Place of Rest
One of the first decisions that needs to be made when preparing a funeral is the style of funeral you wish for your loved one. There are three main choices here, Cremation, Burial and Woodland Burial. These are often decided by family or religious tradition or by the Will of the departed. Below is a brief description to help you understand the details for each type of funeral.
The most usual form of funeral is cremation. For a cremation the service can be arranged either at the crematorium or at a local church. The crematorium will have one or more chapels for the funeral service and this can be religious or non-religious according to preference. If the service happens at a local church then the coffin will be transported after the service to the crematorium where a short committal service will be held for immediate family.
For the ashes all local crematoria have gardens of remembrance, a place of peace and tranquillity where ashes can be laid to rest. You can also inter the ashes in most burial grounds, just be aware that they usually require that the ashes be buried in some form of container.
Naturally you can request that the ashes be returned into your care and we can take care of this for you at no extra cost. We also have a wide selection of Urns, Caskets and Scatter Tubes for burying, scattering or keeping your loved one’s ashes.
This is the main alternative to cremation and usually takes place in a cemetery or churchyard. Cemeteries will usually accept religious and non-religious burials but some are reserved for single faith services. Your funeral arranger will have information and advice on burial grounds in the local area.
Whether you are wanting to purchase a new plot or use an existing family plot your Funeral Director will be able to assist you in locating and purchasing new plots or finding out the current state and availability of family plots.
There is a growing desire for more eco-friendly and natural funerals and woodland burials are becoming an increasingly popular choice. There are a couple of good sites in the local area and these are listed in our information about Local Cemeteries and Crematoria. A burial service in a woodland or wildflower reserve can be a very special experience being, by nature, a less structured and less formal environment. Please note that Woodland Burial sites will usually insist on an eco friendly and bio-degradable coffin and that the deceased be clothed in only natural fibre.
Just as with cemetaries and church yards these sites remain open and available for you to visit with your loved one.
Types of Service
The place of rest and the type of service will sometimes be connected. You will need to decide early in the arrangement which type of service you require, the main choices being Religious, Non Religious and Humanist. The type of service you require may be quite obvious to you according to the faith of your loved one, but if you are unsure we have detailed the main types of service below.
If the deceased has a clear religious affiliation then you will very probably want to request a funeral service for that religion. A Christian service celebrates the passing of the deceased into a new life and often involves religious readings, prayers and hymns. Other faiths recognise the passing of their faithful with unique ceremonies and rituals in defined locations. Your Religious Leader should be able to advise you on the type of service required and your Funeral Director will be happy to give advice and to liaise with the relevant person or people to organise the funeral for you.
If the deceased has no specific faith but you feel they would want a religious ceremony that is not a problem. Your Funeral Director can give advice on religious celebrants in the area who can perform the service and they will take time to meet with you and arrange the service as you would wish.
A Funeral Celebrant is trained and experienced in leading non-religious funeral services. These will not focus on any specific religion but will rather focus on celebrating the life of your loved one and honouring their departure. However, if you want a specific hymn or a religious reading then that will not be a problem…it is your service and you should make those decisions. A good celebrant will meet with you and the family and guide you through all of these issues. We work with a number of excellent Funeral Celebrants and will be able to put you in touch with the right person for you.
Please note that in general a Funeral Celebrant will tend to spend more time with the family than a religious one. This is because there is less predetermined structure to a non-religious service so the celebrant will want to talk to you and get to know the deceased well in order that he or she can create a unique service for you and for them.
A Humanist service will focus purely on celebrating the life and memory of the deceased and saying goodbye with dignity and respect. There is no religious content to a Humanist service so if you are wanting any hymns or the Lord’s Prayer then please select a Non Religious service rather than a Humanist service.
NOTE: It is often wrongly believed that a Humanist funeral will be in some way offensive to the religious. Rest assured, this is not the case. There is no anti-religious element to the service, just a focus on your loved one, on celebrating a life well lived and mourning a sad passing.