Owego, NY funeral homes

How to Support Teens as They Grieve

Before and after funerals at Owego, NY funeral homes, teens who have experienced loss, whether it’s the death of a friend or the death of a loved one, will need a lot of support as they move through the grieving process. In part, this is because adolescence is full of hormonal fluctuations, the competing crossroads of being dependent and independent, and the juxtaposition between knowledge and experience.

It is more unlikely that teens will openly express their grief, unlike small children who, while not being able to always verbalize their feelings, will certainly act them out in quite open ways. Teens can typically be more moody than not just because of their stage of life, so it may be difficult to tell what the source of their moodiness is on any given day.

However, as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, coaches, and clergy (if applicable), we as the adults in their lives need to be in touch, observant, and actively supportive of our teens as they maneuver through grief.

Loss and grief in teens creates a gulf between them and their peers at a time in their lives where fitting in is paramount. Therefore, teens need a comprehensive network of support to help them bridge that gulf and to keep them grounded and growing (as well as protected from bullying, which is common throughout life by some people who look for what they perceive as weakness in others and then harass, harangue, and torment them either verbally or physically or both) toward adulthood.

One way to provide support for teens as they grieve is to get outside therapeutic help. If the adults in the teens’ immediate families are having difficulty handling their own grief, this may create more anxiety and a misplaced sense of responsibility in grieving teens, which can overwhelm them with stress. Seeking grief counseling for everyone is highly recommended.

All the adults in the lives of teens who are grieving need to pull together and work together to offer support networks. Grieving teens need to know who is there for them, since they may not want to talk with their parents, but they may have aunts, uncles, coaches, or teachers that they feel more comfortable talking to about what they’re experiencing.

An important aspect of supporting grieving teens is simply listening when they do want to talk. There may be intense anger or sobbing sorrow as they talk, but the words they say are what we should focus on because they will tell us what the real issues are that teens are dealing with in relationship to the death of a friend or a loved one. Don’t interrupt. Take notes about important areas they touch on, because they’re still children in many ways and they will often make, because they don’t know any different, wrong assumptions and wrong connections about death and loss. We have an opportunity to address those things and correct what they don’t know or understand, which can actually lead to greater peace and faster healing for them.

To get more information about grief resources for teens at Owego, NY funeral homes, our sympathetic and experienced staff at Roberts Funeral Home is available to help. You can come to our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.

Elmira, NY cremations

Distancing Ourselves from the Inevitable

With Elmira, NY cremations, people have died. But what were the years, or months, or weeks, or days, or hours before their deaths like? Were they active, vibrant, independent, and living life to the fullest or were they confined to assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, perhaps with limited or no mobility, staring at four walls every day? This was at least on the days when they weren’t at the doctor’s office get new (and probably more medication) or hospitalized on a regular basis for health issues and illnesses.

Even if we knew these people well, as family members or friends, we may have distanced ourselves from death itself, and, particularly, their deaths, because we’re told by science, technology, and medicine that it’s life that’s important and that’s what we should focus on.

So we may not have visited them often if we weren’t in caregiving role because dying and death can be depressing. If we were in a caregiving role, we were the ones constantly taking them to doctor’s appointments and to the emergency room when a more serious issue arose, and then staying with them throughout each hospital stay that was designed to keep them alive.

This focus on living at all costs has impact the way most of us deal with dying and death. We don’t want to talk about it. We don’t want to think about it. And we certainly don’t want to be around it, whether it’s someone else or ourselves going through it.

Even the nature of funeral and memorial services reflects this focus on life, as the traditional mourning and acknowledging the death and loss of people is increasing giving way to contemporary celebrations of life, where death and dying are not discussed, but only happy memories from deceased people’s lives.

But what is the cost of this change to a focus on life?

One cost is that although people may be gaining quantity of life, it’s at the expense of quality of life. One can’t contemplate this without thinking about 90-year-old Norma Bauerschmidt’s decision to forgo cancer treatment – which would have prolonged her life, but would have taken the quality away – and, instead, use the time she had left to travel with her son and daughter-in-law across the United States – which gave her a quality life, until she died a year later. She experienced a lot of firsts during those 12 months and she became a social media celebrity with her own Facebook page named Driving Ms. Norma.

