funeral homes in North Versailles, PA

Navigating Funeral Homes Around the Holidays

Many families face loss at the holidays at funeral homes in North Versailles, PA, be it a recent loss or an anniversary of a past death. While the holidays are traditionally a time of being with loved ones and celebrating, life doesn’t always work out that way.

Though losing a loved one around the holidays is tough, there are ways to make a holiday visit to a funeral home much easier. Use these ideas for inspiration to make a holiday funeral or memorial service successful, meaningful and healing:

  • Set Aside Time for Grief – The holidays are traditionally about celebration and happiness, so it’s important to set aside time for grief. Whether this grieving time is at the funeral home or memorial service, or if it is a more private or informal moment at home or with family, it’s a good idea to make it know that it’s OK to be sad and grieve even during the holidays. You can observe a moment of silence, share memories of the deceased, or just spend a few simple moments remembering.
  • Give Back – Giving back to your community is a great way to celebrate the season as well as turn your grief and loss into something positive. Grief can make you feel helpless, so doing community service or volunteering can bring back a feeling of control and positivity. There are tons of ways to volunteer around the holidays. Try caroling at a local retirement home, write notes to troops serving oversees, or host a toy drive for underprivileged kids.
  • Continue the Spirit of the Season – Celebrating and remembering a lost loved one doesn’t have to end at the funeral home, even during the holidays. There are lots of ways bereaved can continue the spirit of the season and remembering the deceased at home, such as setting up a vase of the deceased’s favorite flowers, leaving an empty chair at the table, having a moment of silence before a meal, or putting up a special ornament on the tree.
  • Add Personal Touches – Make a holiday funeral or memorial service more meaningful and personal by adding personal touches. You can send everyone home with fresh baked holiday cookies, hang up festive decorations, sing seasonal songs, or take a moment to acknowledge the season.
  • Invite your community – Open the service to those from the community that knew the deceased or might want to offer support to the bereaved. Use various methods to promote the service and make it know that its open to the community. You can post on social media, post flyers or make calls. An open service fosters seasonal goodwill and allows everyone that was touched by the deceased to acknowledge their loss and pay their respects.

funeral homes in North Versailles, PA

Want to learn more about dealing with loss around the holidays, or do you have questions about North Versailles, PA funeral homes in general? Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, here to help. Please pay us a visit at or give us a call today.

cremation services in Monroeville, PA

Navigating Non-Traditional Next of Kin Relationships

The accepted definition of what makes a family is becoming more inclusive by the day. However, it can still be a little challenging for those with non-traditional next of kin relationships when it comes to planning cremation services in Monroeville, PA.

Take, for example, same-sex couples. Thanks to modern legislation, legally married same-sex couples have the exact same rights and next-of-kin spouse status as heterosexual couples. However, the this is only the case if the couple is legally married at the time of death. Without proof of a legal marriage, the funeral home or service will have to look to a different member of the family to take on final disposition responsibilities and decisions.

What about Common Law couples? There are three criteria that have to be met in order to couples to be considered legally married under general Common Law. If you are married under Common Law, it’s important to know that it might be tricky for a funeral home or service to validate a Common Law Marriage after one of the people passes away. Unless a Declaration of Informal Marriage has been filed by a county clerk, many funeral homes will ask a different next of kin person to sign the necessary funeral documents as there are penalties involved in allowing a non-documented marriage to serve as legal standing to be a next of kin. To avoid any concerns or issues after a death, Common Law couples should file with the county clerk before a death.

Marriage is a complicated relationship, and oftentimes married couples are separated but not legally divorced. In this scenario, the spouse would be still be responsible for making all necessary funeral arrangements and paying for them. Unless there is a clear legal proof of divorce, the marriage is still valid, and the spouse is the next of kin. This is more common than you might think and is a confusing situation that causes a lot of delays in making funeral home or cremation plans.

These days, most states have a process in place for getting around difficulties with next of kin relationships. Depending on the state, there is usually a form that people can fill out, sign and file to give a specific person the responsibility of all death-related decisions. This form, the Appointment for Disposition of Remains form, allows you to choose who you want to make your funeral arrangements, and is valid at the vast majority of licensed funeral homes and cremation providers. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this document must be filed before death occurs in order to be valid.

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Be sure to look into the specificities of your state law to be as prepared as possible. You can always reach out to a lawyer for the most up-to-date information and guidance. Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help if you want to learn more about Monroeville, PA cremation services. You can stop by and visit us or give us a call at for more information on what we can do for you.

funeral homes in Monroeville, PA

What Do You Call Funeral Home Professionals?

