Arranging a funeral
The funeral service is a way of saying goodbye to a loved one.
We are here to help you make the necessary decisions to provide the appropriate funeral for your loved one.
Supplying information about the deceased
In order to make the funeral arrangements, the funeral director will need:
- The full name of the person who has died
- Their full address
- Their date of birth
- Details of where and when they died
Choosing between cremation or burial
The first choice people usually make is about the type of funeral service. Whether you choose a burial or a cremation, we’ll be there to make all the arrangements on your behalf.
Some things to consider about a cremation:
It can cost more than a burial.
The funeral service can be held at the Crematorium. Most will have a service room or other appropriate facilities.
The service may also take place in a Church or another location, before going to the Crematorium. There will be a strict time limit for the length of the service. This will vary depending on the Crematorium.
You will need to decide the final resting place of the ashes.
These can be kept, scattered on land or sea or buried. There are many options for different types of containers which we will be happy to discuss with you. Other options are that you can have them made into jewellery, included in a tattoo or even made into a firework.
Some things to consider about a burial:
It is usual to have a service in the Church or Chapel before burial in the Churchyard or Cemetery, although a service around the graveside is another option.
You may already have a family grave or plot. We can arrange for this to be reopened and the headstone removed before burial.
You might want to reserve plots or a large plot if you or your family want to be buried close to a loved one.
Woodland burials are now available in many areas in the country.
After the burial you will need to consider if you want a memorial headstone or a new inscription on an existing headstone. We can also give you advice on choosing a memorial and any local regulations you should know about.
Making arrangements for the service
On the day of the funeral, the hearse will take the coffin to the funeral service. The hearse can be followed by limousines that carry the chief mourners, although many families prefer to use their own cars.
We can provide chauffeured limousines to save you worrying about parking, driving and getting to the service on time.
Please let us know if there is a special route you would like the procession to take. We can discuss this with you when you make the arrangements.
Today, the choice of coffin is greater than ever before. Standard coffins are usually made of chipboard with a thin veneer. Other choices include solid wooden coffins, colourful coffins and those made from different materials, such as cardboard, recycled materials, wicker and willow.
There is also scope for designing the coffin and decorating it yourself. You can look online at different options or please call in to have a look at our brochures.
Many people choose flowers that were a favourite of the person who has died, which can be another way of making the funeral more personal. There are many types of floral arrangements. If you’d like an idea of the kind of arrangements people tend to choose, please get in touch.
Some people prefer to have flowers from the family only and choose a charity for people to donate to, instead of buying flowers. It is worth remembering that sending flowers can be a healing gesture for people who have lost someone close. It might be worth giving people the choice of sending flowers or donating money to a charity, or both.
We can collect the cards from the wreaths and bouquets and give them to you later. We can also collect donations for you and record who they are from.
Music, including hymns, tapes, CDs and live music, often play an important part in a funeral service. Some churches have strict rules on the type of music allowed.
A Selection of Favourite Hymns (pdf download)
What happens at the funeral?
There is no set procedure for a funeral but traditionally the funeral procession starts at the house of the person who has died – or sometimes from the funeral home – with the coffin and cars travelling to where the funeral service will take place. The hearse sometimes goes directly to the service.
The coffin is taken to where the funeral service is to be held and close family members usually follow and sit at the front. For a burial, the coffin will be taken to the grave and lowered into the grave while a short service is held.
For a cremation, the coffin will be taken to the Crematorium and placed on a stand. Towards the end of the service, music is played and traditionally the coffin disappears from view. If you want the coffin to remain on view until after the mourners have left, please tell the funeral director.
There will be a time limit for the service. You can book more time at the Crematorium if you like, although this may cost extra. Your funeral director can advise on times and costs.
After the funeral, friends and family usually get together for some refreshments, which often takes place at the deceased’s house, the house of a close family member or at a local pub or hotel.
Arranging a funeral is a very personal event. There are many traditions and values closely followed but there are also areas for personal touches. These ideas can be explored below. There really are no restrictions on how you do things. The list below is not exhaustive. It is really there to give you ideas.
Printed Orders of Service
We usually provide printed orders of service. These can be personalised in any way that you think fitting, from photographs to colours and favourite team badges. These can be produced in house, at a specialist printer or even by a family member.
You may wish to think about other ways of making the funeral reflect the life of the person who has died. We will do our best to arrange anything we can for you, some options are personalised keepsakes which can be locks of hair, fingerprints and jewellery.
Whether this be of the flowers, the cortege or even family at or after the event, it is something worth thinking about.
Release of doves or balloons
Music, Bagpipers, Choir and Bands
For some, music is key and a big part of their loved ones lives. It is an opportunity to include in the service a particularly important or relevant piece of music. We can help provide particular pieces for you.
Types of Transport
We have a traditional black hearse and limousine that we use for funerals. However, there are many choices if you would like to have something a bit different, from using local tractors and trailers to hiring in horse drawn carriages and motorbike hearses.