Another cost of changing to a focus on life is that we aren’t prepared, don’t know how to handle, and are terrified of death. It seems like an anomaly when it happens, when, instead, it is the biological cycle of nature. We begin dying the day we’re born, and although we usually don’t hit full stride until we get a life-threatening illness like congestive heart failure, a terminal illness like cancer, or just the wearing out of the body after living for many decades, it’s a process that is with us from the beginning.

It’s time to get closer to death. It will make our living years more meaningful because we’ll realize they’re finite. We can say, “No” to excessive overtime, we can say, “Yes,” to vacations and family time, and we can make the time we have remaining more meaningful by serving others.

If you’d like more information about Elmira, NY cremations, talk with our knowledgeable and compassionate team at Roberts Funeral Home for guidance. You can visit our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.

Big Flats, NY funeral homes

The Sixth Stage of Grief

With funerals at Big Flats, NY funeral homes comes grief. Before the funeral, during the funeral, and after the funeral, grief is a constant. In 1969, psychiatrist Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross published On Death and Dying. In it, Kubler-Ross identified five different stages in the grieving process when someone is dying (but it applies just as much to those who have a loved one die).

The first stage is denial. When people lose a loved one, the mind may record the loss, but the heart denies it. We keep waiting for them to walk through the door. We pick up the phone to text or call them. We look for them, somehow expecting them to be there.

The second stage of grief is anger. We get emotionally upset that our loved isn’t there, that they aren’t coming in the house, answering the phone, and that they’re never going to do any of those things again physically.

The third stage of grief is bargaining. In this stage, we imagine things we’d be willing to change, to let go of, to give up in order to have our loved one back.

The fourth stage of grief is depression. As the reality in our hearts sets in that our loved one is really gone, really not coming back in this life, and we have to face life without them, the cloud of doom and gloom settles in.

The fifth stage of grief is acceptance. This one may take time to reach, but there is a point where we accept that our loved one has died and we start looking forward to ways to forge a new life without them.

In the book, On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss, a sixth stage of grief is presented.

The sixth stage of grieving is how we seek to find meaning in the legacy that our loved ones have left behind. This be expressed in finding and supporting a charitable organization or a cause that was important to our loved ones. It may mean making sure their story gets preserved through writing a family history or memoir. It can also include handing down family traditions, such as special things they did for holidays or religious celebrations.

While grief causes pain, whether we suffer is optional. Grief doesn’t occur when we don’t love other people, but how we frame the loss can make all the difference in whether we suffer from the pain of grief.

The first step to frame grief positively is to allow ourselves to really feel what we feel. We live in society that avoids this (people usually are expected to return to normal life, whether that’s work or school, three days after their loved ones die or after the funeral), so we are encouraged to put on happy face, get back on the horse, and carry on as if nothing ever happened. Because of this, we don’t get the time to really feel the pain of grief. And that is when we suffer.

But when we allow ourselves the feel the pain deeply and intensely, that is when the search for the meaning of what our loved one left behind for us to be able to take forward in our lives. It creates a bond and connection with our loved one that will last the rest of our lives, and that is comforting.

Not all people experience the six stages of grief, nor, if they do, do they experience them in the order they’re listed in. Sometimes, people go through some or all of the stages of grief many times. We’re all unique and can’t fit into a cookie-cutter framework for such a personal and strong emotion.

To get more information about grief resources at Big Flats, NY funeral homes, our sympathetic and experienced staff at Roberts Funeral Home is available to help. You can come to our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.

Waverly, NY cremations

What to Write in Sympathy Cards

After Waverly, NY cremations, people begin buying and writing sympathy cards to the family who’s lost a loved one. Sympathy cards are intended to express support, comfort, and empathy, so the words that are written should reflect those things.

One of the traps of sympathy cards is the sympathy card with a long poem in it. The greeting card industry, like most other writing industries, sources these kinds of cards to people who get paid to do it. Often, the messages are trite and lack the warmth and sympathy of a personal note. Too often, people who want to express sympathy buy one of these cards and simply sign their names, then send them.

It’s helpful to put yourself in the shoes of the family who’s lost someone dear to them. How would you feel if you received a card like this? To people who are grieving, a card like this can convey the message that the sender didn’t care enough to write anything themselves, sent the card out of duty and not care and concern, or that the sender was simply to busy to be bothered with more than a signature.

