There are a number of different types of funeral service that we can assist bereaved families with. Our funeral directors aim to support you to have the exact funeral that you want. A funeral that reflects the person who has died is a helpful way of supporting family and helping them to move on.
The two main options you have for funerals are essentially cremation and burial. However, within those two funeral types there are a lot of different options. You can also opt for a variety of religious or non religious services, depending on your preference.
Many people opt for a more conventional type of funeral. This usually consists of either a religious or non religious service to commemorate the deceased, followed by either burial or cremation.
If you’re opting for a religious service, this will normally be run by a religious leader such as a priest or minister within the traditions of that faith. If the deceased was a regular worshipper, the religious leader may know them already, meaning they will be able to offer a personal touch. For a non religious funeral, a professional celebrant or humanist will usually conduct the service. They are less likely to know the deceased personally but they are often very experienced at conducting these services and tend to be very professional in obtaining background details from the family about their loved one.
At a burial funeral, the committal service typically takes place at the graveside of your loved one and may include prayers and readings. After the funeral procession arrives at the burial ground the coffin will be carefully removed from the hearse and placed on planks above the grave whilst all of the mourners gather around it. When you are ready to say goodbye to the deceased, the coffin is lowered into the ground by family members and friends. You may scatter soil onto the coffin or throw flowers into the grave after it is lowered. The priest or minister will say a few words, and may lead a prayer if the funeral service is religious. Humanist or Celebrant non religious services will also have prepared a short graveside service.
At a cremation funeral, family members or funeral staff will take the coffin into the chapel, placing it on a raised platform called a catafalque. Typically, the coffin will remain on the catafalque whilst the service takes place. The end of the service is known as the committal and the coffin is usually hidden by curtains until the service has been completed. After the cremation service, the funeral director will lead close family out of the chapel, followed by other mourners. If you wish to play a loved one’s favourite piece of music during the service, most crematoria will be able to facilitate this for you. Some crematoria also have video streaming facilities available, allowing absent family and friends to watch the cremation service live on the internet (Additional Charge by Crematorium) Following cremation, you have the option of scattering ashes or keeping them. Many families choose to retain the ashes of their loved one in some kind of container, such as an urn. They may choose to scatter the ashes at a later date, once they feel ready. It’s important not to feel hurried to dispose of the ashes, and it can take time to gather the family. It’s common for the family to handle the disposal of ashes by themselves at a private event, without the help of a religious leader or humanist/celebrant. We also respect the fact that some people prefer to keep their funeral as simple as possible. We offer an option for a non-attended cremation (without family present).
After a funeral many families choose to have a catered funeral tea so that family and mourners can gather together and reminisce on the life of their loved one. This is sometimes called a wake. People who were unable to attend the funeral service, especially younger children or elderly, might go to the reception instead. The reception usually happens immediately after the funeral. It can be at your family home, or any venue that is available for catered receptions. A funeral tea usually lasts a few hours, and mourners will depart in their own time.
Although many people don’t want to think of death before it happens, as funeral directors we often see grieving families left unsure of their loved one’s wishes. It’s a good idea to understand what your loved one would want for their funeral if they were to be taken from you suddenly. Planning ahead is a way of helping them with the practical arrangements should the unexpected happen.
Need help with a funeral service?
Our staff are happy to answer any question or query in confidence and are only too happy to help in any given situation.