Are There Rules I Must Follow in Planning My Funeral?
Absolutely not. However, most members believe money spent on elaborate funerals and expensive coffins could be better spent among the living. Most Alliance members prefer the following kinds of arrangements:
- No embalming. Many feel embalming commits an indignity upon thethe body which they fnd repulsive. Undertakers and funeral services establishments almost always promote embalming, and thus people assume it is necessary. In fact, embalming does not protect the public health and is not required by law in Vermont. Laws in a few other states may require embalming if a body is being transported across state lines or by commercial carriers. Embalming serves primarily to permit the mortician to display the body for a short time. There is no lasting effect served by funeral-type embalming.
- No cosmetic make-up or open casket viewing. Many Alliance members feel there is no need for a body to be made up to look “natural’ and displayed in an open coffin. Family members who wish to say their “goodbyes” are encouraged to do so before the funeral.
- A simple, low-cost coffin. Expensive caskets are only for “show” and serve no added purpose once they are buried.
- A simple, personalized service. Many members prefer to have a memorial service in a church or other location without the body present. Some choose a simple graveside ceremony.