10 Common Questions

Where Do I Start?

Who can officiate at an Interfaith funeral?

What are the criteria for Jewish cemeteries?

Is cremation an option?

Does one need to hold a memorial service within 24 to 48 hours of death to adhere to Jewish tradition?

Can non-Jewish family members participate in a memorial service if it is led by a rabbi?

How do I create a condolence period to receive visitors in the days following the funeral service?

What are the most important elements of a Jewish funeral to incorporate into a memorial service?

What are the most important elements of a Christian funeral to incorporate into a memorial service?

Is Generations a separate funeral home than Feldman Mortuary?

You’ve already made an important first step by researching information online. However the Internet is not the only resource you should rely on because so much can be learned from a conversation with one of our understanding funeral directors.

We also suggest you start the conversation with your family. Although by no means an easy discussion, this is probably one of the most important you will ever have with those you love and who love you. We can work with you to help you focus on the key questions you need to answer as part of this process.

The simple answer is: whomever you want. This could be clergy from a religious observance of your choosing, a close friend, a professional Funeral Celebrant or family members with the desire to participate and be actively involved in the service.

We work with a number of clergy that would be willing to assist the family with either a specific religious service or a non-secular service. These professionals include Rabbis, Unitarian clergy, Chaplains and Funeral Celebrants. We also have contacts throughout the more traditional religious observances.

This question is best answered with a phone call to either the funeral home or the cemetery directly since there are so many nuances with the various cemeteries in addition to a number of ways to address the burial process for Interfaith families.

For example, Emanuel Cemetery, allows a non-Jewish family member to be buried in the cemetery with a regulation that a Rabbi must be the only officiate at the graveside at the time of burial. However, that allows the family a number of options as how to incorporate other clergy or religious observances prior to the burial.

Cremation is always an option. However, the family should be aware of the various religious perspectives to cremation. Our funeral directors have the expertise to work with each family on an individual basis to provide the necessary information for a family to make an informed decision to meet their needs.

Jewish Tradition was created with the mourner in mind, meaning, there is great emotional benefit to accept and participate in the memorial event as soon as possible to allow the mourning process to start as soon as possible. However, there is not a prescribed, hard and fast law that a funeral must take place within 24 or 48 hours. The ultimate decision of when to hold the funeral always rests in the hands of the family.

Of course they can. Every family meets with the Rabbi or selected clergy to coordinate the service and everyone’s roles. This would be the same for a Jewish family member wanting to participate in a non-Jewish funeral service.

There is great comfort in allowing your friends and peers to share in your grief process with stories and memories. Nothing nourishes the grieving soul more than food and drink. It can be a time to share a meal with our friends to replenish our bodies of the nutrients we so badly need in times of emotional duress.

In the Jewish Tradition, this period is commonly known as Shiva. This is a seven-day period where the mourners allow the community to care for their most basic needs. Often there are prayer services at the place of mourning as well as time for reflection.

For some families, a reception period after the funeral allows the family to display photos, play a DVD with photos and music, and use various methods to showcase and honor their loved one’s life.

We have a number of suggestions as how to create this opportunity for a family and welcome a phone call so we can discuss what would work best for the family.

The Jewish perspective for this funeral process is all based on respecting the loved one that has passed and then focusing on the mourners. First, the Jewish Tradition honors the image we are created in by preparing the body a certain way, dressing the body in a specific garment and lastly returning the body to the earth.

The Tradition also has the mourners’ interest at heart with the delivery of the eulogy. This is such an important part of the service that even on days where a eulogy is not to be delivered based on Tradition, a story or memory is still shared, but not defined as a eulogy.

As with Jewish funerals, the purpose of a Christian funeral is to begin the healing process for those in mourning. A sermon praising the life of the loved one is a traditional component of a Christian funeral, as well as readings, hymns and prayers from the scriptures. Increasingly, alternative elements such as secular music are being introduced to memorial events.

No, Generations is a specific service offering that only Feldman Mortuary offers. It is because of our expertise in the Jewish funeral process and proficiency in the great non-secular funeral service that we are the Rocky Mountain Region’s only funeral home offering this much needed service.