Funeral planning can be very difficult for the family of the deceased. While having to face their own grief, they are being asked to make decisions about how to say goodbye to their loved one. 

Of course, they want the farewell services to be meaningful and honor their loved one. But planning a funeral at such a time of sadness can be overwhelming. There is planning the funeral and making all the decisions that go with it. 

One way to personalize a funeral service is by choosing music for the service that your loved one would have liked.

Musical choices have a special way of offering comfort, encouragement, and sometimes hope during the funeral proceedings. Consider these 11 funeral hymns which are popular choices that offer the right tone and message for the service. 

1. Ave Maria

“Ave Maria,” which is translated from Latin to mean Hail Mary, is a popular funeral choice. It was written by Franz Schubert in 1825 and has many different versions in multiple languages. There are many famous renditions of the song by well-known singers. 

For a funeral, the version that is most often used is the Latin prayer version. The familiarness and beautiful vocals are likely to offer comfort. 

2. Amazing Grace

A traditional funeral song, “Amazing Grace,” offers the message of peace and salvation after death. The song finishes in the final stanza with a strong religious message of the afterlife which is sure to offer comfort to mourners. 

It starts:

“Amazing grace! how sweet the sound! 
That saved a wretch like me! 
I once was lost, but now I’m found; 
Was blind, but now I see.”

This message of a new beginning in the afterlife makes this song, with many versions, one of the most popular funeral hymns. 

3. I Watch The Sunrise

The message is strong and comforting in “I Watch the Sunrise.” This hymn by John Glynn reminds listeners that the Lord is with us always, morning and night.

Its connection for a funeral can be quite comforting to those mourning. Like the Lord is with us, so too is your loved one still with you.

4. Abide With Me

The title is important in this popular funeral hymn. The message for Jesus to “Abide With Me” through all the hurdles of life. The challenge of death included in that plea.

In the last stanza of the hymn, there is a strong connection to death.

“Hold now your Word before my closing eyes.
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.”

The final message being if we abide in the Lord, he will show us the way even in death. 

5. In the Sweet By and By

This popular funeral hymn has its roots in American folk music. It offers up the message of hope. It lyrics cast an image of peace. The Lord offers a chance at new peace in a new land. 

Written by Sanford Fillmore Bennet in 1868, it a song filled with the message of peace and comfort. 

6. I’ll Fly Away

The gospel song’s message of peace was written by Albert E. Brumley in 1929. The song changes the viewpoint of the listener. 

Consider that life is a time of troubles and challenges. In death, you can hope for joy and comfort. “I’ll Fly Away” asks listeners to imagine life’s challenges can be set aside when reaching the restful moments of death.

7. Be Not Afraid

“Be Not Afraid” is a popular Catholic hymn. Written by Bob Dufford, S.J., during a time when he faced his own fear and anxiety about the future. He was about to be ordained as a priest and was struggling with his own future. 

It is not a verse offering comfort to those struggling with what is ahead. It has been used at everything from a presidential inauguration service to the bedside of those facing death. It also remains very popular at funeral services for its message of casting fear aside for what is coming.

8. The Old Rugged Cross

This is a song sung in many different versions including by popular country performers. It illuminates the dedication to Jesus Christ and the importance of celebrating him on the cross. 

“So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies at last I lay down.” It asks Christians to cling to the cross as they move through life and death.

9. How Great Thou Art

Based on a 19th-century Swedish poem, this song illuminates nature’s beauty. It has a familiar chorus that will be recognizable to worshippers and easy for them to join.

The song praises the wonders of God as he holds our hands. It offers mourners the idea of that someday you will meet with God on your path. 

10. To God Be the Glory

“To God Be the Glory” is a beloved Christian hymn for funerals. It carries the message that even though we might feel grief, despair, and sadness at death there will be a meeting with Jesus Christ. With this meeting, there will be a chance to rejoice with him, Jesus Christ. 

11. The Lord’s My Shepherd I’ll Not Want

This commonly used hymn was written by James Montgomery and is based on Psalm 23. The most well-known line of the hymn, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

It speaks to the guidance of the Lord on the path through life and into death. It has a message of comfort while finding guidance through the Lord.

Best Funeral Hymns for Religious Services

While nobody wants to be in the position of planning a funeral for a loved one, it is the unavoidable part of life. The goal should be to create a service that is personal to the deceased and comforting to the living. Choosing the right funeral hymns will personalize the service in a special way.

