Leaving a Legacy

“What a weight to have lifted off our shoulders to finally start taking care of our arrangements. This is all to keep our son, and each other, from having to make hard decisions when either of us passes away.”

- Bill, 64, & Carol, 63, R.

Whether you’re planning for yourself or for a loved one, the funeral service is one of the most important elements of a person’s final arrangements. With the opportunity for great personalization, the funeral service can truly reflect the uniqueness of your legacy.

The funeral or memorial service fills an important role. It can:

  • Honor, recognize and celebrate the life of the deceased
  • Allow friends and family to say their last good-byes
  • Provide closure after the loss of a loved one
  • Allow friends to console the family of the loved one
  • Bring the community together to say good-bye

The Dignity Memorial® network’s Jewish funeral providers understand the struggle to keep the Jewish faith and its traditions alive, as well as the balance between tradition and Jewish contemporary life. With respect for Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism, Dignity Memorial funeral providers are knowledgeable and experienced in providing the Jewish funeral services and customs that are important to you and your family.

So what is a funeral? In general terms, a funeral is a gathering of family and friends after the death of a loved one that allows them the opportunity to mourn, support each other and pay tribute to the life of the deceased. It often consists of one or more of the following components:


Funeral Service

A formal or informal ceremony or ritual prior to burial, a funeral service often provides a sense of closure to family and friends. Although Jewish custom may influence some elements of a funeral service, you may want to personalize other elements of the service. At a funeral service, the casket may or may not be present.


Memorial Service

At a memorial service, a casket is usually not present. Otherwise similar to a funeral service, a memorial service gives family and friends a time to come together in your memory and honor your legacy.


Graveside Service

As its name implies, a graveside service may be held at the grave site just prior to burial of a casket, and usually consists of final remarks, prayers or memories, or the rendering of military funeral honors if appropriate. The service may occur after or in place of a funeral service.

There’s no one, right way to plan a funeral service. Dignity Memorial® providers believe that each funeral should be as unique and memorable as the life it honors. Consider these examples of unique services:

  • Aunt Rebecca was the family’s favorite chef. She left instructions with her daughter to distribute copies of her most loved and most popular recipes to guests at her funeral so that her culinary contributions could live on at family dinners for generations to come.
  • A lifelong recreational fisherman, Eddie had long made his wishes for his final arrangements known. Following a traditional service at the funeral home, Eddie’s wish was for friends and family to continue his legacy with an afternoon of fishing, dining and sharing stories at his family’s house on the lake where he spent his weekends and summers.
  • For years, Lauren was a regular volunteer at the women’s and children’s shelter in her community. When she passed, her family sought donations for the shelter in Lauren’s honor, and also arranged for a small group of the underprivileged students and women she counseled to speak about Lauren’s impact on their lives at her funeral. Their words spurred others to continue Lauren’s legacy.

When planning your own funeral service in advance, think about the way you want to be remembered. Perhaps these examples will spark an idea of how you can personalize your own funeral service.

Regardless of the service you choose to include in your funeral plan, you can personalize it in almost any way imaginable. For example, just consider the following questions:

Where should the funeral be held? At your temple or synagogue? At the JCC? At the funeral home?

Who should officiate the service? Your local rabbi, cantor or other officiant?

Will your service adhere to the traditions of Jewish custom, or be more relaxed?

Do you want a eulogy, and who should deliver it?

What music should be played?

What readings would you like to have read?

Is there a special poem you’d like shared with the guests?

Are there any special photographs or other memorabilia you would like displayed?

Should the décor reflect a particular hobby or interest of yours, such as gardening or music?

Is there a particular epitaph you want on your headstone or marker?

Should there be refreshments served after the service?


Ready to make your funeral plans today? Use our free online planning tool to start planning now. You can make your selections online and record the ways you’d like to personalize your service. Plus, you can even save your plan while it’s in progress, come back to finish it or add more details later, and share it with family and friends when you’re done.

Or, record all your choices for personalized funeral and cemetery services in our convenient Personal Planning Guide. To request your free copy, contact a Dignity Memorial provider near you, click here to request one online, or call 800-34-DIGNITY.

The Dignity Memorial network: North America’s leading funeral homes and cemeteries, united to bring you the services you need when it matters most.

Make Your Plan Today

Make Your Plan Today

Preplanning your funeral or cemetery arrangements gives you and your loved ones peace of mind. Don’t wait. Click or call now, and make your plan today.

Request a FREE Personal Planning Guide
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Call 800-34-DIGNITY

Dignity Memorial®
Burial Options

The funeral service is only one element of final arrangements. Dignity Memorial providers offer a variety of burial options to accommodate your needs.


To learn more about Dignity Memorial burial options, click here.

Cemetery Property
Completes Your Plan

Choosing your Dignity Memorial® burial service is only one part of making final arrangements. Remember to select cemetery property that is right for you.  Learn more.

Start the Conversation

The conversation about advance funeral and cemetery planning doesn’t need to be hard. Use these tips to start the conversation with your family about the importance of making arrangements in advance.
Click here to learn more.