Monthly Archives: April 2021

Cremation services in North Versailles, PA

Columbarium and Mausoleums

From variations in the cremation service itself to the cremains disposal, there are lots of choices to make. Cremation services in North Versailles, PA and beyond offer bereaved tons of different options. Many people choose to inter the remains in the ground or in a permanent above ground resting place such as a columbarium. Or is it a mausoleum? Do you know the difference? Keep reading to find out the answers and some interesting history.

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, a mausoleum is defined as, “a building designed for above-ground placement of a casket. The casket is placed into a crypt that may be designed for one or two persons.” If you’ve ever been walking in, through or past a cemetery, you’ve most likely noticed the ornate but small buildings scattered around the grounds amidst the tombstones. These buildings are mausoleums, columbarium, or even a combination of the two. Mausoleums can have one crypt, or a chamber designed to hold one body, or a larger space made to hold a few people like a family or a couple. Some mausoleums have more than one room for different parts of a family. These buildings are often decorated with exterior markers to denote who is resting inside. Some even have glass windows that allow those on the outside to view the coffins.

Mausoleums can be found in different variations and designs all around the world. One of the original Seven Wonders of the World was a mausoleum! Built in 353 BC near what is now known as Turkey, The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was the final resting place of a famous Persian king named Mausolus. This king was so rich that he commissioned one of the finest mausoleums ever built and is actually how the term mausoleum was coined.

Both columbarium and mausoleums are defined as permanent, above ground resting places for human remains, but they have a few key differences between them. Unlike mausoleums that generally hold bodies, columbarium are designed to house cremated remains. The term columbarium comes from the Latin word “columba” which means dove.

In the past, doves and pigeons were housed in buildings with niches on the walls for their nests. This design is very similar to how columbarium are made, as they have compartments built into the walls to house and display cremation urns. There are lots of different columbarium designs. Some are indoor and some are outside, while others are simple and more still are decorated and elaborate. You can choose whatever kind of columbarium you like for your lost loved one.

Cremation services in North Versailles, PA

Do you have more questions about your options for after a cremation service, or would you like to learn more about North Versailles, PA cremation services in general? You can count on Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. for accurate and helpful information. Please stop by and see us in person or give us a call for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss.

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.

cremation services in Monroeville, PA

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.

funeral homes in Monroeville, PA

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.