None of this may be true, but that can be the effect of sending a card like this. It is best to get a simple sympathy card that is blank inside and includes a handwritten note. It can be an expression of condolence on the family’s loss or it can be a cherished memory of the deceased. It doesn’t need to be long, but it needs to be heartfelt.

Avoid offensive clichés like “I know how you feel” or “it’s all for the best.” You may have an idea of how the family feels, but you may not actually know how they feel. It’s better to use phrases like, “I can imagine…” instead. Telling a family that losing a loved one is all for the best is literally a slap to their emotions. It doesn’t feel that way to them, and it comes across as heartless and callous.

Many people include these in sympathy cards, not meaning to hurt or offend anyone. So it’s important to take your time and think through your words carefully before you write a sympathy card.

If you’re sending a sympathy card, but you know only one member of the deceased’s family, address the card to them. Write personally to that person, but extend your thoughts to the rest of the family.

Conclude your sympathy card with a sentence that makes the family – or person you know – aware of your concern and that also opens the door for them to contact you if they need something (don’t be vague with “if you need anything, just let me know;” instead, be specific with something like “I’m in the neighborhood on X day so I can pick up groceries or drop off dry cleaning, if you need me to.”) or they just need to talk. These are gestures that many people forget to include in sympathy cards and it can leave the family feeling like they’re all alone after they’ve read all the sympathy cards because there’s no extended invitation to reach out if they need to.

Be sure your handwriting is easy to read. If your cursive writing looks like a doctor’s signature, then print your note. Also, be sure to sign with your full name, because a lot of Bill’s, Mary’s, John’s, and Ann’s may be sending sympathy cards. You can also include your cell number and an email address in case the family wants to contact you later (this is optional).

If you’d like more help with writing sympathy cards after Waverly, NY cremations, talk with our knowledgeable and compassionate team at Roberts Funeral Home for guidance. You can visit our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.

cremations in Elmira, NY

Why Funeral Directors Matter

Funeral directors handle cremations in Elmira, NY, as well as traditional burials. They are with the family of the loved one who has died each step of the way, and they have the professional knowledge and experience to make sure everything is done in accordance with your and your loved one’s wishes.

The first reason why funeral directors matter is that they handle all the behind-the-scenes activities that accompany cremations or burials. They take care of all the legal paperwork, including getting permits, handling military benefits (if applicable), and getting the official death certificates.

Funeral directors meet with the family as soon as possible after the death of their loved one. The meeting serves several purposes. It lets the family make funeral arrangements in a quiet, unhurried environment, where they can decide if they want to have a service (funeral or memorial) and what that will look like, what the final disposition of their loved one should be, and to ask questions.

Unless a person has had the experience of a lot of deaths in their immediate family, the first time going through the funeral process can be daunting. The funeral director is there to answer any questions or to help in the decision-making, by explaining anything that is unfamiliar or unknown. Ask questions about anything that’s not clear or that is not understood. This is their job and they are more than willing to help you in any way they can.

Another reason why funeral directors matter is because their priority is to let families focus on grieving while the funeral directors do the planning. Funeral homes can take care of all the details of the funeral process, so it’s advisable, with the family’s input, of course, to let them handle those and place that time and energy toward mourning the loss of a loved one.

Funeral directors can plan every kind of service for any size group in just a few days. They will take care of flowers, set up visitations, handle the flow of services, and make arrangements for catered receptions. While the family will be involved in the selection process of all of these, they don’t have to sweat the details of making them happen.

Funeral directors matter, as well, because their role is to encourage the family of the deceased to make the funeral process their own, as well as abiding by the wishes of their loved one. For example, if the deceased didn’t leave any specific instructions for a service, then the family can take this opportunity to remember them with special readings and music that reminds them of their loved one. Funeral directors will guide this process by asking what the best way would be to remember the loved one they have lost.

A fourth reason why funeral directors matter is because they can help the bereaved family after the cremation or burial. Funeral directors have resources for grief counseling – some funeral homes host grief support group meetings at their funeral homes – and they can get the information or the contacts needed to begin the healing process from the loss of a loved one.

Funeral home directors are with grieving families every step of the way. They are there to help, to guide, to offer advice, and to make sure that not only is the deceased treated with dignity, honor, and respect, but so is their family.

To get more information about funeral directors before cremations in Elmira, NY, our sympathetic and experienced staff at Roberts Funeral Home is available to help. You can come to our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.

