There are different services that you can choose for a loved one’s burial, depending upon your individual needs and preferences:
- Immediate burial means that your loved one will be buried or entombed without a public service or gathering.
- Visitation, also called a viewing, wake, or calling hours, allows family and friends to gather in a room with the departed loved one in an open or closed casket and say goodbye or offer their support and sympathy to the bereaved.
- Funeral or memorial services can take place at a funeral home, in a church, or even at your home. The service is a ceremony which serves to celebrate, honor, and remember the life of the deceased. Whether traditional or unique, both the visitation and the funeral service can be personalized to reflect the individuality of your loved one.
- Graveside, chapel, or committal services are held at the cemetery, and allow family and friends to be present as their loved one is transferred to his or her final disposition through ground burial.
- Peace of Mind
When you choose Bierman Funeral Home & Crematory for cremation, you know that your loved one will always be in Andy's or Bryce's attentive and capable hands. Our Meadow Green Crematory is a safe and secure environment allowing your loved one to remain in our custody at all times. We handle every step of the cremation process with dignity and respect. You can be assured that the cremation is performed with dignity and to the highest standards.
- Our Facility - MEADOW GREEN CREMATORY
There is a significant difference between “cremation services” and “on-site crematory services.” The biggest advantage to Bierman Funeral Home owning and operating Meadow Green Crematory is the certainty of knowing that the process is being handled with the utmost care. We are among the few mortuaries in Minnesota to operate its own crematory. Meadow Green Crematory is a secure facility and is inspection ready at all times.
- The Cremation Process
During a cremation, the casket or container holding your loved one is placed in the cremation chamber. When the cremation is complete, the cremated remains are carefully removed from the cremation chamber. We then place them in an urn chosen by the family. Throughout the entire process, we use a meticulously controlled labeling system to ensure accurate identification. This procedure follows our commitment to providing the highest standard of care.
Green Burial Services
For those who want to be more environmentally friendly with their end-of-life decisions, we offer green burial options. This way, you can honor your loved one’s life while reducing their environmental impact. A green burial service may be right for your loved one if they were an avid nature lover, worked in an environmental science field, or were passionate about living an eco-friendly lifestyle.
Flameless Cremation is an eco-friendly alternative to flame-based cremation that uses water to accelerate what happens during natural decomposition. First introduced for cremating human remains in Minnesota by the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, it uses a combination of gentle water flow, temperature, pressure, and alkalinity to return the body to its natural form. Similar to traditional, flame-based cremation, the only solid remains are the mineral ash of the bones that remain following the process.
One of the biggest advantages of Flameless Cremation is that it is considered environmentally friendly.
- Uses water, not flame
- No emission of greenhouse gasses or mercury
- Smaller carbon footprint
- Over 90% energy savings over flame-based cremation
- Uses less water than a single household in a day
To learn more about our green burial options, please call 507-645-4153 and we'd be happy to provide you more information.
- What do I do when a death occurs while out of town or away from home?
It’s important that you contact the local medical authorities first (as well as the police, if appropriate), and then make sure to give us a call as soon as possible. We will work with you to make the necessary arrangements to get you and your loved one back home as quickly and easily as possible. Calling us will also help you to avoid duplication of efforts and fees.
- What do funeral directors do?
A funeral director is a licensed professional who specializes in all aspects of funerals and related services. They provide support to the family, guide the arrangement of visitations and funeral ceremonies, prepare the deceased according to the family’s wishes, and ensure that everything goes according to plan. They also arrange for the removal and transportation of the deceased throughout the process and assist families with any legal or insurance-related paperwork they might need to file. They’re experienced at recognizing when an individual is having an extremely difficult time coping with a loss and can provide extra support and recommendations for professional help if needed.
- Can I personalize my service?
Absolutely! Our staff has years of experience getting to know families and incorporating their loved one’s hobbies, activities, interests, and unique requests into meaningful and memorable services. Don’t hesitate to make a request because you think it might be too “out there” — we’re honored to work with you to create a service that truly reflects and celebrates your loved one’s individual life journey.
- Can I still have viewing and funeral services with cremation?
Definitely! In fact, we encourage you to do so. Choosing cremation only indicates how you’d like to care for your loved one after the service and doesn’t exclude you from celebrating and honoring their life in any way. Whether you’d like to arrange a funeral service before cremation, or wait and hold the service after the cremation, we’re happy to help you design a meaningful service to accompany the cremation.
- Why have a viewing?
