How to go about…
Arranging A Funeral
How to properly express your final respects for a loved one who has passed away, has been a dilemma for thousands of years. In the past, culture and traditions have been a successful guidepost for many. Today however, traditions have slipped away for a much more highly personalized gathering of family and friends, in recognition of a life once lived.
Our goal for you, is to be confident that you have done the very best you could to offer up a dignified and meaningful service for your loved one. Our experienced funeral directors will help guide you through this sometimes confusing process, and ensure the final event flows smoothly.
Please find below a detailed list of questions that your funeral director will discuss with you during the arrangement. If you prefer, download a printable list so that you can prepare with your family ahead of time in the comfort of your own home.
Choose from these…
Questions Regarding Funerals
Are there any pre-arranged funeral plans?
Did your loved one leave behind any pre-arranged funeral plans with their family or a funeral director, stating their wishes for their own funeral?
If the answer is yes, was it also pre-paid? Do you know the name of the insurance company that the policy or bond was held with?
This question is important to know before any other arrangements are made, as whatever plans your loved one made will decide what happens next.
Burial or Cremation?
This will be one of the very first questions your funeral director will ask you, as either option has different requirements. This decision will be based on several factors such as cultural or religious requirements, the request of the deceased and practical reasoning.
Do you know if there is already a reserved burial plot or Memorial site? If so, do you know where it is?
- Which cemetery have you chosen?
- Do you require reservations for other family members?
- Will the burial site be intended for one or two people? (A double site is not always possible, and needs to be decided at the time of the first placement. Please see FAQ’s)
- Are there any objections to cremation? (A cremation cannot take place if there are.)
- What do you intend to do with the ashes?
- (Return of ashes will generally take two full working days, so if there is any urgency, this needs to be discussed with the funeral director prior to the service.)
What do you intend to do with the ashes of your loved one?
Your options may include;
- Selection of a cremation Urn/s, or jewellery – We have a small range of urns available in our office, although most people choose to order from a catalogue.
- Travelling with ashes – If intending to travel by plane within Australia or overseas, there is certain paperwork that must accompany the ashes. Please discuss with your funeral director.
- Postage of ashes – Please arrange with your funeral director if you intend for ashes to be posted within Australia. It is not recommended for ashes to be posted overseas.
- Scattering of ashes – If you intend to scatter ashes, please discuss with your funeral director for general advice.
- Portioning the ashes – If you require the ashes to be divided, it is important that you discuss this with your funeral director. We can then make sure each portion is correctly identified and any appropriate paperwork provided.
- Memorialisation of ashes – Would you like to discuss a more permanent memorial for your loved one? Discuss your options with our expert staff. Click here for more information.
What type of Service?
Traditionally, a funeral is a public event that allows the wider community a chance for a final farewell for a person they knew, loved and respected.
It also provides them the opportunity to show their support for the family and friends left behind.
However, a funeral service does not need to be considered ‘traditional’ to be effective or appropriate. There are many ways to celebrate the life of your loved one.
Some options include;
- Private family gathering
- Public funeral at church, our chapel or other venue
- Graveside burial service
- Memorial service only
Clergy or Celebrant?
Would you prefer a religious or non-religious service? And who would you like to conduct the service?
The type of funeral service you choose, may also influence whether you choose Clergy or a Celebrant to conduct the service.
If you are unsure, we can recommend one of several experienced funeral celebrants to you.
Whomever you chose, will meet with you to discuss the final order of service. We will then co-ordinate with them to ensure your requests are carried out in a professional manner.
A eulogy is a way to tell the story of a person’s life. Writing one doesn’t have to be daunting. It can be done by a nominated person, or as a combined effort.
What needs to be included? There is so much more than just facts and figures, although these can be essential too. What about the type of person they were, the things they believed in and what they considered their greatest achievements? Include the people they loved and the things they did. Don’t forget the funnier aspects of their life. The death of a loved one is a time of grief, but it doesn’t mean we can’t have a fond chuckle or two in remembrance of who they were.
