A graveside service is simply a service that takes place at the graveside rather than in the funeral home, church, or other facility.  This bypasses the traditional funeral service in a funeral home, church or other facility and often saves the expense of the funeral coach, limousines, flower cars, and other expenses associated with a traditional service.  The funeral director and clergy will often meet the family at the graveside and a brief committal service will take place.  Variations may include a limousine to pick up the family and bring them to the graveside, a hearse to take the body to the graveside, etc.


A cremation service is simply a service that subjects the body to extremely high temperatures in a specialized cremation chamber. The body is simply disposed of by the cremation process and reduced to ashes. The cremated remains are collected and placed in a temporary container or a purchased urn and returned to the family. Funeral services may take place in the traditional manner. Many then bury the ashes in a cemetery plot or placement in a mausoleum or columbarium of the cremains may take place in a purchased urn. Alternatly the ashes from the cremation process can be scattered according to the wishes of the deceased/family of the deceased. There are now scattering services that will scatter the ashes of the deceased according to their wishes. These services include travel to a remote destination for instance to spread the ashes.


A traditional service is a full funeral service that does take place in the funeral home, church or other facility.  A traditional service also uses a coach (hearse) to move the body to the graveside and limousines are used for the pallbearers and close family members.  A flower car is used to transport the flowers to the cemetery so that the grave site is ready for the committal service when the procession arrives.  The traditional 'committal' service at the grave is a brief 'graveside' service.  Variations are certainly available and the traditional service may or may not include the limousines, flower cars, escorts, etc.


The fact is that the funeral is really not for the deceased but in fact is for the living.  The living then must be comfortable with the service that takes place for their loved one.  Funerals in modern times take on any and all kinds of variations.  Non-traditional services may have live rock bands, choirs, personal tributes and other such things.  There is virtually no limit to what a family may work out with a funeral director to make the funeral service a more personal thing.  The funeral service may express the religious affiliations of the deceased and the loved ones or it may have no religious intonations at all.  Many of the funeral industry representatives have more information on funeral services and products.  Check the links page for that information.