For more advice on funeral planning or pre-planning of funeral services, contact us today.

End of life planning is never a pleasant subject and many delay this all-important aspect for what will eventually happen to all of us.

Having a pre-set arrangement eases the burden on the family during that stressful time and allows them to focus on the memories.

For years, traditional burial was the route most people chose. Now, cremation is gaining in popularity for several reasons, including the price. Another advantage is preserving land space that is quickly becoming a premium commodity.

When investigating this option, one should always consider the person’s wishes and religious or cultural beliefs when discussing the possibility of cremation.

Cremation itself does cost less than burial in a cemetery, but there are more things to consider when dealing with the loss of a loved one.

So, what does cremation cost and how does it compare to burial? In addition, what other details are involved?

Let’s explore the differences.

Burial vs Cremation

Here are the differences to understand between Burial and Cremation before you make a decision on what is best for you and your family.


Having a family burial plot was a long-valued tradition for hundreds of years. In many cases, it still is, but now more families are spread over a larger distance. It may not be as convenient to have just one piece of land as the final resting spot for the entire family.

Purchasing a burial plot can be a great symbolic honor for your family. Some people object to the thought of their loved one, or themselves, being buried, but others very much embrace it. If the plot is far from most members of the family, they are limited in the times they can go and pay respects where their loved one is buried.


More people are starting to see the benefits of both ground burial and cremation.

Cremation is the process of reducing the physical body to a small amount of dust-like consistency. The body is put into a cremation chamber and using extreme heat; it becomes mostly pieces of bone. The process takes approximately two to three hours for an adult. This time takes into account the size and weight of the body along with the container it was placed in.

After the remains have cooled, any metal items remaining; such as bridgework, joint implants or even casket hardware are removed. The rest is turned into a fine powder and given to the family for final handling.

Cremation allows for the remains to be divided, stored and honored; however the family wishes.

While this method has increased over the years, it is important to remember that the process can obviously not be reversed. The decision needs to be thoroughly discussed and clearly documented, so there is no doubt at the appropriate time.

Direct cremation does not have the added expense of embalming, and the purchase of a casket is not required. Keep in mind, if you do want a funeral service with the casket, that cost is added and the cremation will take place afterward.

The Cremation Process

With the lower cost of cremation and the ease of storing the remains, the interest is growing; however, some people are still curious about the process.

The deceased will be picked up and taken to the funeral home. At this point, the identification process is started and strictly followed through the rest of the process.

While the paperwork is being finalized and the services are being planned, the body is placed in cold storage at a secure location. Cremation time varies but typically happens within 48 hours from the time of death.

At the time of cremation, the body is placed in the container the family has chosen. It may be constructed of cardboard, a wooden casket, or even a regular casket that is approved for cremation. You are unable to use a metal casket.

The identification paperwork is checked again before proceeding with the cremation. Upon completion, the cooling process begins, and the powder remains are provided to the family.

End of Life Planning–The Whole Cost

When pre-planning for the financial responsibility of final arrangements, it is more than just a burial versus cremation. There are other services and fees included. The total cost, with either option, depends greatly on which of those services you include.

Along with the disposition of the body, most people do want some type of memorial service. This can take place as a viewing, wake, funeral service or a combination of all three. Each option carries added fees depending on the funeral home and how they structure their packages.

You can choose a private viewing for just family and close friends. A public viewing, or wake, is open to anyone and since the funeral home has to make arrangements and announce it, the cost does increase.

The cost of just the cremation process itself is about $1,000. This does not include the urn or any of the above-mentioned services. The average cost of a burial, including the funeral, is typically over $10,000.

Based on these numbers alone, it is easy to see the savings in going with cremation.

Additional Cremation Cost

As mentioned above, the remains of your loved one will need a final resting place. Some people prefer to have their ashes spread over a certain spot that is dear to them or dropped from a plane or into a body of water. Others prefer to have them entombed in a mausoleum.

For those, however, that wish to have their remains preserved in the possession of a loved one, then an urn or some other type of vessel is needed to hold them.

There are many options for beautiful urns to house their remains. They are offered in a variety of designs for unique taste and some offer a shadow-box to hold precious mementos and others have a place for a photograph.

If there are any unique transportation requirements for either the body or the remains, this will affect the total cost. Also, any obituary services are extra. You may choose to run an obituary in a local newspaper or have an online memorial.

