When planning a graveside service for a summer funeral, there may be a few extra steps you want to take to ensure mourners are comfortable and taken care of in the heat. Work with your funeral home director and use these ideas as you plan a summer funeral service.
One option for helping everyone to stay cool and comfortable is to provide everyone with paper fans. These fans can be customized for the funeral service by adding your loved one's name on one side, or you can have them printed with all of the information you would normally put on a memorial card. Place them inside the funeral home for everyone to take when they arrive, and have your funeral home director bring extras to the cemetery just in case there are people who did not take one.
Keep The Service Brief
If the temperatures are expected to soar, try to keep the graveside service as brief as possible. If you and the close family want to be present to see the casket lowered into the ground, you can invite the rest of the mourners to travel ahead to the funeral luncheon. You can also have the cemetery provide a tent for the services, which can provide much-needed shade.
Create A Mobile Cooling Center
Choose one car close to the front of the procession of cars to act as a mobile cooling center. This vehicle should have a cooler filled with bottles of cold water in the trunk, and it should have a working air conditioning system. Have one person remain inside the vehicle during the graveside service with the AC running. Make an announcement before the services begin so everyone knows where they can go if they are feeling overheated.
Make Arrangements For Children
There isn't always a need for the youngest family members to attend the graveside service, particularly if the weather is very hot. Ask one or two friends to act as babysitters, and have them remain at the funeral home during the graveside service. The children can stay with them and play, and the parents can pick them up before heading to the funeral luncheon.
If you are concerned about the heat during the graveside services, as your funeral home director for help in planning this portion of the funeral. In some cases, there may be alternate locations you can use. For example, some cemeteries have private buildings that are reserved for use during inclement weather. The services can be held there with a burial to follow later in the day with only close family present to observe.