Funeral Services

The Williams-Pedersen Funeral Home offers a wide variety of funeral services designed to honor the life of a loved one in the way that each individual family finds most comforting and appropriate.

The funeral tradition helps people deal with the reality that a loved one has died. It provides a time and a place to remember and talk about the life and death of a loved one, affording an opportunity to say good-bye and to begin the healing process. A life worth living is a life worth remembering.

Today's contemporary funeral choices include:

We are available to help families choose from many commemorative and disposition options and can customize arrangements to meet each family's individual preferences and needs.

Full Service Funeral Top

The full service funeral involves a day of visitation, with the body present in a casket, followed by a religious ceremony and final disposition of the body the next day. The visitation, sometimes referred to as "visiting hours," "calling hours," or the "wake," can be scheduled for the afternoon, evening, or both, and may include an open or closed casket. The funeral ceremony may be held in the funeral home or in a church chosen by the family and will usually consist of scripture reading, prayers, music, and a eulogy or personal remembrances. A traditional Catholic funeral will include gathering at the funeral home the morning of the funeral mass and traveling to the church in procession. Final disposition may be either earth burial in a cemetery or cremation. Most families choose to have some type of reception or social gathering at home, in the church hall, or in a local restaurant after the services are completed.

Private Family Gathering Top

A family may choose to keep funeral services private, or by invitation only. In this case, the obituary and information provided by the funeral home will indicate that funeral arrangements are private and at the convenience of the family. The arrangements may include viewing of the body, a religious ceremony held in the funeral home or in a church, and/or graveside services.

Public or Private Visitation Top

An opportunity to use funeral home facilities to view the body or greet family and friends may be scheduled for the afternoon, evening, or both. Traditional calling hours are from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. This arrangement allows the elderly who do not drive at night an opportunity to pay their respects during the afternoon and working people a chance to do so after normal working hours. Today, with a wide variety of working schedules and increased flexibility, many families opt for just one time of visitation and may make arrangements for any time period that best suits them.

The casket may be open or closed for calling hours at the discretion of the family, and visitation may be open to the public or scheduled by invitation only.

Graveside Service Top

Some families choose to simply gather at the cemetery for a brief committal service at the graveside. If viewing of the body is desired, arrangements should be made in advance for viewing at the funeral home as the casket is typically closed at the cemetery. The committal service usually includes scripture reading and prayers and is officiated by a clergyperson of the family's choice, or may be conducted by a family member or friend.

Funeral with Military Honors Top

Arrangements can be made to include military honors for a deceased veteran. All honorably discharged veterans are entitled to an American flag to drape the casket and, upon request, to have a military honor guard conduct a flag presentation ceremony and play Taps at the graveside. The George L. Wood VFW Post in Upton may be able to provide an honor guard of veterans for calling hours and to present the flag to the deceased's next of kin if military personnel are not requested. Proof of a veteran's eligibility, in the form of a copy of official military discharge papers, is required to obtain veterans' benefits. If the veteran's discharge (Government Form DD214) is not available, funeral home personnel may be able to assist with obtaining the required information from military records offices if general information about the deceased's military service, such as what state the deceased enlisted from, can be provided.

Memorial Service Top

A memorial service is a commemorative ceremony where the body is not present. It may take place in the funeral home, in a church, or even outdoors. Some families choose to have a public memorial service after a private family gathering or following a direct cremation or immediate burial.

Direct Cremation Top

A direct cremation is when a family chooses to arrange for final disposition of the body by cremation without any viewing of the body or having any services where the body is present. Funeral home personnel will remove the body from the place of death and shelter the remains for the 48-hour waiting period required by Massachusetts state law until cremation can take place. As funeral homes in Massachusetts are not allowed to have on-site crematories, the body will then be transported to a local crematory for cremation and the ashes will be returned to the family within a few days.

We do business only with reputable crematories which have demonstrated respect for the deceased and proper handling of all remains. We ascertain that all appropriate safeguards are in place to ensure that the cremation is carried out with dignity and that a loved one's ashes will be properly identified and maintained until returned to the family.

Once cremation has taken place, families may choose to bury the ashes in a family cemetery plot, scatter them in a place that had special significance to the deceased, or keep them at home. Today a wide variety of memorialization options, including keepsake urns and jewelry, are available.

Immediate Burial Top

If a family so chooses, arrangements may be made to have the body buried without any formal commemorative services. An immediate burial may be followed by a public or private memorial service at the convenience of the family.