• Reasons to Consider Funeral Pre-Planning

    More and more people are interested in planning ahead for their funeral service or cremation. Funeral planning can be done at any time, but the sooner you begin your preparations, the easier and less expensive it will end up being. There are many benefits to funeral pre-planning—continue reading to learn about a few of them.

    You Can Relieve Your Family of the Burden

    One of the most difficult responsibilities to assume after the death of a loved one is planning the funeral or memorial service . Before your family’s time of grief, you can ease their suffering by taking care of the details of your funeral, memorial, or cremation in advance. Funeral pre-planning allows you to save your family from added tension, stress, and disagreements during an already difficult time.

    You Can Assume Financial Responsibility

    Most families don’t have a budget set aside for funeral or cremation costs, so when a loved one dies, it can often be difficult to determine how to pay for the funeral home, cemetery, crematorium, or burial plot. If you arrange your funeral or cremation service in advance, you can pay for these costs yourself. You may even be able to pay for the services in installments, or set aside the money in a trust that can be accessed at the necessary time.

    You Can Ensure Your Wishes Are Followed

    When a loved one dies, family members often don’t know what his or her last wishes were. Planning ahead allows you to make your wishes clear, ensuring that the funeral home or crematorium understand exactly how to put your plans into action. This can prevent stress and arguments among your family members that could otherwise result from trying to guess what services you would want.

    Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland is ready to help if you’re interested in pre-planning a funeral . We provide a number of pre-planning resources to the community, and our compassionate staff can walk you through the steps of planning your funeral or cremation service. Visit our website or call us today at (510) 992-6984 for more information.

  • Selecting Poems for a Funeral Ceremony

    Reading a poem during a funeral ceremony can be a great way to convey the wide range of feelings you have. But before you select a poem for the funeral service, watch this video clip for advice on choosing an appropriate poem.

    As you consider which poems to read at the funeral, ask the family members of the deceased to find out if the deceased had a favorite poet or type of poetry. Oftentimes, you can find poetry that highlights the deceased’s hobbies and interests, especially if you browse through a large book of poems.

    For help with funeral pre-planning , contact Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland at (510) 992-6984. We offer cremation services, grief counseling, funeral services, and more. We also have one of the most beautiful historic buildings in California.

  • How Does Cremation Work?

    Cremation is the process of heating remains to a temperature between 1,400 and 1,800 ºF to reduce them to their basic elements. An increasing number of cemeteries near Oakland are offering cremation because it honors the life of the deceased while giving families the freedom to decide how and where to store or scatter the remains. Continue reading for an overview of how cremation works.

    Location of Cremation

    Cremation takes place in a cremation chamber, which is also known as a retort, inside of a crematory. The chamber is preheated to a certain temperature first, and then the body is placed into the chamber through a mechanized door to minimize heat loss. Before the body is placed in the chamber, however, pacemakers and other mechanical devices are removed from the body to prevent an explosion.


    Powered by natural gas, oil, or propane, the furnace inside the chamber produces a column of flames that incinerate the body. The gases created during the cremation process are discharged through the chamber’s exhaust system. There is typically no smell, because the smoke and gases are processed by the exhaust system.

    Collection of Remains

    The result of the incineration process is that the body is reduced to bone fragments and skeletal remains. These remains are collected into a tray or pan and allowed to cool. After cooling, technicians will use magnets and forceps to remove non-consumed metal objects, such as the parts of the cremation container, dental work, surgical screws, implants, and so on. The entire cremation process takes one to three hours.

    Cremation is an ideal end-of-life option for many families. Many people who opt for cremation services also plan a funeral ceremony for the deceased. For help in planning a cremation ceremony for your loved one, contact Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland at (510) 992-6984.

  • Helping to Personalize a Funeral

    A funeral is, in essence, a personalized service dedicated to the memory of the deceased. At Chapel of the Chimes, we are here to help you and your family with your needs for funeral pre-planning near Oakland. Whether you are planning ahead for your own passing or arranging funeral services for a loved one, we can help you personalize the services.

    The first step in personalizing a funeral is to recognize that planning a funeral can be stressful, which can be especially difficult to handle when grieving. Take a deep breath and focus on the most important tasks first, recognizing that the funeral does not have to be perfect to honor the life of your loved one. One of the best ways to personalize a funeral is to consider your memories of the deceased. Think of his or her hobbies, passions, likes, dislikes, achievements, qualities, and loved ones. Personalizing the eulogy, music, readings, and reception to these aspects of your loved one’s life will ensure the funeral services are as unique as the life your loved one lived.

    For more information about our funeral home, call Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland at (510) 992-6984. You can also visit our website to see all of the memorial services we offer.

  • Distinguishing Between a Mausoleum and a Columbarium

    The terms “mausoleum” and “columbarium” are frequently used interchangeably. However, the actual purpose of each of these memorial buildings is distinct. If you are planning a funeral near Oakland , continue reading to learn about the differences between a mausoleum and a columbarium.


    The origin of the word columbarium is the Latin word columba , meaning dove. The first columbaria were used in Ancient Rome and had nothing to do with human memorials. Instead, they were homes for groups of pigeons and doves. Those columbaria had thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of small shelves designed to house birds. Today’s columbaria have a similar design, except the shelves are used to house cremation urns. Columbaria were not associated with human memorials until Buddhists in ancient Asia built elaborate columbaria for cremation urns. Mausoleums have always been associated with human memorials. The first mausoleum was designed for the ancient Persian King Mausolus and his family members. The tradition became so popular that the term “mausoleum” came into standard use.


    Both a mausoleum and a columbarium are permanent public memorials for large groups of people. Both memorials can house dozens or even hundreds of remains. Mausoleums, however, are designed for entire bodies. On the other hand, columbaria are designed to hold cremation urns .

    Modern Usage

    Many modern memorial buildings are designed to house both bodies and cremation urns. In many cases, mausoleum is the term used for these modern memorial buildings. Columbarium is sometimes a term reserved for elaborate memorial structures. Many cemeteries and religious structures have a columbarium built into the grounds. Both mausoleums and columbaria do not have specific religious connotations; in fact, many of them are designed to hold the remains of people from many different faith backgrounds.

    If you have recently lost a loved one, you do not have to go through the funeral planning process alone. For help in planning a funeral ceremony , call Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland at (510) 992-6984. We offer cremation services, funeral planning, grief support, and more.