• Etiquette Tips for Attending Your First Funeral

    If you’ve never attend a funeral before, you may be unsure of what to do, what to say, or even how to dress before heading to the funeral home. Learning about proper funeral service etiquette will help you feel more comfortable and ensure that you show respect to the family of the deceased.

    As you will see in this video, a funeral home service provides an opportunity for family and friends to come together to mourn their lost loved one. It is important to dress appropriately and understand how the funeral service is scheduled so you can show respect to the family. You should also consider sending flowers to the funeral home or family’s house to provide more comfort.

    Chapel of the Chimes Oakland can help you learn more about etiquette for funeral homes in Oakland . Give us a call at (510) 654-0123 for more information.

  • A Look at the Chapel of Light East

    Funeral Home Oakland

    At Chapel of the Chimes Oakland, we are continuously growing our funeral home and looking for new ways to help meet your needs for funeral pre-planning, grief support, funeral services, and more. Another example of our service is the Chapel of Light East. Housed on the top floor of our mausoleum, this beautiful addition provides even more memorialization options for your loved ones.

    The Chapel of Light East is accessible from the Howe Street Balcony and Piedmont Avenue entrances. The peaceful space offers beautiful, natural lighting and surroundings for your loved one’s memorial and is a calming place for family members to visit.

    Find out how to reserve a space in the Chapel of Light Eas t by contacting Chapel of the Chimes Oakland today. We are also available to answer your questions about funeral planning, cremation, our mausoleum, and funeral pre-planning in Oakland. For more information, call us at (510) 654-0123.

  • Etiquette Tips for Non-Family Members at the Visitation

    Funeral Home Oakland

    Visitations give family members and friends a chance to support each other and spend time together before a funeral service . Unlike wakes and viewings, which are typically held in funeral homes, visitations are usually held in the home of a family member or close friend of the deceased. These occasions can leave many non-family members wondering about the proper etiquette of attending a visitation. Here is what you need to know.

    Understand the Parameters
    Depending on the customs of the family, visitations may take place over several days in the run-up to the funeral, or there may be a single visitation with a set schedule on one day. In some cases, this information may be included in an obituary, or the family may spread the word about the visitation to specific people. If you are in doubt, contact the funeral home, who can often answer questions about the arrangements, so you can know when and where to go.

    Take Cues from the Family
    Visitations can vary widely depending on the preferences of the family as well as their cultural customs. Take your behavioral cues from the atmosphere of the event. If the visitation is upbeat with people sharing stories about the deceased, then feel free to join in. If the mood is somber, follow suit. You may wish to pay your respects and offer your condolences before leaving. How long you stay may depend on your closeness to the deceased and his or her family.

    Introduce Yourself
    It is common for a person who had a relationship with someone who has passed away to have not met his or her family. When you attend a visitation for someone whose family you have not met, introduce yourself and describe your relationship with their loved one. Some people in the family may want to talk to you more about your relationship and get to know you, while others may prefer a briefer meeting. Simply follow the lead of family and remember that your gesture of support is always welcome and appreciated.

    When you lose a loved one, Chapel of the Chimes Oakland is here to assist with funeral services, grief support, and much more. Contact our funeral home in Oakland when you need our help at (510) 654-0123.

  • How to Discuss Your Pre-Planned Cremation with Your Loved Ones

    Funeral Pre-Planning Oakland

    Funeral pre-planning is one of the most important gifts you can give to your loved ones. It frees them from the burden of guessing about your wishes and making decisions while trying to cope with the impact of losing you. When you choose cremation, your loved ones may have some additional questions about your wishes, especially if your family has traditionally chosen burial in the past. Although having a conversation about funeral pre-planning and your wishes for cremation may seem overwhelming, it can ultimately provide great comfort to your loved ones. These steps can make the discussion easier.

    Choose a Good Time
    Discussing funeral planning can be emotional, so pick a time for your conversation in which you and your loved ones don’t feel rushed or pressured. Avoid starting the discussion at the end of a long day or right before a stressful event. Set up a time in which your loved ones can ask the questions they have and you can discuss your plans in full, without interruption.

