Organising a funeral after someone dies

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your behalf.

3. Transport

You'll need to decide on the size and makeup of the cortege (the hearse and the cars following it). Other questions to consider include:

Will it be a standard, motorbike or horse-drawn hearse?
How many cars will be needed?
Where will the cortege leave from?
Will it take a special route?
Will you require wheelchairs for elderly or disabled mourners?
Where will you return to afterwards?

4. Bearing the coffin

Some families decide that they would like to bear the coffin themselves at the ceremony, instead of the funeral director's staff. Bearers may be friends, family members or colleagues of the person who has died.

5. Music

Many people now ask for specific pieces of music to be played at the service. Your Funeral Director will be able to advise you on this and make the appropriate arrangements for you.

6. Eulogies

A eulogy is when someone pays tribute to a person's life by saying a few words that will help remember that person at the service. You can prepare a speech yourself for this, or you may prefer to read a favourite poem or passage.

7. Catering

You may wish to offer guests refreshments after the funeral. You will need to decide who will provide the catering and where it will be provided. You may prefer to offer refreshments at your home or at a location close to where the service has been held.

8. Burial or cremation?

If there is no grave in existence and a new grave is required, this can be arranged directly with the cemetery or through the funeral director. New graves are expensive and the costs can increase significantly in some areas if the deceased lived outside the cemetery authority's boundary. The family organising the purchase of a new grave should know what costs are before finalising the funeral arrangements. Burials in churchyards are subject to rules and regulations of the church authority concerned. These rules are often very strict in relation to the type of headstone or memorial that can be placed on the grave following the funeral. The restrictions can also extend to what is written on the headstone. Those responsible for the funeral arrangements should be aware of what memorial restrictions are enforced before the interment takes place to avoid any unnecessary distress later on.

If you opt for cremation, this will take place shortly after the funeral committal service is over in the crematorium chapel. Each coffin is cremated individually and after each cremation the ashes are removed and kept separately so that each family receives the remains of their relative. If required these are usually available for collection the next working day and can be placed in the Garden of Remembrance at the crematorium. The ashes can also be kept by the relatives, interred in a new or existing family grave, or scattered in a place deemed as appropriate by the family or as requested by the deceased prior to death.

This is an option that will have been specified in someone's Will or prepaid funeral plan.

So these are the usual options to consider. Other possibilities can be discussed with your funeral director or funeral plan provider.

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