Types of Funeral
There are many different types of funeral to choose from when planning a service. We have described below what we feel most people should expect from the different broad categories of funeral, but the most important thing to remember is that a funeral is very personal. Just because you call a funeral 'traditional' does not mean it is pre-decided what will happen. Almost all funerals will draw on elements from all categories.
Talk to us about what you want to include, and we can advise how this can be done, whether it be through music, slideshows or dance!
This is where a religious minister leads the service, whether it be at a Church, the Crematorium, or any other venue. There is usually a basic fixed structure to the service, but still allows flexibility to personalise. It does not have to be a purely sad occasion, you can incorporated a celebration of the person's life into the service.
If you decide to go to Church, that is where the main service takes place, there is then usually a brief committal service at the cemetery or crematorium.
It is however, becoming more popular to have the committal first, and then a memorial service afterwards, or for the hearse to simply depart on its own after the Church service, with nobody attending the Crematorium. This can be beneficial as it means you are able to proceed directly to the reception, meaning you will not miss anyone who is not able to stay for very long. It can quite easily take an hour to get to the committal, have the service and return.
A modern funeral does not have to be non-religious, however the majority are. There is generally less fixed structure to the service, enabling it to be customised more than a traditional service. The main types of non-religious funerals are:
Civil Funerals - A Civil Funeral is a carefully scripted tribute written about the character and life of the person. This personal tribute is often a celebration of the person's life, recounting their experiences, attributes and qualities. Every effort is made to capture the essence of the deceased and gathering information for this may form a major part of your meeting with the Celebrant. On the day, the tribute, or parts of it, can be delivered by the Celebrant, a family member or a friend. Elements of religion can be incorporated into this kind of service.
Humanist Funerals - A Humanist funeral brings people together to express sadness at the loss but also to celebrate the life lived. They focus sincerely and affectionately on the person who has died, paying tribute to the connections they made and left behind and the way they lived their life.
Independent Celebrant led Funeral - This is a completely bespoke service, the Celebrant designs the service based on the individual, honouring memories and celebrating life. Independent Celebrants are experts in creating non-religious, semi-religious, new age or holistic funeral services.
Please feel free to download our Funeral Checklist. This can be used for planning your own funeral, or to give you things to think about if you are due to meet with the funeral director to arrange a funeral now.
While any trained celebrant will conduct a funeral well, having a 'clique' with the family is the difference between a nice service, and a lovely memorable one. This is why we try to match the Celebrant to the family based upon our discussions with you.
A green funeral is often combined with the other types of funeral, please see our Green Funerals page for further information.