    Consider Your Reasons
    If you choose cremation and your loved ones are surprised, be ready to discuss your reasons for your choices. For some people, cremation is appealing as an affordable option, while other like the environmental benefits. Some people choose cremation because it gives flexibility when it comes to choosing a date for the funeral or memorial service. Consider your reasons for preferring cremation and how you will explain them to your loved ones if they ask. If you anticipate your loved ones having questions about cremation and your religious beliefs, prepare yourself with the information you wish to share.

    Discuss the Complete Picture
    Choosing between cremation and burial is only part of the funeral pre-planning process. Address the other aspects of your pre-planning, including your musical choices, preferences for readings, and other aspects of the service you would like to have. You may also wish to discuss any financial arrangements you are making for the funeral and where your loved ones can find your pre-planning documents.

    If you are ready to begin funeral pre-planning in Oakland , call Chapel of the Chimes Oakland today. We are available at (510) 654-0123 to answer your questions.


    Oakland Fire
    David Cumpston
    Landis Communications Inc. for Chapel of the Chimes Oakland

    Chapel of the Chimes Oakland provides end-of-life services to families from diverse religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. We have been a part of the community for more than 100 years and are deeply saddened to learn about the tragic fire that occurred in Oakland overnight. We wish to extend our deepest sympathies to the victims’ families and are committed to providing our full support and assistance in any way possible.

    From 5-7 p.m. tonight, we will hold an interfaith vigil service in our Chimes Chapel that is open to the public.

    We are opening our Meditation Chapel for anyone needing a place to mourn and reflect. It will be open tonight until 8 p.m. and will reopen again on Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m.

    We also have memorial books available inside our lobby for anyone to stop by and leave words of condolences for the families. These books will be given to those families

    According to Marcie Russell, general manager of Chapel of the Chimes Oakland, “This is a devastating loss to our community and our thoughts and prayers go out to those affected.”

    Chapel of the Chimes Oakland

    4499 Piedmont Ave.

    Oakland, CA 94611

    (510) 379-5200


    Chapel of the Chimes Oakland provides end-of-life services to families from diverse religious, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Established in 1909 as a crematory and columbarium, Chapel of the Chimes Oakland is a leading cremation service provider in Northern California. Chapel of the Chimes is part of a family of cemeteries, funeral homes and crematories with locations throughout Northern California. For more information, visit www.oakland.chapelofthechimes.com .

  • Supporting Grieving Loved Ones

    It’s not always easy to know how to support a family member or friend who has lost someone close to him or her. There are many ways you can be helpful, from dealing with funeral homes and other arrangements to simply listening. This video offers some advice.

    When offering your support to someone who is grieving, it is important to resist the urge to try to fix what is unfixable. Instead, be a good listener and provide practical help with things like funeral planning and everyday household needs. If your loved one needs professional grief support, contact the funeral home for resources.

    At Chapel of the Chimes Oakland , we’re committed to making funeral planning as simple as possible, with comprehensive support as you make decisions about cremation, memorials, and more. When you need help with funeral planning in Oakland, call us today at (510) 654-0123.

  • The Chimes Chapel and Bible Cloister: A Brief History

    Funereal Home Oakland

    The Chapel of the Chimes Columbarium and Mausoleum is a historic landmark and indoor cemetery that is in operation to this day. The location was founded by Willian A. Wishart and several civic-minded undertakers in 1909, and it was called The California Columbarium at the time. Later, in 1911, a young casket salesman by the name of Lawrence E. Moore was hired to direct the columbarium and, with his guidance, it grew to be one of the largest worldwide.

    In 1926, the legendary architect behind the design of Hearst Castle, Julia Morgan, was contracted to undertake the renovation and remodeling of the Chapel of the Chimes, and it was dedicated in 1928 on Memorial Day. Visiting the Chapel of the Chimes, you can glimpse her dazzling influence throughout the cloisters, gardens, and chapels and experience a place of remembrance that will leave an unforgettable impression.

    Chapel of the Chimes Oakland boasts stunning and well-kept grounds in a cemetery that was designed to be unlike any you have seen. If you would like to learn more about this one-of-a-kind funeral home location in Oakland, please call us today at (510) 654-0123.

