Arranging a Funeral
Planning the Funeral Service
This following guidance is intended to advise if you are are arranging the service yourself without the assistance of a funeral director.
The format the funeral service takes is entirely of your choice and can be personalised as much as you wish.
The service can be led by and involve a number of people. You do not need to use a Minister of Religion but if the deceased had religious beliefs, it is usual to follow those beliefs. The service can be led by:
- A Minister of Religion
- A non-religious civil funeral celebrant
- A humanist officiant
When you arrive at the crematorium the chapel attendant will receive and advise you. You will need to provide at least four pallbearers to carry the coffin into the chapel and place it onto the catafalque.
Coffins can only be received through the chapel and must always follow crematorium procedures, no other protocol is permitted.
It is usual, though not obligatory, for the minister or officiant to lead the coffin into the chapel with the mourners following.
The coffin will rest upon the catafalque during the cremation service.
For a burial the cortege will be met by the cemetery attendants in the main drive and then escorted to either the cemetery church or chapel or direct to the grave depending of the wishes of the family.
For a burial service in the church or chapel the coffin will be removed from the hearse and carried into the church to be placed on tressels. After the service the coffin will be carried back to the hearse for the short journey to the graveside. Mourners will normally follow the main cortege to the grave in their own cars.
Alternatively, if there is to be no service in the church or chapel, the cortege and following cars may drive directly to the grave.
For a cremation the coffin rests on the catafalque during the service. When the committal has taken place the curtain closes but the coffin remains on the catafalque until all the mourners have left the chapel. If you prefer, the coffin can remain on view until all mourners have left.
On the day of the funeral a small name plaque will be provided in the floral tribute area for any tributes to be placed around. At the end of the service mourners can proceed to the area to view the tributes before leaving the crematorium.
Last updated: 5th January 2012