Arranging a Funeral
Every funeral is different and these considerations are by no means exhaustive. It will help if you give some thought to the options open to you and discuss these with members of the family prior to making the funeral arrangements.
POINTS TO TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION:
If there is to be a cremation there are many options available as to the final resting place of the ashes and we can guide you through these options.
We will advise you on the likely costs and provide you with a written estimate in advance of the funeral. We offer a range of coffins which includes cardboard, bamboo, or metal caskets amongst the more traditional choices. It is also possible for coffins to be decorated to reflect the life of the person that has died; the list is almost endless, so please ask.
VISITING THE CHAPEL OF REST
Our chapel is available for you to visit at any time during the day or the evening providing you make an appointment. It is possible for the person that has died to be dressed in their own clothes that will be familiar to friends and family. It is also possible for photographs, drawings or other small items to be placed in the coffin. You will need to consider whether jewellery, such as a wedding ring is to remain with the person who has died, or whether it will be removed and kept by a friend or family member.
ANNOUNCING THE FUNERAL
We can place funeral notices and acknowledgements in local and national newspapers on your behalf and guide you with the wording of these. You will need to decide if you would like mourners to send flowers or donations to an appropriate charity in lieu of flowers.
RELIGIOUS OR NON-RELIGIOUS
You will of course be guided in this decision by your own religious beliefs and those of the person whose funeral you are arranging. A high proportion of funeral services are conducted by a minister of religion, but secular services are growing and we have a list of humanist or civil funeral celebrants who will conduct a non-religious service should this be your choice. Please see useful contacts for more information.
MUSIC AND TRIBUTES
Often you can select the music that will be played on entering and leaving the place of service, as well as hymns or music during the service. In conjunction with the person who will lead the service, we can guide you with the order of service and arrange for these to be printed for you. These can be personalised with appropriate photographs drawings or a badge or emblem. We can also provide In Memoriam books to record the names of the mourners at the service.
A personalised eulogy can transform a service and make it really special and memorable. It may be possible to arrange a double slot at the crematorium so that the ceremony doesn’t feel rushed. We have put together some advice and suggestions that you may wish to consider.
We can advise on local florists and guide you through the choices for floral tributes. You may also incorporate flowers from the deceased’s garden, or arrange the flowers themselves. Flowers can also be woven into willow or bamboo coffins to personalise them. We also offer a service where floral tributes can be preserved and framed www.floralpreservations.co.uk
We can advise on conveniently placed local hotels or arrange for outside caterers to attend either at your own home or in a local hall.
We can advise you on memorial options for both burials and cremations. We work closely with local stonemasons H L Perfitt Ltd, please ask for brochures. In the case of a burial in a grave where there is an existing memorial, it is likely that this will have to be removed temporarily. We will arrange for the safe keeping of the memorial until such time as the second inscription is engraved and the memorial replaced.
We run a fleet of modern Mercedes Benz black hearses and limousines. However there are specialist vehicles available, such as a Cadillac hearse, Austin Princess hearse or a Rolls Royce Phantom or Silver Cloud.
There are many alternatives to a traditional hearse for transporting the coffin to the funeral. These include horse drawn carriages, tractor and trailer, Land Rover Defender hearse, motorbike hearse, vintage lorries, or a hearse in a different colour – silver, white or bubblegum pink. You could use your own vehicle if you wanted to, or for very local funeral services, you could walk alongside an old fashioned wheeled-bier.
Through our links with the Eastern Transport Collection, we have access to a collection of old buses, including a 1950’s Double Decker that we sponsor and these would be suitable for transporting large groups of mourners.
We have teamed up with Banham Zoo to provide the choice of a harvest wagon or timber wagon pulled by a pair of heavy horses.
There are many alternative options available for the funeral such as woodland burials; horse drawn vehicles; the scattering of ashes at sea and memorials for your garden. We can also arrange for a piper to accompany the coffin or even a New Orleans style band! We can help to guide you through all these options as well as many other possibilities.
If you are looking for something a little different Colourful Coffins provide a range of distinctive picture coffins, with styles ranging from Religious to Sport.
Rosedale can offer to loan a silk flower arrangement for the top of the coffin.
However, you should not feel that you have to have flowers on the coffin, there are many alternatives to make the funeral even more personal. Why not consider a flag – country, association, football, etc; headwear such as a beret, hat or helmet; perhaps a teddy bear, etc?
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