Planning a Funeral

These days there is no one way to arrange a funeral. Planning a funeral can vary from the traditional to the alternative. Although many funerals happen in a church or crematorium, others take place at home, in village halls (or the equivalent) or outside under a marquee. Some are graveside at a natural burial ground. The tone can be formal, informal or somewhere in between. What matters is that the funeral reflects the life and personality of the person who has died and that afterwards everyone thinks it was the right kind of funeral to have had.

A key part of our job when planning a funeral is to make the practical arrangements as smooth as possible whilst supporting you through the emotional journey that unfolds after someone dies. All deaths are different in how they impact on family and friends and an important first stage in the grieving process is to hold the funeral. A good funeral makes it much easier to move on and re-engage with life without the person who has died. That is one reason why it is so important for the funeral director to listen to family and friends when making the arrangements and to pay close attention to detail. Often people can feel let down by a funeral because a little thing was not right.and that is the impression that stays with them afterwards.

When we meet with you, we will talk you through the various decisions you will have to make in planning a funeral and find out the extent to which you wish to be involved. Details of the funeral service like choice of music, poems and readings are usually made after discussion with the celebrant. The kinds of question that need answering with us as funeral directors are the ones we list here.

Did the person who has died express any wishes about:

  • the kind of funeral they wanted?
  • whether they wanted to be buried or cremated?

Are you thinking of:

  • a green, alternative or traditional funeral?
  • a small intimate funeral or a larger public one?
  • holding the service at home or in a village hall?

Do you want:

  • a particular type of coffin or shroud?
  • to hire vehicles like a hearse or limo or use your own?
  • to have family members or friends bear the coffin during the funeral?

Would you like:

  • to be involved in the washing and dressing of the body?
  • to view the body?
  • to hold a vigil or wake before the funeral?

Do you have views on:

  • flowers?
  • music?
  • orders of service?
  • announcements in local or national newspapers?
  • donations?

After the funeral, will you:

  • have a post-funeral gathering?
  • inter the ashes in a formal ceremony?
  • plan a memorial of some kind?

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