Spence Funeral Services Blog

Is embalming required by law?

Embalming is only required by Pennsylvania law under certain circumstances.  If it is the desire of the family to have a public viewing of the deceased, the law requires that the body be embal...
By William Spence
Thursday, September 29, 2022

The Queen's Funeral

Great Britain has demonstrated to the world in a royal manner the importance and power that ceremony and ritual provide to family and community when someone they love dies.  Across time and cu...
By William Spence
Wednesday, September 21, 2022

How do I choose an urn?

The primary purpose of an urn is to contain cremated remains. Beyond that, consideration must be given to functionality, material, personal preference, durability, size, and cost. Perhaps the first...
By William Spence
Friday, September 16, 2022

What happens if I die away from my hometown?

Although it is seldom that death occurs when traveling for business or pleasure, it occasionally happens.  The short answer to the question is, “Call the funeral director of your choice in you...
By William Spence
Thursday, September 8, 2022

Can I have a viewing if I choose to be cremated?

Absolutely! Cremation is only one of several forms of disposition of a body. Other forms of disposition are burial, body donation, aquamation, and composting. Not all these options are permitted in...
By William Spence
Friday, August 26, 2022

Organ and Tissue Donation verses Anatomical Donation

Anatomical Donation and Gift of Life are each programs to consider when individuals and families are considering end-of-life decisions. Both programs are designed that others benefit from another’s...
By William Spence
Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Considering donating your body?

Anatomical Donation is a recognized and accepted form of human body disposition in the United States. As with all manners of disposition, donating one’s body is a very personal decision. Befor...
By William Spence
Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Previous Posts

Are vaults required in Pennsylvania?

Vaults or other types of outer burial containers are not required by federal or Pennsylvania state law to be placed in the ground prior to a casket being buried. However, most cemeteries in Lancast...

Thoughts on Mother's Day

Mother’s Day has been celebrated once again to the joy and pleasure of most but to the pain and despair of others.  How is it that a “holiday” intended to elevate and celebrate the virtues of ...

FEMA Funeral Assistance Applications to Open

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that beginning, Monday, April 12, 2021 Funeral Assistance Applications may begin to be submitted via their call center.  Only one a...

“Grief is just love with no place to go.”

Although I have been a licensed funeral director for 27 years, families are still teaching me new things about love, death, and grieving.  I was recently presented with a thoughtful quote that...

What happens to the money when we pre-pay our funerals with Spence Funeral Services?

In Pennsylvania, funeral directors are required by law to deposit in escrow or trust the entire amount of the monies received by the funeral director for future expenses. None of this money is avai...

What is the PA state law regarding funeral processions?

As one might expect, each state has its own laws regarding funeral processions. In Pennsylvania, each vehicle in the procession must have its headlights lit and emergency lights flashing as well as...

What is “preplanning” and does Spence Funeral Services offer it?

Preplanning is simply a matter of taking care of your funeral service details before the need arises. Today, more and more people are making the thoughtful decision to discuss their final arrangeme...