Funeral & Memorial Services
Honoring the life of your loved one means you value the relationship you shared. We look forward to helping you decide how to celebrate that bond, and honor the unique individual you've lost. We can make suggestions to enhance your tribute ideas. Together we will create a fitting and memorable event.
A funeral or memorial service is an important way to celebrate a life well-lived. Having a ceremony allows us to embrace the beauty of life, leaving no regrets about the one chance we had to say goodbye. Below, the different types of ceremony are described, so you can select the type that fits your personality and style the best.
it's about Ceremony
...and Creating Healing Experiences
It has been said that when we have no words, ceremony speaks for us. A meaningful funeral ceremony is like the picture that paints a thousand words. Our experienced Funeral Directors are here to help you plan the perfect ceremony…one that will speak volumes about your loved one – while helping you move from life before death to life after death. Ceremony may be included in a visitation, a funeral, a memorial service, or a graveside service - no matter if you’ve chosen to be buried or cremated.
it's about relationships
...and Honoring a Life
It’s about bringing those you love together at a time of loss. First decide the basics of how you want to honor or be honored. Consider whether you want to…
- have a solemn, dignified ceremony or a lively celebration.
- have the ceremonies at the mortuary, a church, or other special place.
- have a weekday or weekend, day or evening ceremony.
Burial evokes feelings of tradition and commitment, because it establishes a place where you will always have a name – where you will always be remembered and honored by generations yet unborn. It is a place where those generations will come to feel a connection with their roots…your family. Choosing burial means your options for ceremony are many and limited only by your imagination.
Although a visitation/gathering in the evening and a funeral the next day are elements traditionally associated with burial, followed by a graveside committal at the cemetery, there’s nothing stopping you from making it your very own by adding a contemporary flare. You may decide to have two nights of visitation/gathering with a casual - even festive - feel. Or, you may choose to have the visitation/gathering on the same day as the funeral service.
If burial has been selected, usually any ceremonies we design revolve around the casket being present. However, there is no ‘hard and fast’ formula for honoring your loved one when burial has been selected. We’re here to listen to your ideas, share our experience, and help you to arrive at the perfect way to gather together one last time in honor of your loved one.
Cremation means many things to many people; however, one thing it doesn’t mean is a lack of options. If you or a loved one chooses cremation, you should know that you have options, such as having a visitation, a funeral, or a memorial service. A gathering and time of remembrance are important for all families, not just those who choose a traditional funeral.
Selecting a ceremony: Choosing to have a visitation and funeral simply means the body will be present and cremation will follow the ceremonies – a highly desirable option for those who want to maintain tradition. Choosing a memorial service -- in which the body is not present, but cremated remains (ashes) may be – also allows the option of a preceding visitation to give friends and family a time to share and remember.
Deciding where your ashes will go: Whether you decide on a more traditional option - like having your ashes buried at a cemetery near other family members, kept in an urn with a family member, or scattered – or a more contemporary option -- like having your ashes made into an heirloom diamond for a special family member, shot into space in a rocket, placed inside a monument at a cemetery or in an eternal reef in the ocean – your choices are nearly limitless.
Although many funeral homes offer cremation services, not many perform the cremation on-site. Keeping your loved one close to home is important to us, which is why Erlewein Mortuary has Hancock County’s only crematory, located at our Greenfield mortuary. It’s about peace of mind...yours and ours.
Contact us when you’re ready to discuss your options or to request our new brochure “10 Questions to ask about Cremation”.
Green Burial is an eco-friendly option that takes place without the use of formaldehyde-based embalming, metal caskets, and burial vaults. Erlewein Mortuary is one of a select number of establishments approved by the Green Burial Council to offer green burial packages. Although very few green burial cemeteries exist in Indiana presently, a hybrid green burial is possible in any cemetery without embalming and using a nonmetal casket with a burial vault.
Your family photographs will be skillfully blended with wonderful graphic images and music to create a video your family will treasure for years to come. This video can be an integral part of any funeral or memorial service. And, we can make copies as gifts for family and friends.
Our LifeJourney stationery elements – such as register books, memorial folders, bookmarks, and acknowledgment cards – are creatively prepared just for you. Choose from more than 500 custom designs to reflect your hobby, occupation or passion. We’ll add favorite photos, poems, or verses to make them uniquely yours, while offering your guests a meaningful keepsake.
We’ve taken the traditional newspaper obituary concept farther…much farther. Our memorial sites are not just a repository of family photos and videos; they’re Web 2.0 tools for connecting with family and friends, all in honor of your loved one. Take a tour, so you can see its power to celebrate connections, honor a life, and record the love you shared.
MAKE IT UNIQUELY YOURS
Once you have the basics down, begin to paint the picture of who you or your loved one is. Consider what makes you unique. Here are a few ideas to get you started…
- Select a fitting ceremony for your loved ones to participate in, making them feel like an important part of the service.
Tip: Consider what type of participatory ceremony best reflects your life. A few ideas include a dove, butterfly, or balloon release at the close of the service; a candle lighting or sand ceremony; laying of flowers or wreaths on the casket or at the grave; or a “leave your touch” ceremony.
- Decide what keepsake gift you’d like each of the attendees to take home with them as a token to always remember you or something you valued.
Tip: Consider your hobbies and passions. Some keepsake ideas include a packet of wildflower seeds or a tree seedling, especially if you are a nature or gardening lover; a penny if you are a coin collector or were known to “pay it forward”; a small flag if you were a patriotic person or veteran; a cookie and your favorite recipe if you were a baker. Again, you decide what you want; we’ll make it happen.
- Think about the type of music, or even the specific songs, you enjoy. Designate if you want them to be played during the visitation (viewing) or the funeral or memorial service.
Tip: There’s no rule book that says the songs must be traditional, religious, or formal. You can decide to have recorded music, a soloist, or a live New Orleans-style or rock band. You decide what you want; we’ll make it happen.
- Choose poems, stories, or prayers that are special to you. Be sure to note if there is someone in particular you’d like to read them.
Our Funeral Directors have helped thousands of families create unique and meaningful services to honor their loved one. Let us help you do the same.
ENSURE YOUR WISHES ARE KNOWN
Now that you’ve determined how you’ll honor a life and how you’ll make the services uniquely yours, it’s time to ensure important people know what you’ve decided. Be sure to…
- Meet with our Funeral Directors to get your wishes down on paper. We’ll walk you through the Three Simple Steps of pre-planning.
Tip: If you don’t want to meet, simply bring in, mail, or email a copy of your wishes to us and we’ll keep them on file for you. Don’t worry about making them neat or formal – just get them written down and we’ll do the deciphering! If you need help organizing your thoughts, request a free copy of “A Guide to My Funeral & Memorial Wishes”…a comprehensive worksheet that will help you gather information your family will need to know.
- Give a copy of your wishes to your Executor, attorney, a family member, close friend, or neighbor.
Getting your wishes to the right people will help ensure they are carried out just as you want them to be.
Need More Help?
Our Funeral Directors and Certified Celebrants are here to help you celebrate, honor, and remember. Call us any time – day or night – at (317) 467-4918 or (317) 485-5138. We’ll answer questions, listen to your ideas, and help you capture your wishes.