Waverly, NY cremations

The History of Memorial Day

With more military veterans opting for Waverly, NY cremations after they die, it’s important to continue to remember their service to the country, as well as the service of every other military who has died, either on the battlefield or years removed from their active duty.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday that originated from Decoration Day (and some parts of rural America, it is still called by this name). Decoration Day was established in 1868, by the Grand Army of the Republic (an organization of Union military veterans), as a day for the entire country to decorate the graves of Civil War dead with flowers. The first Decoration Day was held on May 30, 1868. The date was chosen because flowers would be in bloom around the country and there was no specific battle whose anniversary felt on that day.

The first large-scale observance of Decoration Day occurred that year at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA. Flowers were laid on both Union and Confederate graves, followed by prayers and hymns.

The name “Memorial Day” first appeared in 1882, but it would not replace Decoration Day as the official name of the commemorative day until after World War II. In 1967, the federal government officially declared that the last Monday in May would be Memorial Day. Memorial Day did not become a federal holiday until 1971.

After World War I, Decoration Day was expanded beyond just putting flowers on Civil War military veterans‘ graves to placing flowers on all United States military veterans’ graves. In 1915, after reading “In Flanders Field,” by poet John McCrae, Moina Michael was inspired to write “We Shall Keep Faith,” which encouraged people to wear red poppies on Memorial Day (they are also traditionally worn on Veterans Day).

Moina followed up her poem with action. She sold red poppies in her community on Memorial Day and used the money to help military veterans in need. Red poppies are still a popular flower on Memorial Day. However, instead of seeing people wearing them, as was traditional until about 30 years ago, you will see them placed on the graves of military veterans.

It’s important to take time each Memorial Day to remember the sacrifice that many men and women have made to each one of us as citizens of the United States. Many of them were barely adults and never got to have full, long, and happy lives. But they were willing to put their lives on the lines for ours. Do something active to commemorate their lives.

One suggestion would be to go out to the cemetery – may be one you’re familiar or one you’re not familiar with – and lay flowers on every grave with a military gravestone. If you have family members who were military veterans, lay flowers at their graves.

Another suggestion is to plant red poppies in your flower garden or plant a tree in memory of a deceased veteran.

You can also fly the United States flag at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day (the flag should be raised to full height for a second and then dropped to the half-staff position; afternoon, the flag should be raised to the top position again).

If you’d like more ideas for commemorating Memorial Day after Waverly, NY cremations, talk with our knowledgeable and compassionate team at Roberts Funeral Home for ideas. You can visit our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.

funeral homes in West Elmira, NY

Nurture the Family Unit after a Funeral

After funerals at funeral homes in West Elmira, NY, it is not unusual for family members – especially those that are more distant, but sometimes even the closest ones – to drift away and never come back together. If the deceased was a matriarch or patriarch of the family and the fulcrum point that kept the family together and in touch with each other, the loss of connection is even more likely.

Sometimes immediate family fractures, especially if there are already existing tensions or issues among siblings. Even if the siblings don’t have any problems, sometimes fractures occur because of legal matters such as wills and inheritances. Many times, these breaks are permanent.

More often, though, the distant family connections break because the thread that held them together is gone. People live in different places, lead different lives, and may have only seen each other once or twice a year for holidays.

It doesn’t have to be this way. There are many things that remaining family members can do to nurture the family unit after a funeral.

One is to get everyone’s contact information, including email, social media accounts, phone numbers, and addresses. Send a short update email to everyone once a while or create a family group on social media where everyone can post updates about themselves and their families. If you have relatives who aren’t using email or social media, send them a text message a couple of times a month, or call them every two weeks just to check in, or send them a handwritten card or note every couple of months.

Another way to nurture the family unit is to create a family newsletter that you publish every quarter. Encourage all the family members to send news and pictures of their family events or milestones that you can include in the newsletter. With a variety of free and intuitive page layout software available, putting a family newsletter together is not only easy but quick.

A third way to nurture the family unit after a funeral is to plan regular gatherings, either in small groups, or to bring the whole family together. A great idea is to have an annual family reunion. Choose four or five locations where family life that is good gathering spots (enough hotel and restaurant accommodations, as well as activities) for reunions. Rotate the location of the reunion through these places so the burden of planning the reunion (securing blocks of rooms in hotels, setting up one or two meals in restaurants, etc.) doesn’t fall on the same people every time. Plan at least one reunion in the rotation to be near the cemetery of the family patriarch or matriarch so that everyone can visit and future generations will know the history of their families.