People picture very specific things when they think about undertakers and morticians because these names sustain negative stereotypes of the professionals that own and work in funeral homes in Monroeville, PA and the rest of the country. Where did these names come from? And what are you supposed to call funeral professionals?

There is a very specific image that comes to mind when people hear the word “undertaker” or “mortician”. Do you picture a creepy man in a black suit standing by an open casket in a dark funeral home? You’re not the only one that does that, even though those images aren’t correct anymore.

The names undertaker and mortician are antiquated. However, they are pretty much synonymous with the title of funeral director even though the term funeral director really didn’t start taking hold until the early 1900s when industry professionals actively set out to change their name from undertaker to something new.

Funeral Director is the most modern, and correct, term for a professional in the industry. A funeral director is a funeral or cremation professional that helps arrange, plan and coordinate a funeral or cremation services. Funeral directors are hardworking, thoroughly trained, and committed professionals. Funeral directors have to be licensed according to local laws. This is especially true in states where the funeral director is legally responsible for making sure the crematory or funeral home is complying with all health, mortuary, and vital statistic laws of the area. They perform a lot of services from funerals and visitations to memorials and wakes, as well as helping prepare the body for a funeral or cremation, including placing the body in the casket or cremation container.

An embalmer, on the other hand, is the funeral professional that is responsible for making sure the body is ready for burial. As the name denotes, embalmers perform the act of embalming, meaning they remove all body fluids and replace them with embalming liquid to slow down the body’s decomposition for a funeral service. In most states funeral directors and embalmers require different licenses and training courses. However, it is common for some people to be both depending on their professional interests, their business models, or local ordinances.

While none of the terms are technically incorrect, its generally accepted that funeral director is the preferred title as it is the most modern and gives the respect due for these hardworking professionals. The next time you’re in a funeral home for a service or are making plans for a loved one’s recent passing, you will know what to call the industry professional that is helping you.

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This is just the beginning when it comes to interesting and helpful funeral information. Want to learn more? Just reach out to Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. We offer many different Monroeville, PA funeral home services, and have years of experience from which we can offer expert advice. Please visit us or give us a call today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.

cremation services in Penn Township, PA

Cremation Services and Religion

For many, the choice between burial and cremation is a religious one, as some religions accept cremation, while others do not. The religion and cremation debate is not a new one, as some belief systems have been encouraging or discouraging cremation for centuries. There are a lot of cremation services in Penn Township, PA every day. However, this doesn’t mean that people are not stopping to think about religion and belief before they choose cremation.

If you’re wondering what your religion says about cremation or would like to learn more about other belief systems, keep reading for information on what common religions think when it comes to cremation.

  1. Spiritism – Spiritism, or Reincarnation, is a kind of belief system that promotes the idea that all humans carry immortal spirits that will go to another host after death. Cremation is also widely accepted in Spiritism. However, believers do require a certain period of time between the death and the cremation as they believe that the spirit can sometimes remain with the body for a time after death.
  2. Hinduism – The Hindu religion pretty much mandates cremation. Hindus believe that fire is a purifying agent that can help release the deceased’s spirit from its physical body so it can move on to a spiritual dimension. Hinduism also calls for a memorial service after the cremation to keep memories of the deceased alive.
  3. Judaism – The Jewish faith does not allow cremations, as per scripture in the Torah. However, some more modern Jewish families do choose cremation if it coincides with their personal beliefs.
  4. Christianity – Cremation is fully accepted in Christianity. There are even verses in the Bible that seem to encourage the practice. Take, for example, Genesis 3:19, “By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” However, there are some Christians that cite biblical examples in support of traditional burial, such as Christ being buried, or various Old Testament burials. All in all, when it comes to Christianity and burial, it really depends on what the individual prefers.

Remember, the only important thing is that your lost loved one is treated with respect and remembered fondly by those that loved him or her, be it through traditional burial or a cremation. At the end of the day, no matter what you believe, there are tons of options for you to honor and remember your lost loved one.

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Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help if you’re looking to learn more about religion and cremation. We offer a wide range of Penn Township, PA cremation services, and have experience working with families and bereaved of many different religions and backgrounds. Please feel free to stop by and visit us or give us a call for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss and remembrance.

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Common Funeral Home Myths

Make sure you understand what you’re purchasing when it comes to funeral homes in Penn Township, PA. After all, you research TVs, computers and phones before buying, so why not do the same with funeral homes?

