More families are arriving the day of the committal service with an urn in the back seat of their car these days. With no funeral director and sometimes no pastor to direct the service…how can you provide them with the service they need in order to make things easier for both them and their guests?
Take charge!! Invite the family to meet 30 minutes prior to the published start time of the service. This time can be used to take care of last minute paperwork, answer any questions they may have or take custody of the urn for transportation to the committal site. A lot of families will appreciate not having to carry the urn to the grave. In fact, the logistics of just who will do that has probably been on their mind.
Provide music at the committal site prior to the service by streaming songs from your smartphone to a wireless speaker. A little background music can help relax people prior to the service and adds an unexpected dimension to the service.
Offer families an assortment of display equipment at the committal site to showcase keepsakes and photos. Because this may be the families only opportunity to display these items, you should facilitate the sharing of these treasurers and the stories behind them. Offer tables, table top tripods and easels for a polished display look. The family will appreciate how prepared you are to help and that you understand how important displaying mom’s crafts or dad’s model airplane collection is.
Make it easy for the attendees to find the burial site by providing direction at the main entrance of the cemetery. Offer attendees a map card of the cemetery with the route to the committal service highlighted. On this card you can provide the name of the deceased, the name and address of the next of kin and if the family asked for memorial contributions in lieu of flowers insert that information there too. The map card is an excellent way to offer friends and family discounts or information about your preneed packages as well!!
When it comes to servicing our families, we have to think outside the niche. More families are choosing to arrange their own services these days, and this is a good thing! Take this opportunity to shine! Do your best to allow the flexibility your families need to express their loss and provide a good experience for their guests. Email me with how you think outside the niche! I'll post your comments.