How to Pay for Your Final Arrangements

Pre-planning is essential, not only for securing the wishes of your loved one but also to ensure the monies are available for everything that is desired.

The caring professionals at the funeral home can design the exact package that will fit your needs. You can then start to put money away to cover the cost. The funds from insurance policies can also be allocated for this expense.

If you have been unable to do either of those, ask to see if financing is an option. This can help reduce the immediate stress and cost for whichever option you choose. However, make sure you understand all the terms and fees on the financing paperwork as it is not always the best way to go.

The Choice

We all want to do our best to honor our loved ones when they pass.

The recent trend in moving towards cremation is a way to reduce overall costs and still have a treasured part of the deceased to hold onto.

Cremation cost makes the choice easier and reduces the stress in making the final arrangements.

For more information on how we can help with your pre-planning or arrangement needs, please contact us.

More than 2.7 million people die in the U.S. every year, saying your final goodbyes and planning a funeral can be difficult.

Although not everybody has a funeral at the time of their death, the vast majority of people do have some kind of funeral service.

The funeral planning process can be very difficult on those families that have to go through it. The grief that they feel can make it almost impossible for them to focus on putting the right plans into place.

In a perfect world, everyone would pre-plan their own funeral to lift the burden off the shoulders of their family members. But unfortunately, there are still some people who aren’t taking advantage of funeral pre-planning services.

If your loved one fell into this category and didn’t pre-plan, here are 5 funeral planning tips that can help you plan out a funeral for them.

1. Create a Budget Before Funeral Planning Begins

How much can your family afford to spend on your loved one’s funeral? That’s one of the first questions you should ask when you start funeral planning.

On average, families usually pay a little more than $7,000 for funerals with a burial these days. The median cost for a funeral with a cremation, meanwhile, sits at just a shade over $6,000.

But in reality, you could spend a whole lot more than that or a whole lot less than that based on your loved one’s specific funeral arrangements. If, for example, you spend $5,000 on a casket, that is obviously going to make a funeral with a burial way more than $7,000.

Come up with a budget for your loved one’s funeral and vow to stick to it. You want to pay your respects to your loved one, but you don’t want to put your family into debt for the foreseeable future to do it.

2. Pick Out the Best Funeral Home

There are right around 20,000 funeral homes in the U.S. today. They range from large funeral homes that do a bunch of funerals every week to small funeral homes that only do a few funerals every month.

You probably have at least a half-dozen funeral homes in your city or town. It’s your job to find the best one for your loved one’s funeral services.

A great funeral home should have:

  • Plenty of experience when it comes to both burials and cremations
  • A well-maintained funeral home with more than enough space for your loved one’s family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and more
  • Affordable pricing on funeral services
  • A location that will be easy for people to find and get to on the day of your loved one’s funeral
  • A website filled with valuable resources for families looking to work their way through funeral planning

Many families rush through this part of the process and pay for it later. Take your time when choosing a funeral home and look for the best one for your family’s needs.

3. Find the Right Funeral Director

A funeral home might be able to deliver all of the things that we just mentioned. But if they don’t have a funeral director that you love, they won’t be your best option.

In the days leading up to your loved one’s funeral services, the funeral director at the funeral home that you choose will handle ironing out every single detail. From transporting your loved one’s body to the funeral home to helping you arrange the music for their funeral, they should leave no stone unturned.

If you don’t feel 100 percent comfortable with the funeral director at a funeral home, that funeral home isn’t a good fit for you. You’ll be making a mistake if you continue to move forward with them.

4. Consider Using Grief Counseling Services

Most families are stuck in a state of grief when they first show up at a funeral home. They don’t know what to say or do and struggle to even process the emotions they’re feeling.

Are you experiencing this at the moment? If so, use the grief counseling services available through most funeral homes. They can help you talk through your emotions so that you can get a grip on them.

Think about joining a grief support group in the coming weeks, too. Your funeral home should be able to point you in the right direction and tell you about groups in your area.

5. Personalize Your Loved One’s Funeral as Much as Possible

Families sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that they need to spend a fortune in order to send their loved one off during their funeral. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

While you might want to spend a little extra to get them the casket or urn you know they would have loved, the success of your loved one’s funeral service shouldn’t hinge on how much you spend on it.

