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How to plan a funeral service

Some areas of a funeral are very practical, and best taken care of by funeral professionals. However, the funeral service is a chance to honour someone’s life, their values and beliefs. It can be an occasion for mourning, reflecting and celebrating the life your loved one led. An Attended Funeral from Simplicity allows you the opportunity to arrange a family-led funeral service, whilst we take care of the essential and practical elements of the funeral.

 

Planning a funeral service

With a Simplicity Cremation, there's no need to follow tradition. Our Attended Funeral encourages you to organise a personalised ceremony that is befitting of your loved one's life and character. There is no procession, hearse, limousines or what we would describe as a pre-ceremony, as the focus on the funeral is the service arranged by you and your family.

If you are responsible for planning the funeral service, you should allow for around 30 minutes in the crematorium’s chapel. This will allow for ample time for attendees to calmly enter and exit the chapel. Upon your arrival at the crematorium, your loved one’s coffin will be resting on the catafalque in the chapel. You will be welcomed inside by a chapel attendant.

Here are some things you should consider prior to the day, so you can hold a funeral service truly fitting to your loved one.

 

Choose a type of service

The first step of planning a funeral service is to think about what type of service you would like for your loved one. Although funeral services have in the past been very traditional in nature, this is no longer always the case.

Planning a funeral service is now more of a personal process, with funeral services shaped around the deceased’s life, religious or spiritual beliefs or family traditions.

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.

 

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 confidently 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

When organising a funeral of any kind, there will be a limit on the length of time allowed in the chapel. We’d recommend planning for around thirty minutes for the service itself, so there’s ample time to enter and exit the crematorium without feeling rushed.

 

Common elements of a funeral service

Every funeral service will be different, as it will be unique to the person who has died. A typical funeral service may include funeral music, eulogies and funeral poems and readings read by family and friends. You may have other ideas, especially if your loved one had any special hobbies or interests.

 

Funeral music

Funeral songs and music are a great way of personalising 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 one’s 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 funeral music ideas, read our guide on popular funeral songs in the UK.

 

Ask a family member or friend to prepare a eulogy

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 say something appropriate and fitting. 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.

 

Funeral readings

Although whoever is leading the funeral service will do most of the speaking, it’s common for a loved one to read a few words. This is often in addition to the eulogy.

If religious readings weren’t in the interests of your loved one, a reading from their favourite book or even lyrics from a song might be more appropriate. If you've got multiple friends and family members who would like to say something, then several shorter readings rather than one longer funeral reading may be a good option.

See our list of popular funeral readings.

 

Funeral poems

Like funeral songs and readings, a funeral poem can provide comfort as well as serving as a touching reminder of a loved one.  We’ve created a guide to make choosing a funeral poem easier, which includes a collection of short poems, happy poems and religious funeral poems.

You do not have to choose a traditional funeral poem; writing your own funeral poem means you can make it as personal as you like. You can include memories shared with your loved one, their hobbies and interests and their personality traits.  

 

Share memories of your loved one

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 pens on the seats so guests can write memories and place them into a memory box at the end of the service for you to read at a later date.

 

Organising 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.

An order of service sheet may include:

- Hymns
- Songs
- Readings
- Poems
- Photographs

Read our guide on how to create a funeral order of service

 

Funeral attire

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. When making funeral arrangements you should give attendees as much notice as possible, if you wish for them to dress in a 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 personalised ceremony that is befitting of your loved one's life and character.

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. 

To arrange an Attended Funeral for your loved one, contact us today.

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