A viewing — also known as a visitation, wake, or calling hours — can involve an open or closed casket, and is seen as a vital part of the grieving process. Having their loved one present often helps family and friends to accept the reality of their loss, especially for those who may not have seen him or her in a while. The opportunity to come to terms with the death and say a final farewell is an important step on the road to healing.
- Can we have a viewing if my loved one has donated organs or had an autopsy?
Yes. Autopsies and organ donation do not affect your ability to have an open-casket viewing.
- Should I bring my children to the funeral service?
You should use your judgment to determine whether your child is old enough to comprehend death, and whether attending the funeral will be meaningful to them. It’s important for children to be allowed to express their grief and share in this important ritual. If you bring young children, explain beforehand what they will see and experience, and make sure that they know the importance of being on their best behavior. If your child becomes cranky or noisy, remove them promptly to avoid disturbing those who are mourning.
- What is the purpose of embalming?
In many cases, if you choose to have a viewing before cremation, embalming may be required. Embalming is a process used to sanitize and temporarily preserve the body of a person who has passed away. It also can enhance the appearance of a person that has suffered damage from an accident or illness. By preserving the body through embalming, we can give you and your family time to make personalized and meaningful arrangements.
- Is embalming required by law?
No. Except in rare circumstances, embalming is not required by law. However, most funeral homes do not permit public viewing without embalming. If you opt to not use embalming, usually we can offer a private viewing prior to cremation with minimal preparation excluding embalming.
- How long does the cremation process take?
This will vary depending on the individual and the casket or container used, but usually takes about 3-5 hours.
- How can I be sure that the remains I receive are those of my loved one?
Cremation of multiple people at the same time is illegal in the U.S. and many other countries, so the cremation chamber is not designed to hold more than one person at a time. In addition, cremation is a regulated process with strict procedures we follow to ensure we’re holding our services to the highest standard possible. All necessary paperwork and fees must be completed with local authorities, and then a checklist is completed at the crematory. A metal disk with a unique ID number accompanies your loved one from the time we receive the person throughout the cremation process, and after cremation occurs we attach the metal disk to the bag containing the ashes. Knowing the level of respect and meticulous care with which we treat your loved one, you can rest assured that you are receiving only your loved one’s ashes.
- Where can I scatter my loved one's cremated remains? Are there any restrictions?
In general, the government does not regulate the scattering of ashes. Most public parks, including national parks, ask that you submit a formal request and may have restrictions on where you can scatter. If you wish to scatter on private land, consult the landowner first. In most cases, as long as you do your due diligence about checking for rules beforehand and are considerate, it’s more of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy.
- What is a columbarium?
A columbarium is a place for the interment of urns containing cremated remains. They’re often located in mausoleums, chapels, or memorial gardens, and contain numerous small compartments, or niches, designed to hold urns.
- What can I do to help the bereaved after services?
The grieving process doesn’t end with the funeral, and it will take time for the bereaved to heal. The family will need your support for months to come, so make sure to check in on a regular basis. Drop a note, make a phone call, and continue to invite them when you make social plans; they’ll let you know if and when they are ready to participate. Reach out to the family on special occasions, like birthdays or anniversaries, especially during the first year following their loss.
- What should I say when I run into the bereaved in public?
What you’ll say depends upon whether or not you’ve already had contact with the bereaved. If you’ve already offered your condolences, or attended the visitation or service, simply greet the bereaved warmly and express an interest in their wellbeing. If this is your first meeting since the death and you’re in a public setting, it’s best not to bring up the death directly. Instead, say something like, “I understand these must be difficult days for you,” and perhaps ask about when might be a good time to visit, or suggest that you meet for lunch.
Talk to a member of our staff if you have any questions or need more information about payment for services.
- If your loved one has a life insurance policy you want to use for funeral expenses, talk to us. We can get a portion of your claim funded immediately instead of waiting 30-90 days for the insurance companies to pay out. We’ll also handle all the paperwork!
- eChecks, or ACH payments, let you transfer funds directly from your bank account to pay for services. It’s fast, secure, and saves you money on credit card fees.
- We offer crowdfunding for funeral services, memorial funds, and more. With all the features of other major crowdfunding sites and less fees, crowdfunding on our website is a great option for your family. Talk to a member of our staff to start a crowdfunding campaign today.
- We work with multiple lenders across the U.S. to get you the most competitive lending rates. Viewing the offers available to you doesn’t affect your credit, so you can see all the options you have for loan amounts and repayment terms.