A funeral is a ceremony held to reflect on a life that was lived. It serves as an opportunity for those grieving the loss to join together in peace, love and respect. It permits facing openly and realistically the crisis that death may present. Through a funeral, the bereaved take the first step toward emotional adjustment to their loss.
If it is not denoted in a pre-plan, the service is decided by the family. There are many types of service offered, and neither is more or less appropriate than the other. Services can be held almost anywhere – a place of worship, to the funeral home, to a conference or convention centre, or a residence – with or without the deceased present. The service may vary in ritual to abide with religious denomination or the wishes of the family.
Absolutely! In fact, we encourage anyone who is interested in pre-arranging to speak with one of our funeral directors about the many details and options we can provide to ensure the service is tailored perfectly to your desires.
There are many reasons to view the deceased. Not only is it part of many cultural and ethnic traditions, but many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grieving process by helping to recognize the reality and finality of death. Viewing is also recommended for children, as long as it is their desire to do so.
An obituary can play a couple of important roles. It is an efficient way of announcing the date, time and place of the funeral service to friends and the community. It also serves as a short biography of the individual’s life. Obituaries can be posted in any local newspaper and on the Internet; however, they are never mandatory and will not be published without permission of the family.
In short, funeral directors are administrators and caregivers. They make any and all arrangements required in coordinating the desired funeral service by implementing any choices made by the family. Funeral directors are also trained to recognize and help those who are grieving by listening, advising and supporting.
Our staff are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at any time of the year, and we can be reached at 403-381-7777. Our answering service will pick up and connect you with a funeral director immediately. We ensure our services are given in a prompt and timely manner so that your loved one is safely in our care as soon as possible. If a death has not occurred, we are still available at all times and we guarantee that one of our professionals will be there to assist you.
No matter where the death occurs on the globe, funeral directors can assist you with securely bringing your loved one back home to you. Contact your local funeral director of choice immediately. They will assume instant responsibility and coordinate the arrangements for the return of your loved one.
Embalming is the disinfection, preservation and restoration of a body. It allows the public to safely and securely pay their respects to the deceased without risk of contracting any disease or illness. Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most conforming to them. Contrary to popular belief, the emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are immense, particularly to those having difficulty dealing with the death.
No, embalming is not mandatory; however, certain factors of time, health and potential legal requirements might encourage it a bit more. Additionally, embalming might be necessary if the body is being transported by air to another country. Embalming is not required for burial.
No, cremation is simply an alternative to a casket burial. Cremation can always be conducted after a service at which the casket is present, or it can be done prior to the service in order to have the urn present. Both caskets and urns can be interred in a cemetery.
Absolutely. Cremation does not preclude hosting a visitation and a funeral service. It is only one option for final disposition of the body.
Yes. Embalming is only a means of sanitation and preservation. Once embalming has been performed, one of burial or cremation must be done as final disposition.
Yes, to an extent. Our crematorium is set up in a way that allows family members to be in the room when the body is placed into the cremation chamber, and they are welcome to remain in the room as long as they desire. In fact, some religious groups include this as part of their funeral ritual.
Never, as it is illegal and extremely unethical to do so. On top of that, modern cremation chambers (aka retorts) are not large enough to accommodate more than one adult. There will never be a case in which two people are cremated simultaneously in the same retort.
In many respects, funerals often mirror weddings or other large celebrations. The cost can vary tremendously according to the customization and budget of the consumer. Additionally, a funeral home is a 24-hour, labour-intensive business with extensive facilities (viewing room, chapel, limousines, funeral coaches, etc.) and these expenses must be factored into the total cost. Moreover, the cost includes not only the facilities and merchandise (caskets, urns, vaults, etc.) but also the services of the funeral director and all other support staff to ensure all bases are covered. This can range from filing appropriate documents and paperwork to arranging ministers, flowers, newspaper notices and much more. Quite commonly, funeral homes are largely family-owned, such as Cornerstone, and all possess a fairly modest profit margin. Funeral costs have increased no faster than the consumer price index for other consumer items.
Just like other open spaces, cemeteries are impacted by increased population density in both urban and rural areas. Cemetery spaces are a finite resource, and as such, are at a premium in some regions.
Perpetual care is a fund that is collected with each interment space sale to aid in the maintenance of the grounds, roads and buildings of the cemetery.
Yes, there are a wide range of personalization choices available for any type of vault. Similar to casket vaults, there are urn vaults designed for interment.
Alberta Human Services (AHS) and Assured Income for the Severly Handicapped (AISH) are provincial government organizations that have the potential to assist with the financial benefits for funding some of the expenses incurred while planning a funeral. Depending on your selections, many - if not all - of the expenses could be covered by one of these groups. The eligibility for these programs is directly related to the financial status of the deceased and the responsible survivor (next-of-kin).
That particular facility will be asking you, either before or after death, which funeral home you wish to handle any arrangements. That facility, when they have completed their necessary procedures and documentation, will call the funeral home of your choice. The deceased is then transferred to the funeral home's care. This can happen any time of the day or night. The funeral home would then contact the family representative - considering the time of day - and an appointment would be made to make arrangements.
Most times, when death occurs at home, it is an expected event. The deceased may have been under the care of a physician or other end-of-life care professional. When this happens, the easiest procedure is to call the funeral home of your choice and they will go to the home and transfer the deceased into their care. You may be asked a few simple questions by the funeral home before the transfer is made. This may be necessary for the funeral home to establish if any other authorities need to be contacted before the transfer takes place. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) and the local police will have to be contacted if the death was not expected. If the death was expected (but not so suddenly), or is questionable by the funeral home, the funeral home will contact the OCME. They will then make a decision as to if the deceased can be transported to the funeral home or to their office in Calgary.
Calling the police, ambulance, OCME or other authorities may be an unnecessary burden for the family. If there are any doubts about who should be called, your funeral director is well-trained for decision-making, as well as knowing the laws of Alberta. One phone call to the funeral home is all that is needed. The funeral director will know if other authorities need to be contacted or not.
When a death occurs suddenly or it cannot be explained, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) conducts an investigation, under the authority of the Fatality Inquiries Act. The OCME investigates deaths to determine:
• Identity of the deceased
• Date and place of death
• Medical reason for death (why it occurred)
• Manner of death
At the time of your loved one’s death, the OCME will be contacted and – if they require an autopsy to take place – the deceased will be transported by a transportation company, which specializes in decedent care, to the OCME in Calgary. Once the OCME has finalized their examinations, they will then allow your loved one to be taken to the funeral home of your choice. Once the family of the deceased contacts the funeral provider, they will ensure to walk you through what the next steps are.
The AFSA website contains many helpful answers to questions about the funeral industry, as well as steps to take after a loved one passes away
The AFSRB website has quick links to access all rules, regulations and legislations surrounding the funeral industry
The Alberta Insurance Council is the industry-funded regulator responsible for administering the province’s insurance laws in respect to insurance agents and adjusters
Assurant offers information on insurance policies for you and your loved ones
A full list of cemeteries within Lethbridge, as well as their operating hours and methods of contact
Information surrounding any cremations conducted in North America
Find the graves of ancestors, create virtual memorials or add photos, virtual flowers and a note to a loved one's memorial. Search or browse cemeteries and grave records for every-day and famous people from around the world
Preserving the value of funeral service and supporting independent funeral providers
The Galt Museum & Archives is a vibrant gathering place that meets historical, cultural and educational needs
A locally-owned monument company that manufactures cemetery memorials and monuments
An open-community resource for the bereaved that is updated regularly
Information regarding all aspects of Vital Statistics in Alberta