A lady told me this story at breakfast on Saturday morning:
She was at the cemetery, decorating her husband's grave. She noticed a hearse coming slowly up the hill, followed by a string of cars with funeral flags and lights on.
She was puzzled. There was no grave dug that she could see. She watched as the procesion pulled to a stop. People got out of their cars. Someone started singing. A preacher began praying. Everyone bowed their heads. There was no casket in view, and no open grave.
The prayers stopped, people got back in their cars. The hearse pulled solemnly away, followed the the rest of the procession.
"I could not believe what I had just seen," she said. "A funeral service, but no grave, and no body? What in the world were they doing?"
Her breakfast companion provided the answer. It seems the dearly departed had decided to be cremated, but still wanted a graveside service. Her family fulfilled that wish, and duly held the service while she reposed in the hearse, on her way to eternal fire. No grave, no body, but, as the lady observed, "a lovely service!"