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Choosing the Products

Now that you have thought more about burial or cremation for your loved one, you will need to choose the products such as caskets, cremation containers, personalization pieces and memorialization products. Below is a general idea of what can be available from a funeral home.

Casket Selections

Funeral homes have a number of caskets that you can choose from. Choose from cloth caskets, wood caskets, metal caskets and others. Customize many of the caskets to pay a fitting tribute to your loved one.

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Cremation Vaults

Basically, a cremation vault acts to protect the urn. If you've chosen to inter a loved one's ashes on the grounds of a cemetery, you'll want to consider the purchase of a cremation vault. The final decision you make will depend on whether you'll plan an in-ground burial (called an "inurnment"), or intend placing the urn in a mausoleum or columbarium.

Vault Selections

Outer Concrete Burial Vaults

Outer burial vaults are used primarily for two specific reasons:

  1. To support the grave, we have all walked in cemeteries, and have found the ground to be very uneven in many areas. The use of a vault eliminates the settling of the grave. Many cemeterians prefer the use of burial vaults for obvious maintenance reasons.
  2. To protect the casket and remains: For many families this is extremely important and to some families it is not. The choice is yours, although many cemetery's and their maintenance people wish you to have an outer concrete burial vault at the time of disposition, the choice is always yours

Outer burial vaults range from the standard gold colored vault, which is a non-lined outer burial vault and serves as basic protection from the gravesite elements, to Lined outer burial vaults which are designed for families who wish a more permanent protective burial vault, lined vaults are constructed with a combination of concrete cores, steel reinforcement and with inner liner materials ranging from ABS plastic, Polystyrene, Stainless Steel to the maximum lining for the maximum protection available such as a Copper or Bronze lining. All of the above outer burial vaults have a unique tongue and grove design in the lid and the body of the vault. A special sealant is applied before the lid is moved into place. All outer burial vault lids have the deceased's name, year of birth and year of death inscribed on a special plate. The vault companies have the ability to personalize the lid of the vault upon the request of your funeral director.

Lined Vaults

Lined vaults are designed to protect the deceased and the casket against the entrance of any water or foreign grave elements.  Professional installation, a gravesite canopy as well as the grave dressings and custom lowering device are all included in the price of the vaults listed.

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Urn Selections

When cremation occurs generally the cremated remains are placed in a permanent urn.  The urn may be present for services, used for the final interment or kept in a special place in the home.  Urns are made of numerous materials generally in categories of hardwood, metal or stone. Many families have appreciated the option of personalized engraving.  This may include an inscription of the deceased's name and dates of birth an death.  A wide selection of symbols is also available which may reflect hobbies, interests or affiliations.  Engraving is completed in order that the urn may be sent overnight from the manufacturer to our facility so no delay in arrangements is involved. We also offer a smaller selection of temporary urns for those selecting scattering, and miniature urns also called "keepsakes" which will hold a token portion of the cremated remains, a lock of hair or earth from the gravesite.

The value of an urn is determined by the material from which is it made and the craftsmanship involved in its production.  A wide range is offered providing choices in all price ranges.

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Personalization Options

As you begin to think about personalizing the funeral, turn your thoughts to your memories of the person who died. Think about his or her qualities and what he or she meant to others. Consider his or her passions, hobbies, pastimes, likes, dislikes.

You might try making a list of the following:

  • Attributes or passions of the person who died
  • Special memories to share
  • Achievements of the person who died
  • Important people to include somehow

Personalize the elements of ceremony

Once you've given thought to the unique life and personality of the person who died, it's time to incorporate those memories into the funeral plan. Be creative as you, together with your family, friends, funeral director and the person who will lead the service, brainstorm how to remember and honor this special person.

A good way to personalize the funeral is to personalize the common elements of funeral ceremonies:

  • The visitation
  • The eulogy
  • The music
  • The readings
  • The procession
  • The committal service
  • The gathering or reception

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Memorialization Products

There are a number of ways to memorialize your loved one and ensure they are remembered and honored. Choose from a line of personalized stationary to send those attending the service home with a keepsake, or honor the life lived with a DVD tribute video. There are many memorialization options that can help you say your final goodbyes and remember a life well lived.

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If you have questions or would like to explore your options, please contact us.

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2175 Massachusetts Avenue | Cambridge, MA 02140 | Fax: 617.491.2357 | Email: info@keefefuneralhome.com