  • Pre-Planning Your Cremation Choices

    Funeral Home Oakland Planning ahead for your cremation services is an excellent way to remove some of the burden from your surviving family after your passing and to help ensure that your funeral arrangements are carried out in the way that you prefer. Continue reading for tips on pre-planning your cremation choices.

    Explore your cremation options.
    It’s a common assumption that choosing cremation means that you can’t also have a traditional funeral when, in truth, you can arrange funeral services that are to be followed by cremation, rather than a burial. You can also choose to hold a memorial service following the cremation. Finally, you can elect to have your cremated remains entombed, buried, or scattered afterward.

    Understand your options for ashes.
    As already mentioned, you can arrange to have your cremated remains buried much in the same way that a casket would be buried. You can also choose to have the funeral urn entombed in items like benches and boulder, or in a niche or mausoleum. If you wish for your ashes to be scattered, learn about your local regulations regarding the scattering of ashes before selecting a location.

    Consider your religion.
    If you are planning to observe cultural or religious traditions, then it’s important to learn more about any opinions about cremation that they might have. Some religions require cremation, while others forbid it. If you have questions about this, speak with your local cultural or religious leader.

    Talk to your family.
    Whether you have made a final decision about how you would like your cremation handled following your passing or not, it can be beneficial to speak with your family about your options and any plans that you’re making. Including them in the process can help you come to decisions and, by letting them know how you want your cremation handled, may make things less stressful when the time comes.

    At Chapel of the Chimes Oakland, we offer several cremation ceremonies as well as helpful resources for pre-planning your funeral. To find out more about our cremation services near Oakland, please give us a call today at (510) 654-0123.

  • Preparing for the Reception

    Funeral Home Oakland

    Following the loss of a loved one, you may find yourself facing several difficult decisions as you make arrangements and alert friends and family to the person’s passing. If you are planning to have a reception following the deceased’s cremation or funeral service, then consider the following when preparing for the event:

    Number of Attendees
    The first step in planning a funeral reception is to determine how many people you expect. If the number is more than your home can handle comfortably or if you are not located near the funeral location, then consider renting a space for the reception or making restaurant reservations. Doing so can help ensure that you have plenty of space and can leave you with less cleanup afterward, which can be important during this difficult time.

    Assistance from Others
    If possible, reach out to friends and family while you are preparing for a funeral reception. Place one person in charge of choosing a location, such as someone’s home, a church, or a restaurant. Then, place another person in charge of making and receiving any phone calls from and to friends and family of the deceased to help spread the word about where and when the reception will be held. Doing this will help free up some of your time for making additional funeral arrangements.

    Food and Drink
    If you are handling most of the arrangements on your own, then opting for catering services can be a smart decision. Preparing for a reception can involve a lot of planning and, while you are grieving, can be particularly difficult. For these reasons, arranging for catering or asking everyone to bring a dish or drink is a good way to have plenty of food and refreshments at the reception.

    Are you planning funeral services in Oakland ? If so, then contact Chapel of the Chimes Oakland. In addition to funeral and cremation services, we offer conveniently located reception areas and assistance with reception planning. For more information about our funeral home, please give us a call at (510) 654-0123.

  • Spotlight on Baika Pratt-Heaton, Volunteer Services Manager

    Hospice Care Month Oakland In recognition of National Hospice and Palliative Care Month, Chapel of the Chimes Oakland wishes to acknowledge Baika Pratt-Heaton for her accomplishments. Baika is the Volunteer Services Manager of Kaiser Oakland Hospice and has worked in the hospice profession for 18 years.

    Baika says that her greatest challenge is staying present for family dynamics. It takes personal strength and awareness to be present for every concern and to stay respectful and compassionate. She says that she strives to refrain from forming judgments and to start fresh with every family.

    Baika became interested in the field of hospice care, because she realized that when people care for those who are gravely ill, they become their “deeper selves”, meaning that they develop honest connections and compassion for one another. She continues to stay motivated by the needs of others. She truly enjoys a life of service.

    When asked what advice she would give someone considering hospice, Baika says that “hospice is about life”. Although hospice is normally used for the end of someone’s life, it brings comfort and care to their life, showing that all stages of life are valuable.

    To learn more about Baika and hospice care in Northern California, contact Chapel of the Chimes Oakland online.