Designing Your Ceremony 2019-05-02T11:13:35-04:00

Designing Your Ceremony

There are two facets of the design process. First, we ask you to consider how you wish to honor and celebrate the life. Then, we will turn to the issue of how you wish to care for the physical remains.

Honoring Life

How to Honor a Life

It’s about bringing those you love together at a time of loss. It’s a natural thing to do, and over time, has become a socially-expected practice. More importantly, a funeral or memorial service is the first step in healing.

You can have your service anywhere, and any way, you want. Your choices include the place of celebration, day of the week, and time of day; the musical selection, what prayers will be said or songs you’d like sung. We can arrange to have doves, butterflies, or balloons released at the close of the service. Keepsake gifts of wildflower seeds or a tree seedling can be given. We’re here to help you create the most memorable and meaningful service to honor your loved one.

Burial or Cremation?

Burial or Cremation?

Next, you will choose between burial and cremation. Usually, people are clear on this point. In fact, your loved one may have told you, or someone else, exactly how they wish to be cared for. But it can be a hard decision for some families, especially if the wishes of the deceased were never clearly stated. If that’s the case, please know we’re able to help you come to the perfect decision for your loved one, and for you.

Once you decide, the finer details come into focus. If you’ve chosen burial, then selection of the casket, vault, and desired cemetery follows. Naturally, we’re here to help you.

If cremation is your choice, then you’ll need to make the next decision: whether the cremated remains will be placed in a mausoleum niche, or buried on the cemetery grounds.

In some communities, there’s the option for a ‘green burial.’ If that’s what your loved one would prefer, we’ll help you select an environmentally-friendly choice.

The Ark

A memorial service, whether traditional, or contemporary, is the first step in healing; ceremony has always been woven into the fabric of our lives.

Ballard-Durand Funeral & Cremation Services offers to those families who choose cremation, the Ark. The Ark is used to transport the cremated remains of their loved one to your place of worship or graveside to add to the dignity of the ceremonies.

When earth burial is not the final disposition for the cremated remains, the Ark is used to hold the cremated remains for a simple presentation ceremony at the funeral home.

As with every service we provide to our families, honor and respect have always been our guiding values and the Ark is one way we are able to add to that dignity.

“It wasn’t your typical, ‘sorry for your loss’, it was personal. The job Ballard-Durand did was absolutely beautiful. I will never forget Matthew, or the team who works with him.” – Mike Bizzoco

What’s Next?

Now that we’ve given you the basics, it’s time to reflect more on exactly what is appropriate for you and your family. If possible, gather everyone together to speak of their feelings and desires.

Still looking for inspiration? Call us today at (914) 949-0566.

Customer Review

Daniel Sayani

Brooklyn, NY

Ballard Durand is a remarkable and extraordinary funeral home. It is more than a funeral home. Matthew Fiorillo and his team have helped revolutionize the way we think about funerals, death and dying, and the grieving process. Located in downtown White Plains, one is immediately struck by how grand and stately the building is; the funeral home itself is immaculate and elegant in both its interior and exterior, and one is greeted by plush carpeting, sconces, and dark wooden accents. In fact, the building was once the residence of eminent citizens such as the Honorable Humphrey J. Lynch, and the home has since become a historic landmark in the community.
A calming and soothing environment is further created through concierge services for the mourners, including a menu offering hot beverages, warm cookies, and cold soft drinks, as well as a lovely bird cage, and the healing presence of Lulu, a therapy dog who greets everyone with love and warmth. A beautiful golden doodle, Lulu is as sweet as honey and  provides families with unconditional love and support, as well as a subtle distraction from their grief.
I have never encountered a funeral home that pays such meticulous attention to detail in providing the finest care for its clients. Soothing music softly plays in the background, calming the soul at such difficult times. The staff is warm, compassionate, professional, and affable, and I have had wonderful interactions with Mr. Fiorillo, Joe, and Roy, a lovely Londoner who greets families with warmth and a friendly countenance. They offer a full array of customized services to help make any funeral a one of a kind sendoff, including balloon release, butterfly release, bagpipers, and a Harley Davidson hearse. Mr, Fiorillo is rightfully recognized as an industry leader, and Ballard-Durand, unsurprisingly, is acclaimed as one of the most prestigious and elite funeral homes.
I can personally state that Ballard-Durand and Mr, Fiorillo, and his entire staff, are experts in the art of Jewish funerals. They maintain warm and cordial relationships with an array of Reform, Conservative, and Orthodox rabbis throughout the region, and are fully aware of our unique needs. They have an excellent rapport with Jewish community leaders and synagogues, and are pleased to host two Jewish sacred societies, including Westchester's Rosh Pinah, which provide tahara and shmira burial services fully in accordance with Jewish law. They are to be commended for serving the Jewish community, and for their immense cultural competency and their sensitivity to the needs of diverse populations. I am honored to be a friend of this wonderful institution.