Hosting an outdoor funeral service can be a touching way to pay your respects to a loved one. Having the service outdoors can also be a great option if your relative was not religious, or if he or she loved spending time outside. Here are a few things to consider when planning an outdoor funeral.
You do have a bit of flexibility when it comes to the location, but you will need to consider a few logistics. For a funeral service that takes place at the cemetery, the casket may already be partially lowered into the ground, or it may sit on a cart, which can be covered with a cloth for a more elegant look. If you choose to have the funeral service at the funeral home you may choose to move the casket outside, or you may feel more comfortable leaving it inside the chapel while you step outside for the prayer services. Choose the option that makes you and your family comfortable, and ask your funeral home director to assist with making the necessary arrangements.
While you may not be able to control the climate outside, there are a few things you can do to help mourners stay comfortable. Rent a pavilion-style tent to cover the seating area for the funeral service. The tent will provide shade from the sun as well as protection against unexpected rain showers. You can also rent outdoor fans to help keep the area cool on hot days. Be sure to have coolers filled with bottled water nearby to help ensure everyone stays hydrated, particularly if the funeral service will be lengthy.
You'll want to provide everyone with a comfortable place to sit, taking extra care to ensure that all immediate family members have the most comfortable options available. You can rent outdoor patio furniture to create a cozy space for the family while adding a unique look to the space. Long sofas with plenty of throw pillows can make comfortable options, and matching chairs placed at the front of the tent near the lectern provide comfort for clergy members and other people participating in the service. Be sure to rent plenty of folding chairs as well, as this will help to ensure that all mourners can be seated for the funeral.
Talk to your funeral home director about hosting outdoor funeral services, and ask for guidance to help make it a touching and heartwarming tribute to your loved one.