WHAT SORT OF Funeral Should I Choose
Why We Hold Funeral Services and Ceremonies
First, it is helpful to briefly consider the roles and functions of a funeral and the service and ceremonies surrounding it. On one level, it is about choosing a final resting place for the person who has died.
Alongside this there may be traditions and practices dictated by faith or religion. Whether they are religious or non-religious, the ceremonies attached to death have a number of purposes; they bring the bereaved and grieving together to comfort and support each other; they acknowledge the enormity of the loss and the hole that the person’s death has left in the lives of their loved ones; they are a chance to celebrate the life of that person, acknowledge the way they touched others, recognise their achievements, the very fact of their existence; they are a chance to say goodbye.
Have these things in mind and think about how the person who has died might want to be remembered; the place, style and content of a service or celebration that would best reflect their life and personality, and how to bring together all the people who mattered most to them.
Some of the Options
More people in the UK are cremated than buried. Whichever you choose, there are a number of options available, for example:
- a traditional funeral service at a place of worship followed by a burial;
- a traditional funeral service at a place of worship followed by cremation;
- a service at a crematorium, often conducted by a Celebrant, with the body present;
- direct cremation, followed by a celebration of life or memorial service, either on the same day or at a later date;
- direct burial, followed by a celebration of life or memorial service on the same day or at a later date;
- or a small, private family burial or cremation followed by a larger memorial service at a later date.
Things to Consider
When thinking about which would be most suitable, these are some of the things to consider:
- did the person specify whether they wanted to be buried or cremated. Or did they want another option, for example to leave their body to science? See Burial or Cremation and Funeral Options for more information.
- where would they like to be buried or cremated and what should happen to their ashes?
- where should the service take place? In a place of worship or would they like a non-religious funeral? For more information, see Funeral Options.
- what will the ‘feel’ of the service be: a joyful celebration of life; a small, somber service; a formal, traditional occasion?
- will there be a gathering (a wake or reception) after the service and where will this take place? At a family home, a favourite pub, a village hall, or perhaps no gathering at all?
- how many people do you expect to attend?
How whiteballoon Can Help
Our Planning a Funeral checklist can be printed out as a reminder of things you may want to include.
You can find ideas and inspiration throughout whiteballoon, including in our Inspiration Pages.
Any items that you like, or that resonate with you (for example, poems, readings, prayers, flowers, coffins, personal touches), can he ‘hearted’ and saved to a personalised Ideas Folder. This can be printed out or shared as necessary with family, friends, your celebrant or funeral director.