Rather than spending more than you can afford to on a funeral, make your loved one’s services special by personalizing them. You can do it by:

  • Creating photo and video tributes to your loved one and displaying them at the funeral
  • Selecting songs for the funeral that you know your loved one would have liked
  • Choosing readings for the funeral that reflect what your loved one was all about
  • Asking different family members and friends to share their memories of your loved one during the funeral

It won’t cost you anything to do most of these things. But they’ll leave a big impact on those in attendance at your loved one’s funeral and show everyone how much your loved one meant to your family.

Start Planning a Funeral for Your Loved One Today

The funeral planning process can be challenging and completely overwhelming for some families. They don’t know where to begin and get so overcome by grief that they drag their feet while making funeral plans.

Avoid this by working with the best funeral home and funeral director. They’ll show you the right steps to take to make your loved one’s funeral a memorable affair.

Contact us today if you need help with planning a funeral from start to finish.

Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy. And with so many San Diego funeral homes, making arrangements for the funeral service can add even more emotional turmoil.

If you take the time to learn what to ask about and look for in a mortuary, funeral home, and even memorial park, you can make a difficult situation a bit more manageable.

This post is here to help.

In it, we’ll cover the essential questions you should ask and the things you should be aware of when preparing for a loved one’s service.

Then, we’ll tell you where you can find San Diego funeral homes that are supportive of all religious beliefs, cultural traditions, and have the years of experience it takes to honor the life of the person you loved in the right way.

1. Look into Pre-Planning

When you’re looking into funeral homes in San Diego, CA, the first thing you should consider is whether they offer pre-planning services.

We understand that you don’t want to leave your family with the financial burden of your funeral expenses when they’re already facing the emotional challenge of your death.

Look for pre-planning services that help to offset the costs of embalming, visitations, casketing and dressing, transportation, and other aspects of your funeral service.

Pre-planning also allows you to make your final wishes especially clear to your family. You can outline where you’d like to be buried or where you’d prefer them to scatter your ashes. It also gives you the chance to plan some aspects of your memorial, which can be such a challenge for families to manage during an already difficult time.

You’ll also be able to specify your preferred burial plot options. For example, you can choose let your family know the kind of headstone you’d like or even make it clear that you’d prefer a vault or mausoleum.

2. Consider the Costs

Another thing to make sure of when you’re researching San Diego funeral homes is the total and itemized cost of everything it takes to get your loved one to their final resting place. Keep in mind that you and the rest of your family members can decide which parts of the service or common funeral expenses you’d like to include, and which ones you can do without.

Optional services will often include the rental of a hearse, any equipment needed to at the graveside, the use of the funeral home for a service, a viewing before the cemetery, and more.

You should also ask about the different casket prices, as well as the cost of urns and any other memorial markers you’d like to give your loved one.

If you or a loved one has any sort of a funeral insurance policy in place, make sure that the funeral home can work with that.

3. Ask About Flower Arrangements

You’ll also need to know if the funeral home works with other, outside vendors to provide you with things like floral arrangements for the top of the casket, the viewing, and any other services you wish to have.

The funeral home should be able to help you get the arrangements you need for a loved one’s service.

They should offer casket arrangements, wreaths, arrangements for memorials, and much more that will fit within a variety of different budgets.

4. Select the Right Setting

Perhaps the most essential decision of all relates to the final resting places that San Diego funeral homes and memorial parks have to offer.

You should go on a tour of the grounds and select a plot that you know your loved one would enjoy. The memorial park should be able to offer lots of different options, from ocean-facing plots and garden views to places within a unique family estate.

Many families also want to explore options related to the celebration of life itself.

Look for a home that offers a beautiful and spacious venue hall where guests can share memories of the departed. Additionally, when you’re evaluating a final respecting place, look for other ways they honor the dead’s memories.

A quality memorial park will offer special events like Mother’s Day services and Memorial Day celebrations in honor of veterans.

5. Understand the Funeral Home’s Experience Level

You want your loved ones and surviving relatives to have the utmost care throughout each part of the mortuary and burial process.

To make sure you’re treated well, you need to study the overall experience level of the services you’re thinking of hiring.

They should have many years in the business and have experience with planning a wide variety of different memorial services. They need to be flexible enough to grant your unique wishes. They should be communicative and supportive and handle every aspect of the burial with compassion.

Make sure that they’re able to explain their process to you, and that you feel as though you’ll be well taken care of in working with them.