A final way to nurture family units after the death of a loved one is to send an annual letter to everyone. Many people do this around holidays as a way of catching everyone up on the significant events in their year and to keep the lines of communication open.

It takes some effort to keep families intact after funerals, but the effort is well worth it. Don’t lose the people you love and who love you, no matter how far or near they are away.

For more ideas about nurturing families after funerals at funeral homes in West Elmira, NY, our sympathetic and experienced staff at Roberts Funeral Home can offer suggestions and guidance. You can come to our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.

Veteran, NY funeral homes

Ways to be Helpful in a Funeral

During funerals at Veteran, NY funeral homes, people often want to be of service or help out in any way that can for the family of a loved one who has died. Funerals are made of many moving parts that often look as though they just happen, but there are people in the background who are making sure that things go smoothly for everyone.  

One way to assist a bereaved family during a funeral service is to attend to the guest book. Guest books are placed outside the chapel where the funeral service will be held. Guest books allow people who come to pay their respects to the deceased and to comfort and support the family to record their presence. The family receives the guest book as part of the funeral home’s services to them.  

Attending to the guest book includes making sure mourners have a pen to sign the book during both the visitation and the funeral service (some people will attend both the visitation and funeral service and some will attend only the funeral service). Most funeral homes have staff that can keep up with moving the guest book if the visitation and funeral service are held in different locations, but it can help the family to know that someone is looking out for the guest book for them.  

Another way to help during a funeral is to record gifts and flowers sent to the funeral service. The bereaved family will get thank-you notes from the funeral home to send to people who’ve given gifts and flowers, so having a list of those names of those people and what they contributed helps make the thank-you note writing easier after the funeral. Be sure to record first and last names, addresses, if they’re included, and the actual contribution. The easiest way is to take photos with a smartphone of both tags and the gift so that the grieving family will have visual reminders to help them when they’re writing thank-you notes.  

A third way to be helpful during a funeral is to attend to the needs of the family. Offer to get them water during the visitation, and, if there’s a reception after the funeral service, offer to get them drinks and something to eat. These things are usually the last thing on the mind of a family that’s grieving, but they’ll be appreciative of your show of concern for their welfare.  

Consider buying cloth handkerchiefs for each family member to have during the visitation and the funeral. Paper tissues may be adequate, but people often find they have a pile of them with no place to put them. Also include a small bottle of hand sanitizer with each handkerchief, so that family members can use it as needed while greeting mourners.  

Often times, funeral home staff will assist with parking for the funeral, but you can offer to help both with parking before the funeral and with traffic flow after the funeral, especially if there is a funeral procession to the graveyard immediately following the funeral. Parking for handicapped individuals and the family should be reserved as close as possible to the funeral service location.  

A final way to be helpful during a funeral service is to offer to help with seating. The funeral director will guide people into the room where the service is being held, but an extra hand at helping people find seats is always appreciated.  

If you want to help during a funeral at Veteran, NY funeral homes, talk with our knowledgeable and compassionate team at Roberts Funeral Home for ideas. You can visit our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.  

Caitlin, NY funeral homes

History of a Traditional Irish Wake

Traditional Irish wakes are being replaced with visitations in Caitlin, NY funeral homes, but the traditional Irish wake has a fascinating history.   

Begun, of course, in Ireland, Irish wakes served a practical purpose. Friends and family watched over the body of the person who was thought to have deceased to watch for them to wake up or ensure they didn’t awaken – hence, the “wake.” In a time that didn’t have modern medicine to know for certain that someone was dead, and not wanting to bury someone who was unconscious, but still alive (which happened from time to time), a set period of time was established to wait for burial.  

This period of time consisted of family and friends gathering together to celebrate and mourn. They would eat, drink (often to excess), play music, play games, and share stories about the dearly departed. In short, the wake became a party.  

However, the deceased was always honored. The body would be prepared and dressed in white. The deceased would be laid out in a specific room in the home of a family member. That room would be shut off from the party that accompanied the rest of the wake. However, someone was always with the body in case the person did wake up.  

How long the wake lasted depended on when the funeral service was being held. Because embalming and cold storage were not available in the earliest times of this custom, wakes seldom lasted longer than 48 hours. Wakes started as soon the body was prepared and dressed and ended when the family left for funeral services.  

