Service Options

Funeral Services

Planning a funeral service can be a very difficult process for families who have just lost a loved one. But it’s important to provide those who are grieving with a supportive environment in which they can begin to find closure, say goodbye, and come to terms with the loss. Gathering with friends and family gives everyone the opportunity to connect, share memories, offer words of sympathy, and create a lasting network of comfort and support as they start the journey toward healing.

Burial Services

Burial services are a type of funeral service that involves interring the body of a deceased person in the ground. This is opposed to other funeral services, such as cremation, where the body is incinerated.


There are many reasons why people choose burial over cremation or other options. For some, it is simply a matter of preference. Others believe that burial is a more respectful way to handle the remains of a loved one.


Still, others believe that burial is a way to ensure that the deceased person's soul has a resting place. In many cultures, it is believed that the soul cannot rest if the body is not buried.


Whatever the reason, burial services are an important part of many people's funeral plans. If you consider burial for your loved one, it is important to understand all that goes into this type of service.


There are different services that you can choose for a loved one’s burial, depending upon your individual needs and preferences:

  • Immediate burial means that your loved one will be buried or entombed without a public service or gathering. This type of burial is usually chosen for religious reasons or when the family desires a more private send-off.
  • Visitation, also called a viewing, wake, or calling hours, allows family and friends to gather in a room with the departed loved one in an open or closed casket and say goodbye or offer their support and sympathy to the bereaved.
  • Funeral or memorial services can take place at a funeral home, in a church, or even at your home. The service is a ceremony which serves to celebrate, honor, and remember the life of the deceased. Whether traditional or unique, both the visitation and the funeral service can be personalized to reflect the individuality of your loved one. For more information, visit our page on personalization.
  • Graveside, chapel, or committal services are held at the cemetery, and allow family and friends to be present as their loved one is transferred to his or her final disposition through ground burial. This type of service is generally less formal than a traditional funeral service.


When choosing burial services for your loved one, there are many factors to consider. The type of service you choose will depend on your budget, the size of your gathering, and your family's religious beliefs.

Cremation Services

The biggest misconception about cremation is that there can't be a funeral service or visitation. This is absolutely not the case, and we encourage you to consider holding a memorial service to celebrate the life of the deceased as well. There are many options open to you when it comes to honoring your loved one's life. After the cremation and memorial services, there are a variety of choices for your loved one's final disposition:

  • Interment means that you'll bury or entomb your loved one's cremated remains. This can be in a family plot, a memorial site, a cremation niche or urn garden, or in a variety of other indoor and outdoor locations. Ask our staff for a detailed list of interment possibilities.
  • Graveside service for burial of ashes is similar to those celebrated alongside a traditional ground burial, in which loved ones are present at the burial of the cremated remains and honor the deceased through memorial prayers or other meaningful tributes.
  • Scattering allows you to spread your loved one's cremated remains in a memorial garden, a cemetery, over water, or across any other meaningful site. You also can choose to scatter some of the cremated remains and retain the rest in an urn for interment or another form of disposition.
  • Placing cremated remains in multiple urns allows family members who are separated by distance to each feel the comfort of having their loved one's final resting place in a nearby location.


How to Plan a Memorial Service or Celebration of Life Service

What Is Memorial Service Means

Memorial service is a gathering of family and friends to remember and celebrate the life of a loved one who has died. Memorial services can be held in a variety of locations, including churches, funeral homes, or other venues. The type of service will vary depending on the religion and culture of the bereaved. 


A memorial service may include readings from religious texts, music, eulogies, and/or reflections on the life of the deceased. Memorial services provide an opportunity for those who have lost a loved one to grieve together and support one another during this difficult time. 


What Is Celebration of Life Service

Celebration of life service is a non-religious ceremony held to commemorate the life of a deceased person. Celebration of life service can be held in addition to a funeral service or instead of a funeral service. Celebration of life services is becoming increasingly popular as they offer a more personal way to remember and celebrate the life of a loved one. 


Celebration of life services can be customized to reflect the deceased's personality and uniquely honor their memory. Celebration of life services can be held at any location, such as a park, beach, or private home. They can also be held at a funeral home or other funeral facility. 


Celebration of life services usually include eulogies, readings, music, and personal anecdotes about the deceased. Celebration of life services can be as formal or informal as desired.


When you lose a loved one, it can be challenging to know how to honor their memory. A memorial service or celebration of life can be a beautiful way to do this. Here are some tips on how to organize such a service:

  • Choose the right venue. If your loved one has a favorite place, such as a park or beach, consider holding the service there. Otherwise, pick a location that is meaningful to you and your family.
  • Send out invitations. You can use social media, email, or good old-fashioned snail mail to invite people to the service. Include all the pertinent details, such as the date, time, and location.
  • Decide on the format. A memorial service doesn't have to be solemn and somber. You can make it as unique as your loved one was. Perhaps you could include favorite music, readings, or even have a picnic instead of a formal sit-down dinner.
  • Choose music. Music can be a very important part of a memorial service or celebration of life. Think about what type of music your loved one enjoyed and choose songs that will reflect their personality and life story.
  • Choose who will speak. This is entirely up to you, but it can be helpful to choose people who know your loved one well and can share fond memories.
  • Prepare a eulogy. A eulogy is a tribute to the deceased, usually given by a close friend or family member. If you're chosen to give the eulogy, take some time to prepare in advance so that you can do justice to your loved one's memory.
  • Decide on readings. Many different readings can be included in a memorial service or celebration of life. You may want to choose meaningful readings for your loved ones or reflect on their beliefs and values. You can also ask family and friends to contribute readings they think would be appropriate.
  • Have a backup plan. If the weather is terrible or you cannot secure the venue you wanted, have a Plan B in place. That way, nothing will derail your plans to honor your loved one's memory.
  • Decide on refreshments. This is entirely up to you, but it's usually nice to have something for guests to eat and drink. If you're having a formal sit-down dinner, you'll need to plan accordingly. If you're having a more casual gathering, finger foods and appetizers may be sufficient.
  • Make arrangements for any special needs guests. If you have any guests with special needs, be sure to make arrangements in advance so that everyone will be able to participate fully in the celebration of life.


When a loved one dies, the family must make many difficult decisions about the funeral service. At Fitzgerald Funeral Home, we provide cremation services and burial services to help families say goodbye to their loved ones in a supportive environment. And if you need help planning the funeral service, please don't hesitate to contact us at this number (815) 226-2273. We would be honored to assist you in creating a meaningful and memorable tribute to your loved one.


Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory
Mulford Chapel | (815) 226-2273
1860 S Mulford Rd Rockford, IL 61108


Fitzgerald Funeral Home & Crematory
Riverside Chapel | (815) 654-2484
3910 N Rockton Ave Rockford, IL 61103


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