More and more Iowans are planning to go out in style. People who take the time to write their will and plan their burial plot and funeral are often picking out favorite music these days for the final service. But don’t expect a rock opera at the next visitation you attend. Brad Smith of Sanborn is President of the Iowa Funeral Directors Association. He says people want to personalize a service and give meaning to the family at the funeral service and also visitation at the funeral home. They’re also welcoming friends and family to join the pastor in remembering a departed loved one. Most pastors allow a time for people to share their memories, which he says can be very healing. There’s nothing wrong with leaving rigid rules behind, but Smith says how a society treats its dead says a lot about national character and shared values. He thinks there’s security and comfort in rituals. Smith says Iowans who plan their own funeral music mostly choose their favorite church hymns, sometimes big band favorites and contemporary Christian music.
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