Places of Rest
One of the first decisions that needs to be made when preparing a funeral is the place of rest for your loved one. There are three main choices here, Burial, Cremation and Woodland Burial. These are often decided by family or religious tradition or by the Will of the departed. Once the type of funeral is decided then you need to make a decision on where the deceased will be laid to rest - i.e. the location of the committal.
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 cemetry or churchyard. Cemetaries 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 a 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.
A less common but increasingly popular choice is a woodland burial. There are several sites in the local area and these are listed in our information about Green Funerals under Our Services. A burial service in a woodland or wildflower reserve is a 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 wearing no non-degradable clothes or jewellery.
Just as with cemetaries and church yards these sites remain open and available 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, Funeral Celebrant 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 leaders 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. Your Funeral Director will be able to put you in touch with a selection of good celebrants.
In general a non religious 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 and the celebrant will want to talk to you and get to know the deceased well so 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 hymns and prayers then select a Funeral Celebrant and not 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.
If you wish to talk to one of our funeral arrangers about types of funeral or places of rest then please do not hesitate to call us on 01702 436000. Alternatively call in to our offices at 94 Bridgewater Drive in Westcliff and we will be happy to chat answer all your questions at leisure.