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How to Have a Cremation and Visitation

Published: September 5, 2022
by John L. Ziegenhein and Sons Funeral Home

funeral homes in Affton, MO

The rising popularity of cremation has opened the door to non-traditional ways of saying goodbye to a loved one. But for those who want the traditional, a common worry is that funeral homes in Affton, MO, don’t allow visitations before cremation.

This is not true. It is possible to have a wake or visitation before a loved one is cremated. And there are two ways to achieve this.

Have an impromptu gathering

A lot of the confusion comes from those seeking direct cremation. Officially, the most affordable type of cremation doesn’t include ceremonial services, visitation, or wake. The funeral home collects the body and returns the ashes after a few days.

But this only means you aren’t paying the funeral home to arrange the visitation. You can still have a simple visitation service with friends and family who live nearby. Arrangements must happen quickly before the funeral home arrives to collect the body.

Some funeral homes also allow close friends and family to view the body at the cremation center before the process begins. For those who do, this may attract extra costs.

That said, although used interchangeably, visitation is not the same as viewing. Only in a viewing is a body required to be present. A visitation, on the other, is a condolence visit to the bereaved. It can happen with or without a body.

If relatives and friends are too distant for an impromptu gathering, or the price for a witness cremation is too steep, you can organize a visitation after the cremation.

Some families choose to have the urn present in place of an open or closed casket. A scattering ceremony may happen after to wrap up the funeral.

Have a Traditional Funeral with Cremation

Another way to have a cremation and visitation is to arrange a traditional funeral with cremation. It is the most expensive type of cremation, but it buys you time to include the traditional services you desire.

Since the cremation isn’t happening immediately, the body is embalmed and prepared for public viewing. It’s a perfect option for those who want an open-casket visitation and time for distant relatives to travel down and say goodbye to the deceased’s body.

Traditional funeral with cremation also includes the formal funeral service, with friends, family, and community members in attendance.

funeral homes in Affton, MO

It’s not the most cost-effective way to have a cremation with visitation, but it’s the only guaranteed option. However, you can lower the costs by using a rental casket instead of purchasing a new one.

Rental caskets look much like ceremonial caskets, but the interior is a cremation container. After the funeral services, the body is cremated with the interior, while the funeral home reuses the hardwood shell.

Finally, it’s important to remember that there are no hard rules. You can personalize your arrangement according to your desires and the deceased’s family.

The most important thing is working with a funeral home in Affton, MO, that’s committed to creating a befitting farewell for your loved one. That’s what we do. Call us now to speak with our professional staff.

John L. Ziegenhein and Sons Funeral Homes South County Chapel
4830 Lemay Ferry Rd
| Saint Louis, MO 63129
Tel: 314-894-8444
| Directions
John L. Ziegenhein and Sons Funeral Homes South City Chapel
7027 Gravois Ave
| Saint Louis, MO 63116
Tel: 314-352-2600
| Directions
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