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    Understanding the Elements of a Military Funeral

    Last updated 7 days ago

    Those who selflessly give their lives in service to the nation receive the full honors of a dignified military funeral. Family members learn of the passing away of their loved one with a personal visit from a military chaplain and a service member. As this is occurring, arrangements are already in place for the dignified transfer of the remains to the funeral home.

    Dignified Transfer

    The U.S. military developed strict protocols to ensure that the remains of all service members are handled with the utmost respect and care. Fallen service members re-enter the U.S. through Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Family members may choose to allow news coverage of the return of fallen heroes, or they may prefer to keep the ceremony private. The remains are then carefully prepared and dressed in full dress uniform. A direct military flight brings the fallen hero to the nearest airport to the family. However, the family may request a commercial flight if they prefer. Traditionally, a military escort accompanies the remains; however, the family may choose that an escort not be used.

    Rendering Honors

    At all transfer points, military personnel are on hand to render honors. The fallen service member is carried with the utmost respect at all times and he or she always travels feet-first. An honor guard, including the military escort, accompanies the remains to the funeral home.

    Honor Guard

    When a military family chooses to have the funeral at a national cemetery, a six-man honor guard carries the flag-draped casket to the grave. A committal service is read and the honor guard holds the American flag over the casket. Three volleys are fired and “Taps” is played by a bugler. Then, the American flag is ceremoniously folded and an officer presents it to the family with a salute.

    Private Cemetery

    Some families choose to have the funeral at a private cemetery. In these cases, the honor guard may perform slightly less formal arrangements. However, the basic elements of the dignified military funeral remain.

    Chapel of the Chimes is proud to offer veteran’s honors to service members and their families. Please call our funeral home in Oakland at (510) 455-4004 to discuss dignified arrangements or to request a veteran’s preplanning guide. We also invite you to tour our beautifully landscaped grounds.

    Above-Ground Entombment Options

    Last updated 14 days ago

    Your loved one’s funeral service and memorial should reflect his or her preferences and unique personality. If your loved one was averse to a traditional burial, consider an above-ground entombment. Above-ground entombment is ideal for those who did not like the thought of being buried in the earth. It is also ideal for family members who desire a permanent place to visit their loved one’s remains and reflect upon their cherished memories.

    One type of above-ground entombment option is an indoor mausoleum. You can put your loved one to his or her final rest in a climate-controlled crypt. Indoor mausoleums also include cremation options. For some families, staying physically close to each other after death is ideal. These families may wish to consider a private family estate. Family members will have crypts and urn interment niches close to each other.

    Chapel of the Chimes is a funeral home in Oakland dedicated to providing tasteful, customizable funeral and cremation options for local families. We provide indoor mausoleums and private family estates for both cremation and burial. If you have any questions, call our funeral home at (510) 455-4004.

    Choosing Between Cremation and Burial

    Last updated 21 days ago

    When deciding whether to have your loved one buried or cremated, the most important factor to consider is his or her final wishes. If the preferences of your loved one are unknown; however, you can consider the benefits of each option to decide which is best for your family. Cremation is becoming an increasingly popular option because it is cost-effective and allows for flexibility. It may also be ideal for loved ones who were concerned about the environment because it saves land space.

    To learn more about cremation options, watch this video. You’ll view an interview with a funeral director and see a selection of tasteful biodegradable urns. You’ll also learn some of the reasons why cremation is becoming increasingly popular.

    For more than 100 years, the professionals of Chapel of the Chimes have been assisting Oakland-area families with compassionate and personalized end-of-life services, including traditional funerals with burial to follow and cremation services. Call our funeral home at (510) 455-4004 and let us know how we can help you honor your loved one.

    Choices for Memorializing Your Cremated Loved One

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Many families have chosen cremation as the preferred method of laying their loved ones to rest. Cremation services offer great flexibility; your loved one can be memorialized in a number of ways in accordance with his or her personality and your family’s wishes. Many memorial options offer a permanent location for family members to visit and reflect quietly or to share their beloved memories of those that have passed on.

    In-Ground Burial

    Cremation does not preclude the possibility of an in-ground burial. Cremation with an in-ground burial to follow may be particularly ideal in cases in which the loved one did not specify his or her wishes as to a preference for cremation or burial. In these cases, family members may be unsure of which option to choose. A cremation with an in-ground burial to follow, including a headstone, combines both of these options and provides a permanent gathering place for family members.

    Memorial Tribute

    Some families choose cremation with a permanent memorialization. This permanent location may be adapted to the preferences of the family in a number of different ways. The urn may be committed to an indoor mausoleum or a private family estate. A memorial stone at the cemetery may be inscribed with the loved one’s name, dates of birth and death, and a loving statement.

    Scattering Ceremony

    Your family might choose to place the remains in sharing urns to enable each family member to keep the loved one close. A portion of the remains may then be released in a scattering ceremony, to be held in a place that held special meaning for the loved one.

    Jewelry Application

    Your funeral home may offer cremation jewelry. These tasteful pieces are designed to hold a small portion of your loved one’s remains in a sealed chamber. With this type of cremation memorial, you can always feel connected to your lost loved one.

    The professionals of Chapel of the Chimes are here to help you personalize your loved one’s final arrangements. We offer a wide array of customized cremation memorialization options; you could even choose to honor your loved one by inscribing his or her name and favorite saying on a tree plaque. Families in the Oakland area are encouraged to explore funeral and cremation options by calling (510) 455-4004.

    Tips for Writing and Delivering a Compelling Eulogy

    Last updated 1 month ago

    A eulogy is a short speech offering praise and remembrance of the deceased during a funeral or memorial service. If you are asked to deliver a eulogy for a friend or loved one, you may feel worried or overwhelmed at the prospect. Taking some time to think about what you want to say and how you want to say it can help you to create a compelling eulogy of which you will be proud. Here are some more tips for writing and delivering a fond farewell to your friend or loved one.

    Be Brief

    One of the best tips to observe when writing a eulogy is to be brief. Although you may have many things you wish to say about your loved one, a eulogy that is too long will lose its effect and prolong the funeral service unnecessarily. It’s best to choose a few specific things you want to speak about and focus on those aspects of your loved one’s life during your speech.

    Use Structure

    A eulogy, like any speech, should have a beginning, middle, and end. Sticking to this structure can help you create a speech that flows naturally from one part to the next and guides your audience as they listen. Open by welcoming attendees to the service and speaking about the sadness you feel. Close your speech by summing up your feelings regarding your loved one and thanking your friends and family for sharing these memories with you.

    Consider Humor

    Laughter can be an incredibly healing experience. While your eulogy should be respectful, consider adding small bits of appropriate humor to put both yourself and your audience at ease. Speaking about happy, funny, or silly times in your loved one’s life will help those attending the funeral to remember that life is a collection of both sad and happy events.

    If you’d like help planning or holding a funeral or memorial service for a loved one in the Oakland area, contact Chapel of the Chimes today by calling (510) 455-4004. Our beautiful historic funeral home offers a variety of signature services including assistance with planning and pre-planning funeral services. Click through our website to learn more about our funeral, burial, and cremation options. 

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