Planning A Loved One’s Funeral

In the second of our featured series about Funerals, this month we focus on funeral planning:

Planning a funeral can be overwhelming. At a time when emotions run high, it can be hard to get your head straight on organising an event. This easy to follow guide will help you to understand the important parts of a successful funeral and make arranging your loved one’s wake easier.

What Type Of Burial Is Required?

In most cases, where a death was expected or a will is in place, the deceased will have specified their preference for a burial or cremation. If your loved one’s wishes are unknown you may want to consider several factors including their religion, whether a family plot is owned and the finances available. Cremations are usually the simpler and more economical option.

Where Will The Service Be Held? Will It Be Religious Or Civil?

If your loved one was part of a church or religion then they often choose for their funeral to be reflective of this. Most places of worship hold funerals for their members and will help you to make the necessary arrangements for the service. For non-religious funerals, the local crematorium offers the option of a civil service.

Choosing The Right Coffin

There are many different types and styles of coffins available for you to choose from. Traditionally coffins were made from wood, but more recently new options have become available including eco-coffins, felt coffins and even cardboard coffins. Your funeral director will show you the coffins available in your price range and help you to choose the one that’s right for your circumstances and preferences.

Will You Have Flowers Or Accept Donations?

Many people like to offer their condolences by gifting flowers for the funeral. You might like to limit flower contributions to close family only and request that others wishing to contribute show their support by donating to a chosen charity. If your loved one had a cause they were passionate about then a charity close to their heart is a nice choice.

Where Will You Hold The Wake? What Catering Will You Provide?

After the funeral, the guests will attend the wake. This is an opportunity for everyone to come together, share their stories about your loved one and celebrate their life. Choose a venue that’s convenient for people to get to. Some people hold the wake at their own home, but other popular choices are village halls, hotels and even restaurants. It’s customary to provide some food for the guests so if your venue doesn’t provide this then you’ll need to source a caterer too.

What Type Of Music or Hymns Will You Have?

Traditionally hymns are played at a funeral, but more recently it has become popular for family members to choose meaningful songs as an alternative. Most churches will allow you to play a CD but some may still insist on the organist playing the music. If you are providing the music be sure to label the CD with your loved one’s name, the funeral date, each track name/number and when each song should be played throughout the service.

Image: Wicker Paradise