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Jewish Funeral Traditions

While the details and observance of funeral practices vary according to each Jewish community, traditionally they include a burial which takes place as quickly as possible so that the body can decompose naturally. In the United States, the funeral services starts either at a funeral home, the cemetery, or at a synagogue. Burial is consideredRead more

Planning a Catholic Funeral

A "Catholic funeral" is a set of funeral rites used by the Roman Catholic Church, sometimes refers to them as ecclesiastical funerals. The role of the Church in a Catholic funeral is to provide spiritual support for the deceased and to honor their bodies, and to provide a measure of hope for surviving family andRead more

Funeral Etiquette

Many well-intentioned people avoid going to funerals and other types of memorial services because of the intense emotion and sadness associated with these events. Knowing what is appropriate in terms of etiquette can put you at ease as memorial services provide a mechanism for mourning the dead and a sense of finality and completion forRead more

The Gift of Life: Organ and Tissue Donation

Organ and tissue donation is the process of removing organs and tissues of the human body from someone who has either recently died or a living donor so that they may be transplanted to a living recipient. This process is accomplished in two surgical procedures, the harvesting and the transplant. Typically, organ donation takes placeRead more

The History of Embalming

The modern definition of the word ‘embalming’ is defined as temporarily preserving human remains to delay decomposition and maintain the appearance of the body so it can be publicly displayed at a funeral (or other type of memorial service). There are three goals in embalming: 1) Sanitization 2) presentation (sometimes referred to as restoration) 3)Read more

DeathBed Visions: Unexplainable Coincidences or Real Experiences?

A deathbed vision (DBV), is a term for the experiences dying people and their families encounter just before death. Frequently, dying people report visions of deceased loved ones, religious icons, angels, and colors or lights just moments, hours or days before the physical death occurs. Only about 10% of dying people are conscious shortly beforeRead more

Promession: an Organic Burial Process

Set to launch in Sweden next year and in Korea the following year, promession is an eco-friendly method of disposal for human remains based on freeze drying. It was invented (and patented) in 1999 by Susanne Wiigh Mäsak. The word ‘promession’ is derived from the Italian word for ‘promise’ (promessa). Promession takes place in 7Read more

Fiasco at Arlington National Cemetery

On June 10, 2010, Secretary of the Army John McHugh announced the results of an Army investigation prompted by a series of articles published on citing employee misconduct at Arlington National Cemetery. "I deeply apologize to the families of the honored fallen resting in that hallowed ground who may now question the care affordedRead more

Phaneuf Funeral Homes Professional Training Programs

One little knownaspect of what we do at Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium is conduct training programs and workshops for caregivers and those in the healthcare field.  At first blush, there may seem to be a disconnect in a funeral home providing this sort of training.  However, we have found that nearly all caregivers haveRead more

Green Burials

I would like to continue my eco-friendly burial and cremation theme from a few weeks ago and discuss green burials.  We seem to get a few calls every month from people asking if we offer green burials. What is a green burial?  According to the green burial organization (, it is a simple and naturalRead more