Arranging a funeral can be incredibly difficult and because arrangements have to be made when you are at your lowest ebb, is likely to be one of the most stressful things you’ll ever have to do. A number of important decisions will have to be made and all at a time when you least feel like it.
Thankfully planning a funeral is not something most of us have to do very often but this means that many people simply don’t know where to begin when it comes to making arrangements. This article contains some basic information to get you started and, hopefully, take some of the stress out of the initial stages of funeral planning.
Some people take a great deal of care and time over the planning of their own funeral and if you’re arranging a funeral for someone who has already left instructions, many of the decisions which need to be made will be taken out of your hands which makes things a little easier. However, if prior arrangements have not been made, you’ll need to begin by deciding on a cremation or burial.
A UK based or funeral directors will be happy to help you with decisions such as this but many people prefer to arrange all aspects of a funeral themselves. It’s worth bearing in mind that there are no laws, regulations or legislation to cover funeral arrangements or ceremonies. The different types of funeral ceremony available in the UK are divided into three main categories: a religious funeral ceremony, a ceremony led by a civil funeral celebrant (this can be religious/non-religious as preferred) or a humanist ceremony which does not have any religious content. The type of funeral you arrange is entirely up to you. Your local funeral director will be able to offer advice on the different types of ceremony which are available in your area and they can talk through the various options with you.
Other details to consider when planning a funeral are funeral flowers, music, poetry and/or readings. Again a funeral director will be happy to help with these aspects but if you’d prefer to make the arrangements yourself, it’s entirely up to you do what you feel is fitting for the person who has died. Funeral flowers can be arranged through your local florist and a wide range of arrangements are used at funerals, including wreaths, floral sprays and casket sprays designed to be displayed on the top of the coffin.
Donations at funerals can be used as a way for people to give money to a particular charity in memory of the person who has died. There are thousands of charities in the UK and you may already have a particular charity in mind but if not, if can be helpful to think about which charities the deceased may have supported themselves. Funeral directors can assist with charity donations and information on where and how to send donations can be printed on the back of the funeral order of service.
When it comes to funeral music the choice is almost limitless and whatever you choose, music can prove to be incredibly powerful and emotive. Depending on where you have chosen to have the funeral, you’ll need to discuss your choices with the church minister, crematorium staff or funeral celebrant as they will help ensure that it’s played at the right time during the service.
As with funeral music, poems and readings can be used to reflect on and celebrate the life of the deceased. You could choose a poem which you know was a particular favourite of the deceased or ask around friends and family for ideas. There are a number of websites full of content and ideas for funeral readings and poetry if you feel you need a little inspiration.
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