One easy way to do that is to get clear on some common funeral home myths and misconceptions. The following list of funeral home myths and their truths will help guide you on your process:

  • MYTH: Funeral home products like caskets and cremation urns have to be bought from the funeral home. FACT: There’s actually a law that prohibits that! The Federal Trade Commission’s 1984 Funeral Rule protects consumer’s right to purchase funeral products from any source.
  • MYTH: The law requires embalming. FACT: The law does not require embalming in most situations. There are some circumstances that vary by state in which embalming is required. However, these are rare.
  • MYTH: Funeral directors only want to make money. FACT: Like any other professional in customer services, from doctors to florists, funeral directors do charge for their services but strive to make those services worthwhile. There are some funeral directors who are “bad apples” but they are few and far between.
  • MYTH: Funerals are crazy expensive. FACT: You can spend as little or as much as you like when planning a funeral. Services vary in cost depending on location.
  • MYTH: A high-quality casket and vault will preserve remains forever. FACT: Caskets and vaults that are well made with durable construction and high-tech seals help keep water and dirt out, but they will never stop decomposition entirely.
  • MYTH: There are strict laws governing the disposition of cremated remains. FACT: Laws about cremated remains vary greatly from state to state, but they only deal with burial or scattering. Some states have regulations on where ashes can be scattered, but there are no federal laws. Be sure to double-check your state’s laws before scattering remains.
  • MYTH: Funerals homes are sad, depressing places. FACT: While this may have been true in the past, funeral homes have changed a lot Funerals themselves can be very joyous occasions as loved ones celebrate the deceased’s life. In a typical modern funeral, laughter and music coexist with tears and ritual.
  • MYTH: The law requires burial vaults. FACT: Some cemeteries require burial vaults, but there are no laws that require them. Check with your cemetery to make sure you understand their requirements before the funeral.
  • MYTH: Cremation is the only environmentally friendly alternative to burial. FACT: While cremation can be greener than burial, that’s not always the case. There are also lots of other green alternatives out there, and you can choose to have a green burial where there are no embalming fluids, chemicals or unnatural casket materials.

Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here for you if you want a Penn Township, PA funeral home you can trust. Please visit us or give us a call to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

Cremation services in North Versailles, PA

Different Kinds of Cremation Services

Cremation services in North Versailles, PA furnish tons of choices when it comes to planning and personalizing. This flexibility is great to not only have a unique and meaningful service for the deceased, but also because it gives the bereaved an easier time planning and executing the memorial or cremation itself.

Cremations also offer choices in the type of cremation. There are three main types of cremation services: funeral, memorial, and direct. Each one offers variations on the basic cremation idea, with differences in price, planning, and timeline.

  • Cremation with Funeral – These cremation services have a regular funeral followed by a cremation instead of a burial. As with a traditional funeral, cremation services with a funeral usually have a visitation or wake within two or three days of death. These cremations come with more costs than other types, mainly embalming and caskets. Embalming is the process in which the body is preserved for the viewing and does cost money. The viewing and funeral also require a casket, not just a plain cremation box. Funerals followed by a cremation can be hosted by a religious leader, funeral celebrant or family member, and generally take place in a funeral home or church. The typical service includes readings, music, poems, sermons, eulogies and prayers.
  • Memorial Cremations – Memorial cremations are very similar to cremations with funerals save for one big difference: the body is not present at the service. This type of cremation service can be held at a later date after the death, sometimes weeks or months later. This is possible because the body is cremated directly after the death. The body can be present in a way at a memorial in a cremation urn, or the family can choose to display photos of the deceased. Since there is no body, the service can be held almost anywhere like a park, church, home, funeral home, or even on a beach. Usually, the remains are returned to the family right before the memorial so they can inter, scatter, or display them following the ceremony.
  • Direct Cremation Services – Direct cremation services are the most cost effective and efficient cremation services. As the name denotes, the body is cremated directly after death and the remains are united with the family without a ceremony or service. Typically, all the direct cremation costs are included in one flat fee, from transportation to the cremation itself. This method is cheap but doesn’t offer any sort of celebration or honor for the deceased’s life.

Cremation services in North Versailles, PA

Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help if you want to learn more about the different kinds of cremations. We offer a wide range of North Versailles, PA cremation services and our years of industry experience give us the expertise needed to help you choose what’s best for you and your loved ones in your time of loss. Please pay us a visit or give us a call to learn more about what we can do for you.

funeral home in North Versailles, PA

Personalization at Funeral Homes

What do a traditional funeral at a funeral home in North Versailles, PA and a memorial service in a park have in common? Personalization.

