If you follow a particular religion, your will undoubtedly choose you own faith leader to conduct your funeral; each place of worship will have its own guidelines laid down by the authority.

What choices will you make?

For those who have no structure to follow and are willing to break with convention a funeral service or ceremony can be held:

  • At home
  • In the garden (with the coffin beneath a gazebo in case of rain)
  • A woodland setting
  • Beside a lake
  • Hire a hall and decorate the space according to the theme with: bunting, flowers, paper cut-outs, greenery, photographs or whatever is appropriate for the occasion.

Hotels, public houses or function venues offering refreshments are often willing to accommodate a funeral service with the coffin present. In such cases it could be arranged for the funeral director to take the deceased for cremation or burial following the service as everyone waves goodbye; accompanied or not by close family, who return to take part in the reception.

Using an alternative venue would likely avoid the funeral feeling rushed enabling the reception to take place at the same venue, which saves people moving around.

Should you wish to break with convention and the funeral director is not able to comply with your wishes you may decide to use another company.

Crematoria have strict regulations and allocated time slots, which vary from place to place. You have a choice as to whether the coffin is in place when mourners enter the chapel, or for it to be carried in once people are seated.

At a committal there is the option of leaving the curtains around the catafalque either open or closed; sometimes there is a veil-like curtain, which offers an in between option and some crematoria have catafalques that sink into the floor.

Nowadays most places of worship and crematoria have a ‘Loop’ system available to assist the hard of hearing. This helps to cut out background noise and works along with a hearing aid.

Should the funeral director you have chosen feel unable to carry out your wishes, you may consider using another company.

Our next Last Wishes course is starting soon where you can learn about all the choices available, plan your funeral and make sure you make your last wishes clear.