A graveside service is held at the place of interment in a cemetery: at a grave, mausoleum crypt, or columbarium niche (in the case of cremation).
Graveside service features
A graveside service can be thought of as a pared-down funeral. Many of the features of a traditional funeral are present, but minimized. For example:
- Viewings and visitations are either very brief or not held at all.
- The funeral conductor/officiant can be a member of the clergy, a funeral director, or a friend or family member. However, the service in general is much shorter, requiring less of the officiant's time.
- Pallbearers are generally not used at a graveside service, as the casket is usually in place by the time service attendees arrive.
- Usually only one eulogy is delivered rather than multiple eulogies, and there tend to be fewer readings and/or prayers.
- There are usually fewer flower arrangements or no flower arrangements, which can save money.
- Musicians and/or soloists do not usually perform at a graveside service.
- Photo slideshows and video tributes are not part of a graveside service, as the location generally cannot accommodate them.
Graveside services may be limited to only family members or may be open to all. If you are having a graveside service after a traditional funeral, you can invite everyone who attended the funeral service to attend the graveside service, or you can let people know that you'd like to keep the service private.
- Renting a chapel at a funeral home or religious place of worship, and therefore:
- Extensive use of funeral home staff
- Renting space for a viewing or visitation, and therefore:
- Elaborate funeral features, such as flowers, musicians or soloists, and renting limousines and sedans for transportation of the family