Personalized funerals are the way of the future, as they allow the bereaved to both grieve their loss and celebrate the unique life of their lost loved one. Want to learn more? Keep reading to learn interesting facts about personalized funerals in funeral homes and beyond:

  • Most families don’t want a traditional funeral – According to a recent study, 71% of families do not want a traditional funeral as they see them as gloomy or dark. Most families want something unique that reflects the special qualities of their lost loved one.
  • Religion is on its way out – According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the percentage of people that think religion is an important part of a funeral has gone down by more than 10%. More people are placing personalization over religion.
  • Funerals are a celebration of life – Funerals are no longer sad and gloomy events. People want to celebrate their lost loved ones in special ways, remembering them for their unique qualities and happy memories.
  • Cemeteries are overcrowded – About 2.7 million Americans die every year. That’s the entire population of Chicago. With so many deaths, it’s no wonder cemeteries are too crowded. That’s why many people are opting for non-traditional ways of putting their lost loved ones to rest.
  • People want a party – In another recent study, 500 participants were asked to name something they really want at a funeral. The top 5 answers were music, family, people, beer and flowers. When put all together, these 5 things equal a celebration.
  • Digital obituaries – Since most obituaries are now placed on memorial websites rather than printed in traditional newspapers, they are becoming more and more important, thorough, and personalized.
  • Traditional burials are out – Traditional burials are now thought of as wasteful and bad for the environment. For example, in one year in America, burial puts enough embalming fluid into the ground to fill an Olympic swimming pool.
  • Webcasting – The internet is also allowing families to be a part of funeral services even if they can’t be there in person. Funeral webcasting is becoming very popular all across the US and is only getting cheaper which makes it more accessible for everyone.
  • Cremation is in – The most recent numbers project that by 2035 75% of Americans will choose cremation over burial because of personalization, price and the environment.
  • Memorial videos – Memorial videos put modern technology to good use. They allow families to make personalized tributes for the deceased for people to enjoy at the funeral and beyond.

funeral home in North Versailles, PA

Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help if you have more questions about personalized funerals or North Versailles, PA funeral homes. We offer a range of services and are happy to do what we can. Please stop by or give us a call to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

cremation services in Monroeville, PA

More About Cremation Services

Cremations have been around for thousands of years but have changed a lot in recent times due to technological advancements. You’ve probably heard about cremation services in Monroeville, PA, but how much do you really know about them? How does cremation work? What happens after a cremation? Keep reading for more cremation details.

  • Body Preparation – There are a lot of steps that must take place before a body is cremated. First, a funeral director or crematory manager needs to obtain a cremation authorization document signed by closest surviving family members. The funeral director then goes through a series of checks to ensure proper body identification to make sure the remains are returned to the proper family. The body is then checked and processed to remove any items that cannot be cremated with the body. These items include jewelry and medical devices, especially pacemakers. Once prepared, the body is put inside a cremation casket and checked again for identification. A metal identification tag that won’t burn or melt is also placed inside the cremation casket as a final check for identification.
  • The Cremation – A cremation chamber, sometimes called a retort, is built from fire resistant bricks and special masonry compounds designed to stand up to extremely high temperatures. The body, inside its cremation casket, is placed inside the chamber. Cremation chambers generally get to at least 1800 degrees Fahrenheit with burners fueled by propane or natural gas. It usually takes 2 hours for a body to be reduced to bone fragments and ash, but the time can vary depending on factors such as the size of the body, type of cremation casket, or even the percentage of body fat to lean muscle.
  • Ash Processing – After the cremation is completed, the remains are left to cool for about 30 minutes after the incineration. They are then processed and checked again for any remaining medical debris and for proper identification. Then, the remaining bone fragments go through a processor that grinds the fragments down into fine ash. This ash is what is returned to the family for funeral services, interment, and other post-cremation options.
  • After Cremation – There are lots of different things loved one’s can do with the deceased’s ashes after the cremation. Some ideas include casting or tossing the cremated remains into the wind; raking, a process in which the ashes are poured over loose earth and raked into the soil; trenching or burying the ashes in a shallow grave; water scattering; or simply scattering the ashes into a body of water. The bereaved are free to choose whatever process is best for them and their grief process.

cremation services in Monroeville, PA

Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help if you want to learn more about Monroeville, PA cremation services or other post-death body disposition options. We have years of industry experience ready to put at your disposal. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call for more information on what we can do to help you in your time of loss or of preplanning.

funeral home in Monroeville, PA

Meaningful Funerals

Funerals, whether they’re held at a funeral home in Monroeville, PA or some other location or venue, are very important. Mental health professionals and grief specialists alike agree that meaningful funeral services help people cope, accept, and eventually move past the loss of a family member or loved one. Furthermore, properly planned and executed meaningful funeral services provide an opportunity for families and friends to express feelings, connect with one another, and move towards healing as a unit.