Who will tell your loved one’s story? It can be a family member or shared by several. If none are comfortable with this, then the celebrant can relate this part for you.
Are there any cultural requirements that need to be performed, as part of the funeral service, or during the preparation of the body in the days prior?
- Family members involved in washing and dressing of the deceased.
- Viewings at home or in our chapel.
- Certain rituals that are done as part of the funeral service.
There are many and varied options, even within the same cultures, so feel free to discuss your needs with the funeral director.
We will do our utmost to help ensure your traditions and culture are respected.
A viewing can be a time for healing, a last opportunity to say goodbye to your loved one in a calm and private environment.
It’s a very personal decision whether this is appropriate for you or not, so please don’t feel compelled to do so because of other’s suggestions.
If you are unsure, please discuss with your funeral director. Have you decided on what clothing you would prefer your loved one to wear? There are no restrictions on what is suitable, so please bring in what you feel is most appropriate.
Choosing a Coffin or Casket
Please download our catalogue for our available range of coffins or caskets.
If you are unsure, the funeral director can discuss your options with you.
Newspaper notifications are a public way to notify others of either the death or funeral arrangements for your loved one. We can assist you with the wording, and co-ordinate with the Newspaper on your behalf.
Please click on the pdf guideline to help with wording
Flowers and Donations
A floral arrangement, or casket spray, is commonly placed on the coffin or casket as a mark of respect. These can vary depending on the style / colour / flower choices that you make.
Please download our brochure to make a selection from some of these popular options.
If you don’t wish to have flowers, and would prefer other cherished items such as photos, fishing gear, sporting items, hobbies etc instead, please feel free to bring these in to our office. We will make sure they are placed in a prominent position during the funeral and then returned safely to you after the service.
For many family and friends of the deceased, sending flowers is a way of expressing their grief, but also their support for the family left behind.
If you would prefer donations to a favoured cause instead, we can arrange donation envelopes for those wishing to contribute instead of, or as well as, sending flowers.
Music plays an integral part of any funeral service, making it unique to your loved one.
It allows your family an opportunity to reflect on the personality of your loved one, and what they meant to you. There are generally no limits to the type of music you would like to play, although we are happy to help you with a selection if you are unable to decide.
(If you are having a church service, your music choices will need to be discussed with the priest or minister.)
Music choices are usually played three times during a service; at the beginning, during reflection time and at the end following the committal.
If you have chosen a Slide show / DVD presentation, you will be asked for your music choices for this as well. (Usually one to two songs, dependent on length of presentation.)
We are generally able to obtain the music for you, but if you are intending to provide it, then we will need access to your music at least the day before the service.
(Please provide the song name, plus the name of the artist.)
Live performances are also welcomed.
Slideshows or DVD presentations allow you to share visual memories of your loved one with family and friends.
Not all service locations will be able to host a slideshow, so please check with us first.
Presentations are usually best kept to about five / six minutes long. After this, your audience can become distracted.
For a professional result, we highly recommend you engage our experienced staff to create your presentation.
If a family member or friend wishes to produce the Slideshow or PowerPoint presentation, you are very welcome to do so. However, as there are many things that can go wrong, we strongly suggest you please download these instructions to ensure a presentation to be proud of.
We will need a completed copy of your final presentation at least a full day before the service, so we can test it on our equipment. Otherwise, we will not be able to guarantee a successful screening of all your heartfelt efforts.
Order of Service Booklets
We offer Order of Service booklets personally designed for your loved one, to share with those who mourn your loss with you.
These booklets contain information about the service, including photos of your loved one, poetry, or other items that you would like to have included.
The first 50 booklets are included as complimentary.
Would you like to keep a more personal memento of the funeral? Memorial books are designed to become a part of your family’s history, something to look back on and gain solace from.
Inside its pages you can include details of your loved one as well as the funeral service. Attendees are invited to sign its pages, perhaps leaving a comforting note or two.
A copy of the newspaper notice, and who sent flowers or messages of love and support can be added too. Family photos are the finishing touch.