Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips
Hail and Farewell Cremation Book Cover

When someone says, “Just cremate me after I’m dead,” the family often has no clue what to do for a memorial service or final disposition of the remains. This book, Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips, helps families with memorial service guidance and creative ideas.

The book by Gail Rubin, Certified Thanatologist and Certified Funeral Celebrant, and Susan Fraser, respected memorial authority, covers everything related to creating a meaningful memorial service with cremated remains:

  • Why it’s important to hold some sort of goodbye ceremony.
  • A description of the cremation process, so families know what to expect.
  • Examples of different ways to scatter ashes – more than you’d think!
  • Stories of creative memorial services in different settings to spark ideas.
  • Templates to easily create meaningful memorial services.
  • Sample scripts from actual memorial services to provide inspiration.
  • Suggested readings, music and online resources for a wealth of meaningful materials to weave into a service.

The book’s title refers to the last line of an ancient elegiac poem written by the Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus approximately 2,000 years ago. He mourns the death of his brother, who died while Catullus was traveling abroad. Upon his return, he sadly addresses his brother’s cremated remains, “… with brotherly weeping. And forever, brother, hail and farewell.”

“The only difference between a memorial service and a funeral is the presence of a body,” said Rubin. “Cremation offers increased flexibility and a range of creative options for a memorable send-off. The best time to learn about funeral planning issues is NOW, before there’s a death.”

“When families find themselves in the unfortunate position of having to plan a memorial without knowing what choices they should make, they need support in their grief,” said Fraser. “Hail and Farewell encourages people to take the time to consider how they could memorialize their own lives, and to form a plan now.”

Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips, is published by Light Tree Press and retails for $10.00 (plus shipping and NM sales tax as applicable). It’s available at Amazon.com (Affiliate Link) and BarnesandNoble.com.


Hail and Farewell is a hit. I find it to be a ready reference when it comes to religious ceremonies that I am not really that familiar with. The day after I received it, I used it and the prayers that I chose to use were the most appropriate possible. As I am a funeral director, I am very familiar with cremation. Gail’s cremation how’s and why’s and cremation disposition suggestions were spot on. I appreciate a “non-licensed” point of view. Gail and Susan’s book offers a balanced approach to cremation and funeral/memorial services, and should serve all professionals serving this community well. Thank you, Gail and Susan.”

Funeral Director Concierge
Jewish Parachaplain/Interfaith Minister/Officiant

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About the Authors

Gail Rubin, CT, The Doyenne of Death

Gail Rubin, CT, The Doyenne of Death®

Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death®, is a death educator who helps families plan and implement customized, creative memorial services. She “knocked ‘em dead” with her TEDxABQ talk on end-of-life issues, and she uses humor and funny films to reduce resistance to discussing death. She is a pioneer of the Death Cafe movement in the United States and writes regularly about funeral trends for industry publications and The Family Plot Blog at AGoodGoodbye.com. She is also the author of the award-winning books, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die and Kicking The Bucket List: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die.

Susan Fraser, In The Light Urns

Susan Fraser, founder & CEO, In The Light Urns

Susan Fraser is the founder and CEO of In The Light Urns, a family owned company. Founded in 2001, In The Light Urns has pioneered dozens of cremation urn products through research and development. She and her staff continually improve and innovate to provide excellent, compassionate service to families in grief. Their cremation urns, keepsake urns and memorial products are designed to offer families an ideal send-off for their loved ones.

Title: Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips

Publisher: Light Tree Press, P.O. Box 36987, Albuquerque, NM 87176-6987

Retail Price: $10.00 online at Amazon.com (Affiliate Link) and BarnesandNoble.com.

ISBN: 978-0-9845962-7-0

A Good Goodbye