However, not every funeral is created equal. In order for a funeral to have all the above benefits it needs to be meaningful. Funerals help honor the deceased’s life and aid the living in recognizing and celebrating that life. But what makes a meaningful funeral? Meaningful funerals usually have things like:

  1. Tribute Videos – Modern technology offers a unique way to remember the deceased. Take your home videos, photographs and memoires and create an especially unique tribute video. Put in graphics and music for even more personalization.
  2. Customized Prints – Order customized prints for the funeral. These prints range from photo collages and blown-up portraits to bookmarks, programs, boards and even books. Put special quotes, Bible verses, poems or artwork on the prints. You can also print out the obituary, or even the deceased’s favorite sayings. The prints serve as decoration for the funeral and can be taken home by hosts and guests as keepsakes.
  3. Memorial Websites – Make the meaningful funeral services accessible to the world with a memorial website. Websites are beautiful and useful. They help connect family, friends and acquaintances online for easy funeral announcements and communication. They also can display the video, obituary, photos and more online so everyone has easy access long after the funeral is over.
  4. A Focus on The Deceased’s Relationships – People always say that relationships are the most important part of life, so the best way to have a meaningful funeral service is to have focus on the relationships the deceased had with friends and family. Take a moment to remember special events, fond memories, or everyday moments that embody what made the deceased’s relationships special. Use these memories to enhance your funeral services so they can best honor the deceased.

funeral home in Monroeville, PA

Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is a Monroeville, PA funeral home. We would love to use our industry experience to help you plan and execute a meaningful funeral for your lost loved one. Please stop by or give us a call to learn more about our services, or what we can do for you in your time of loss. Remember, you knew the deceased, and you know the best ways to honor his or her life through meaningful funeral services. That’s why the above are just ideas to give you inspiration. What is meaningful to you about the deceased might be different than what is meaningful to someone else about their lost loved one. Trust your instincts and allow the funeral to help you heal.

cremation services in Penn Township, PA

Direct Cremation Services

Most funeral homes offer a wide range of services; from body transportation and paperwork help to planning and executing the actual funeral. However, many funeral homes charge a premium for those services even though they’re not always 100% necessary. This is especially true if you’re choosing cremation services in Penn Township, PA, like direct cremation.

Direct cremation is human remains disposition by cremation without a prior ceremony, visitation, or viewing. Meaning, the body is cremated directly after death and before any memorial or funeral service, so the body is not present at any such service. While traditional cremation, a service offered by funeral homes and cremation services, involves embalming the body for viewing during a memorial, funeral or visitation before the cremation.

In a direct cremation, the body is brought directly from the place of death to the crematory and cremated without embalming, makeup application, or hair care. The ashes are placed in an urn provided by the next of kin, or in a simple container furnished by the crematory. The body is usually cremated almost directly after arrival, unless there are delays or issues with the death certificate and cremation permit. Direct cremation is another route you can go when you’re planning for your eventual death or dealing with the recent death of a loved one. Direct cremation offers a smaller service range than a funeral home, but they can also be cheaper, greener, and more flexible. That’s why they are becoming more and more popular over funeral home cremations and services. Direct cremations offer:

  • Pro-Environment – Direct cremations are better for the environment because they do not involve embalming. Embalmed bodies release harmful toxins into the air and ground when they are cremated or buried. Direct cremations also use fewer funeral products in general, and therefore create less waste.
  • Cost – Direct cremations are much more cost effective than traditional funerals, cremations, or burials. Cremations in general save money on vaults, burial plots, transportation and other such costs, and direct cremations also save money on embalming and the cremation casket as standard cremations require nice caskets and embalming for viewing.
  • Flexibility – Direct cremations usually do have a service or memorial but only after the cremation. Since its later, the scheduling, planning and execution have a lot more flexibility. Family and friends can take more time to make the memorial special and personalized or have out of town guests make it in time.

cremation services in Penn Township, PA

It’s important to keep in mind that choosing between direct cremation, funeral home cremation or funeral services is a personal. If you want to take the more traditional route because it feels better or more comfortable, you should. Do you want to learn more about cremation services or direct cremation? Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help with any of your Penn Township, PA cremation service needs. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call today for more information on how we can help you choose what’s best for you in your time of loss.