What is a committal service?

The committal service is held at the gravesite before the body or urn is buried, or in the crematory chapel prior to cremation. It provides those present with the opportunity to say their final good-byes just before the burial or cremation takes place. The committal service is usually brief if it is held in addition to a funeral or memorial service. If the committal ceremony is the only service being held, it may be more lengthy or elaborate. Additional elements or rituals may be included, such as the reading of poetry, music, songs, “final words” spoken by members of the family, sharing of memories, placing flowers on the casket, etc.