How to arrange a funeral yourself: Organising a funeral service
You might want to arrange a funeral yourself for many reasons. It may be a way to cope with your grief, it could have been the wishes of the deceased, or you feel only you could organise a tribute fitting to the person you have lost. Not as simple as it first seems, arranging a funeral yourself can be quite a complicated process. You'll need to organise everything, including the parts of burial or cremation that can be quite upsetting at such an emotional time.
How to arrange a funeral yourself: what to consider first
If you're going to arrange a funeral yourself, without the help of a funeral provider, you'll need to organise:
- Care and preparation of the deceased including finding a place of rest before the funeral
- Appropriate transport of the deceased
- Documentation including death certificates and other legally required paperwork
- Liaison with the crematorium or cemetery
- The collection of the ashes if you choose cremation
- The ceremony and service
If this feels as though this could all become too much for you, our Attended Funeral allows you the freedom to arrange the funeral service yourself, but with complete support of our caring team. You organise the service how you see fit, and we'll do the rest.
Do it yourself funeral arrangements, with help from Simplicity
If you are arranging a funeral yourself service yourself, but with the support of Simplicity, we've put together some things you should consider prior to the day.
Who will lead the funeral service?
An important thing to consider when organising a funeral service is who will conduct the service itself. You need to know who can perform a funeral service and who would be willing to do so. It may be a nice touch to choose a close friend or family member.
If you'd like a religious figure to lead the ceremony or something a bit more formal, we can also provide guidance on finding a minister or officiant.
As with any funeral service, there will be a limit on the length of time allowed in the chapel. We’d recommend planning for around thirty minutes, so there’s ample time to enter and exit the crematorium without feeling rushed.
Add personal touches
We’ve highlighted some of the most popular ways to personalise a funeral service below. You may have other ideas, especially if your loved one had any special hobbies or interests.
Music is the main way to personalise a funeral service. All of our crematoria feature a music system so you will have the ability to arrange a playlist of songs to play inside the chapel. It can be a nice touch to have your loved ones favourite song playing as you enter or exit the chapel. Should you arrange a religious ceremony, you may also want to incorporate hymns into the service. For ideas, read our guide to the best funeral songs.
It is common to feature a eulogy as part of the order of service, as a tribute to your loved one. You should consider asking someone who knew them well so they’ll be able to write something appropriate. It can be quite an honour to be asked to speak at a funeral, although some people may prefer not to, as it can take a lot of confidence to stand up and speak in front of a large congregation. You may find our guide to writing a eulogy helpful.
You may also want to include readings in the service. If religious readings weren’t in the interests of your loved one such as a meaningful poem, a reading from their favourite book or even lyrics from a song, could be more appropriate. A member of the family may even decide to write a poem dedicated to their loved one. See our list of popular funeral readings.
There are lots of ways of sharing memories at a funeral, a photo memory board can be a nice touch for everyone to share photos of happy times with the departed. By asking family and friends for pictures, you should hopefully collect a range of photos covering the course of their life, as different people might have known them best at different times. This is a nice way to highlight the person’s life and accomplishments.
Taking this one step further, you could dedicate part of the service so mourners can share memories and stories with the congregation. In a 2018 independent survey, 41% of people said they’d like a family member or friend to share a loving story about them at their funeral. Alternatively, you could leave paper and pen on the seats so guests have the opportunity to write memories and place into a memory box at the end of the service, for you to read at a later date.
Prepare a funeral order of service
A funeral order of service provides an outline of what will happen throughout the service. It is often a printed 4 page booklet that is handed out to mourners as they enter the chapel or resting on seats before they enter. Each order of service will be different as it is personalised for your loved one.
For help making a funeral order of service, read our guide.
Opting for alternative funeral attire is a really easy way to personalise a funeral. It’s becoming a popular request to ask mourners to dress in bright colours or even your loved one’s favourite colour, instead of traditional mourning colours. You should give guests as much notice as possible, if you wish for them to dress in any particular way.
Arrange an Attended Funeral with Simplicity Cremations
With a Simplicity Cremation, there's no need to follow tradition. Our attended funeral encourages you to organise a ceremony, befitting of your loved one's life and their character, and should be personalised to them.
There is no procession, hearse, limousines or what we would describe as a pre-ceremony. The coffin will be resting in the chapel when you arrive at the crematorium ready for you to hold the funeral service itself.
Honouring life with personal touches and details can create a meaningful and lasting remembrance, whether that's by adding small details or planning a more elaborate affair; how the service is planned is completely up to you.