Services are ceremonies that surround the disposition of the deceased. Some common services are:
A funeral service is a ceremony that is conducted with the deceased's body present. It generally takes place from a few days to a week after someone has passed away. Many funeral serices are conducted in the place of worship of the deceased, or of his or her family. Funeral services may also take place entirely at the funeral home, or in a cemetery chapel, or be held in conjunction with any of the following services.
A memorial service is a service without the body present and can vary in ceremony and procedure, according to community, fraternal, and religious affiliations of the deceased and his or her family. Some families prefer public visitations followed by a private or graveside service with a memorial service later at the church or funeral home.
Because the body is not present at the memorial, disposition may take place either before or after the service. You can hold a memorial service instead of a funeral, or in addition to it. For instance, you might have a funeral in the town where the person lived and died, and a memorial service later in the town where he/she grew up.
Memorial services are most popular when cremation has been chosen as a means of disposition. After the cremation, family and friends gather to remember the deceased in a formal setting.
A committal (or commitment) service is held at the graveside before the body is buried, or at the crematory before the cremation. When held at the graveside, this ceremony is sometimes called the interment service. This type of service can also be a part of a funeral ceremony.