Planning a funeral can be difficult. You want the very best for your family member or friend, but – if they’ve not left any instructions or discussed their wishes – it can be hard to know where to start.
How soon you hold the funeral is up to you, there are no rules about how quickly things need to be done. Sometimes there are religious reasons for holding the funeral within a certain time, and in such cases we’ll ensure that things happen as quickly as possible. Equally, if you’d like the funeral to take place later – perhaps to give relatives time to travel from overseas or to give you more time to make arrangements – this can also be arranged.
One of the first things that you need to consider is what sort of service to hold. Many people leave instructions about what they want – some even supply a list of songs they’d like played or specify where the wake should be held – but if they haven’t, then we can help you plan something fitting based on what you know about them. If they were religious this may help shape your choices, as most people wish to respect the beliefs of the person, even if they do not share them.
Of course, not everyone is religious and it is just as important to respect someone’s lack of religious beliefs. If they were not religious, a secular service may be the most appropriate choice – this is easy to arrange and is becoming an increasingly common choice. Some families prefer to have a private burial or cremation service either before or after a bigger and more public church service or memorial service. These can immediately follow each other or be held several days apart.
Burial or cremation?
Many people make their views on if they want to be buried or cremated clear before they die, so it may simply be a case of honouring those wishes. If nothing has been specified and there are no other factors, such as religious requirements, that need to be observed, it is simply a case of choosing what you feel is most appropriate.
Burials generally take place in churchyards or cemeteries (a cemetery is a grave yard that is not attached to a church), but there are other options such as burial at sea, interment in a vault or woodland burials.
With churchyard or cemetery burials it is sometimes possible to use an existing lair – so, for example, a couple could be buried together. If you wish to use an existing lair you’ll need the relevant deeds or documents – don’t worry if you can’t find them, we can help you, but please bear in mind that it may mean things take a little longer to arrange.
There are various fees associated with burials that will vary depending on if it’s a new or existing lair, your location and the site itself. We’ll talk you through these in as much detail as you need us to, but please remember that these charges are beyond our control and are usually unavoidable.
We can arrange a cremation at the crematorium of your choice. At a some crematoriums there are two chapels, so you can choose the size of chapel you feel is most appropriate. You can also choose what you want done with the ashes of your loved one, from having them scattered in the garden of remembrance, to having them returned to you.
If you choose a burial or cremation we are here to help you with all the arrangements, we’ll talk through the options available to you, and answer any questions you may have.