Adelphi, MD cremations

Open Casket or Closed Casket?

With Adelphi, MD cremations, visitations and funeral services may be a part of the funeral plans before cremations are done. With some visitations, the casket is in the funeral parlor, but it remains closed throughout both the visitation and the funeral. However, with many visitations, the casket is open, with the deceased lying inside in repose.

Why would a casket be closed during the visitation and the funeral service? There are actually a couple of common reasons.

One reason may be that the family simply cannot handle seeing their loved one dead. They want their last memories of them to be when they were alive and living full, vibrant lives. They don’t want the view of death to be the last memory of their loved one that is etched into their minds.

Another reason why a casket might be closed is because the deceased is in no shape to be seen. Death could have been caused by a disease that literally caused the deceased to waste away. A horrible accident could have so disfigured the diseased that it would be unbearable for anyone to see them in that condition. The deceased could have been a victim of a violent crime that left them mangled. Or the deceased may have taken their own life using a very violent method, such as a gun.

However, if the casket is open during the visitation, should it stay open during the funeral service? There’s not a right or wrong answer to this question, but many people have strong feelings about it on side or the other.

Often times, the funeral director won’t ask if the family wants the casket open or closed during the funeral service. Instead, they will follow the general protocol of their funeral homes, unless requested to do otherwise.

If the casket is closed after the visitation, the funeral director will take the family into a private room while the casket is being closed. After the casket is closed, the funeral director will bring the family back into the funeral parlor where the service is being held.

This can actually be hard on the family because as the family walks out of the room, they know that’s their last goodbye to their loved one. They’re on view for all the mourners to see, so they may want to take their time to say goodbye in a different way, but instead they have only a second or two to walk by the casket as stoically as possible.

As the family’s sitting in the private room, they know what’s going on in the funeral parlor. That’s emotionally tough to sit there and wait, knowing what’s happening 10 or 15 feet away. And walking back in to see the casket closed is also very hard to deal with emotionally.

However, some people believe this is the right thing to do before the funeral service starts and they can be quite aghast when they attend a funeral service where the casket stays open during the service.

An open casket during the service prevents that awkward interruptive period of time where the family leaves and then the family comes back. An open casket during the funeral service also gives the family an opportunity to say goodbye in a way that isn’t rushed or so final. Since the casket isn’t closed until the family leaves the funeral home, they don’t have to deal with that jarring experience in person.

If you’d like to learn more about Adelphi, MD cremations, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.

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