Advance Funeral Planning as a Mitzvah

Planning ahead for your own funeral can sound a little strange or even upsetting. However, it is a gift, or mitzvah, for your family to know exactly what type of funeral you want.

Planning your own service in advance protects your loved ones from having to make these decisions for you in an emotionally stressful time, and it gives you the peace of mind to know that your wishes will be known to the last detail. Whether you would like a traditional Jewish funeral or a more personal memorial with simple or extravagant details, Dignity Memorial® professionals will walk you through the process and make sure that your service honors your family’s traditions.

Planning a Jewish funeral in advance can be particularly helpful for people who practice Reform Judaism, as well as those who have entered an inter-religious marriage. While Orthodox or Conservative Jewish families may plan to adhere to strict Jewish funeral customs, others may want to add personal elements to their memorial.

Couple sitting on a wooden bench in front of a lake underneath a tree.

What is a mitzvah?

The word mitzvah has a number of interpretations or translations. In the larger sense, a mitzvah is a good deed you perform; it’s a charitable act or gift you give to someone else. Some good deeds happen spontaneously, while others require advance planning, like sitting down with a funeral provider and planning what type of remembrance you want to have.

Advance funeral planning as a mitzvah

There are several ways to treat funeral planning as a mitzvah. For starters, it’s important to consider how you want to honor Jewish funeral traditions. Is there a rabbi you would like to speak at your funeral service? A particular synagogue where you'd like to hold your service? Do you prefer a traditional burial? Are there any areas where you want to add personal touches? Making these advance funeral arrangements can be especially important for someone whose spouse is not Jewish. It can be difficult and confusing for a spouse to learn about Jewish funeral customs and make tough decisions about funeral planning, all while grieving a great loss.

It’s also helpful to include details that would be important to you. Maybe you want a group of musicians to provide live music or a specific friend to give your eulogy. Perhaps you want charitable gifts to go to a favorite organization you’ve supported throughout your life. These details, small or elaborate, can make your funeral an event that is unique to your preferences.

Finally, advance Jewish funeral planning can take the financial burden off of your family. With planning, you can pay in advance to lock in today’s funeral costs as well as secure your cemetery plot. This is an incredible gift to loved ones, who will be able to grieve and focus on honoring your life, rather than getting lost in the details of funeral planning.

Planning ahead for a Jewish funeral

When planning a Jewish funeral, it’s helpful to work with a provider who understands Jewish funeral arrangements. We have a network of Dignity Memorial funeral homes that specialize in honoring your Jewish faith as well as the way you live your life. With knowledge of Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Judaism, we are experienced in providing the Jewish funeral services and customs that are important to you and your family.

Our Dignity Memorial professionals can assist you in planning your service, whether you want to adhere strictly to every custom or add personal touches to your funeral. We view funeral planning as a mitzvah and can guide you through the important decisions that will take the pressure off of your family. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you plan ahead.