions based on our extensive experience in offering personalized services.


The traditional funeral service concludes with a brief graveside service followed by burial.  Seating is provided for the immediate family, and most services consist of a short prayer or other words expressing some final thoughts prior to the conclusion of the ceremony.  An announcement may be made indicating if the family is receiving visitors after the service. After the family and guests have left, a licensed funeral director remains at the cemetery to oversee the interment. The casket is lowered into the grave, which often contains an outer container known as a vault, which is required by some cemeteries. The vault provides an extra level of protection for the remains and serves to help preserve the beauty of the property by supporting the weight of the earth above it.