An interesting Irish wake tradition was to stop all the clocks in the house at the exact time of death for the deceased. This was considered a sign of respect for the person who had died.   

Additionally, all mirrors would be turned around or covered immediately. The exact reason for this is unknown, but two prevailing superstitions were that if a living person looked into a mirror after someone died, they would die soon as well and that mirrors reflect everything and store all they reflect, so if a corpse or ghost passed by them, they would become permanent sources of bad luck. (This practice is still common, even in the absence of Irish wakes, especially in the South and in Judaism, where there is a belief that evil spirits may attached themselves to reflections in mirrors.)  

Next, candles would be lit and placed around the body of the deceased. The Rosary would be recited at midnight, and most visitors left afterward. People who were closest to the family stayed through the night.   

Although professional mourners are considered to be a new addition to funeral services, in traditional Irish wakes, it was commonplace to hire professional mourners to show grief for the deceased. If the death was untimely, unexpected, or tragic, more professional mourners would be used so the sounds of grieving would be louder.  

The emotions involved in the traditions of Irish wakes are the same emotions that people feel today when a loved one dies. Although most American funerals are pretty low-key (you can thank the Puritans for that), the idea of celebrating and mourning the loss of a loved one continues to be an integral part of how we say goodbye.  

For more information about traditional funeral customs at Caitlin, NY funeral homes, our sympathetic and experienced staff at Roberts Funeral Home is available to help. You can come to our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can contact us today at (607) 734-7811.  

funeral homes in Owego, NY

Popular Selections for Funeral Music

Choosing music is part of the planning for funeral services in funeral homes in Owego, NY. In reality, music is a very personal choice and any song or songs can be played as part of the funeral service. Sometimes people choose songs that have special memories connected with the deceased person. Other times people choose songs that were the deceased’s favorites. And still other times, people find themselves at a loss for what kind of music to play during the funeral service.   

Music for funeral services can be secular, religious, or classical. This list includes some of the most popular secular, religious, and classical music people choose to include in funeral services, with a brief explanation of why they are appropriate choices.  

In secular music, one song often played is Vince Gill’s “Go Rest High on That Mountain.” Gill began writing the song after the untimely death of country artist Keith Whitley, but completed the song after his older brother died unexpectedly of a heart attack. The song soars with grief, emotion, and celebration.  

Another secular selection that has become a popular choice at funeral services for younger people who’ve died is Deathcab for Cutie’s “I’ll Follow You into the Dark.” The song is about the circle of life and the reality that we all are going to die at some point and people will mourn our passing.  

A constant secular selection is “Dust in the Wind,” by Kansas. It captures the fragility of life and how fleeting it is. The title is an oblique reference to both Ecclesiastes 12:7 and Genesis 3:19 in the Bible.  

A final secular song that is commonly included in music for funeral services is Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” performed by Jeff Buckley. The song laments love and loss, while providing counsel and comfort to the brokenhearted.  

Among religious and classical music that is popular for funeral services, one of the most often played selections is Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria.” It is a prayer set to music, and it’s soaring melody and words can offer consolation.  

Another popular religious hymn played at funeral services is John Newton’s, “Amazing Grace.” It speaks to forgiveness, redemption, and salvation, which are all themes associated with both life and death.  

“My Shepherd Will Supply My Need,” written by Isaac Watts is an adaptation of Psalm 23 in the Bible. It is a comforting piece of music that reminds people of the constant presence of a power greater than us who is taking care of all of our needs from cradle to grave. This selection was sung in the Washington, DC 9/11 memorial service at the National Cathedral.  

A fourth classical song that is a popular choice for funeral services is Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.” This is quiet piece of music at the beginning and then it blossoms in notes of both sorrow and hope as the song progresses. It was featured in Platoon, a well-known Vietnam War movie.  

The final popular selection in this category is “When the Saints Go Marching In,” written by Katharine Purvis and James Milton Black. This song is uplifting and speaks of the glory after death, not the sorrow of it. It is a standard in second line funerals in New Orleans.  

In planning music for funeral services at funeral homes in Owego, NY, our empathetic and compassionate staff at Roberts Funeral Home can give you guidance. You can visit our funeral home at 279 Main St., Wellsburg, NY 14894, or you can call us today at (607) 734-7811.