Finding the Right San Diego Funeral Homes: Wrapping Up

We hope that this post has helped you to learn what you should look for and ask about when it comes to San Diego funeral homes.

We invite you to learn more about our services, and how we will work with you to ensure that your loved one gets the best possible send-off.

Above all, we’re committed to being a support system for you and your family members during this challenging time in your lives.

There about 2.7 million burials annually in the US.

Losing someone we love is one of the most difficult and painful experiences any of us will ever have to go through. Regardless of the types of arrangements you make,  choosing the right funeral home is very important.

Parlors are not all the same. As such, you need to know how to make the best selection to give your loved one a befitting send-off. Consider the following points when looking for a burial parlor.


When it is time to prepare to say goodbye to your loved one, the location of the last rites parlor bears some importance.

The people who will bid farewell to your loved one might be coming from different corners of the country. It is therefore vital to pick a location that will offer the most convenience.

Do not worry about getting it completely right. You will probably not choose the perfect location for everyone.

However, you should take into consideration where most of those attending the funeral will be coming from. The parlor that provides the most convenient location is ideal.

Another factor in helping you pick the most suitable location is the parlor’s familiarity with the locality. If you select one that has operated for long in the area, it can ease the process.

The staff there will be able to navigate the various offices where the paperwork needs to pass through before the ceremony. Such skill will help you make the planning smoother.

Transparency of Its Descriptions and Costs

A last rites parlor that is open about the costs and the descriptions it gives is one that can be depended upon in your time of need.

For those who may not be aware, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) set out the funeral rule to help protect those seeking burial services. When people are under pressure to make decisions during grief, they are prone to exploitation.

The FTC recognizes this and sets out regulation which stipulates that:

  • Customers have the right to be given a general price list by the parlor upon their request for information on burial arrangements.
  • The parlor must disclose, on the general price list, any item that is a requirement of local or state law (with reference to the specific legislation).
  • The parlor should inform the customer, on the general price list, that they have a right to choose whatever services and goods they want (apart from a few exceptions).
  • The parlor must offer different containers if a customer chooses cremation.
  • The parlor may not refuse, or charge, a handling fee for a casket bought somewhere else.

A suitable last rites parlor will not shy away from giving a general price list of their goods and services. They will seek to adhere to the FTC’s regulations and not try to push you into a sale.

Check out Their Grief Support Services

A good burial parlor will offer services that extend beyond the actual burial or memorial services to help you wade through your loss.

Look for a parlor that offers grief counseling services. Such a difficult time can place a heavy weight on the shoulder of friends and family of the deceased. Talking to a professional can provide a useful coping mechanism.

Some parlors offer commemorative events to help memorialize the life of a loved one. These events provide a useful place to meet with others who have (or are) going through the same thing you are.

Interacting with others in similar circumstances can provide a community to help you through the pain of grief.

Look into the Reputation of the Funeral Home

The reputation of a last rites parlor, just like with any other type of business, is essential. Identifying what a parlor is best known for will help you predict the kind of service you might receive.

To unearth the track record of a particular parlor you want to ask your friends and family for their experience there. If any of them procured their funeral services in the past, you would have an accurate look into how they might treat you.

If need be, expand your search to the internet. Read up on any customer reviews to find out what they liked or did not like about the parlor.

Pay particular attention to the kind of customer service they received. Was it provided when needed without delay?

Did the parlor’s team address the needs of past customers in a supportive manner seeing it was a difficult period for them?

Only a last rites parlor with a dependable track record will help you during your time of grief without exacerbating the pain.

Does It Cater to Your Religious or Cultural Beliefs?

Diversity in America is a cornerstone theme in various business environments. Burial parlors providing services geared towards funerals are not exempt from this.

Due to the different races and religions in the country, there are as many religious and cultural ways to bury loved ones.

A last rites parlor worth its weight needs to cater to these different needs during a difficult time in the lives of its customers.

Look for a burial service provider that will cater to your religious or cultural beliefs concerning giving your loved one a send-off.

The same values and beliefs that influenced the life of your loved one ought to be part of their burial as well.

Saying Goodbye

The loss of someone we love is a painful experience everyone will go through at one point in life. For you to say goodbye to your loved one in the best way possible, you need to select the most suitable funeral home.

La Vista Memorial Park understands that the last goodbye has to be one in which you give your all. Get in touch with us today to find out how you can befittingly lay your loved one to rest and honor their memory.