Types of Funerals

There are lots of different types of funerals available today. Gone are the days of choosing between a church or crematorium service.

Additionally, many people now want to plan for their own funeral to make sure that they get the send-off they want.

Types Of Funerals

Whatever your preference, religious or atheistic, full ceremony or a direct cremation there are many choices.

Religious Funeral Services

During a religious funeral, a religious leader will preside over the event. Whatever the religion, their job is to guide mourners through the process of saying goodbye.

Congregants (key members of the congregation) also usually help guide everyone through the ceremony.

This will take place in a place of worship such as a church or synagogue. Or, if the body is to be cremated it can take place at a crematorium.

What to expect

Depending on the religion, customs will vary, however, there are many similarities. 

  • You can expect the funeral to be held at a house of worship.
  • Prayers will be said out loud.
  • Most religions have a prescriptive colour of mourning which attendees are expected to wear. (This could be black)
  • Smart dress is also expected. It’s customary for men to wear a suit and women to wear formal dress and black shoes.
  • Flowers will be placed on the coffin and a funeral procession will take place.

You may well find yourself attending a religious funeral despite not being religious yourself.

In this case, it is expected that you are considerate of the family’s religious beliefs. This often means paying your respects in a religious context even though this doesn’t hold any meaning for you.

After the service

What happens after the service will depend upon the families wishes. The coffin will either be taken to a cemetery and a burial service will take place. Or, if the body is to be cremated it will be taken to a crematorium where n additional ceremony will take place and the body then cremated.

Atheistic Funeral Services

Atheistic or non-religious funerals are also known as humanist funerals. They are becoming more popular as the number of people not affiliated with any specific religion increases.

The heart of a non-religious funeral is a memorial to a person who lived their lives without religion.

What to expect

Most non-religious funerals are conducted at a crematorium, cemetery, or green burial site. However, they can be held wherever you choose.

Atheist funerals reject the commonly accepted religious views associated with life and death.

Therefore, there is no specific reference to an afterlife. The focus of the funeral is very much around celebrating the life that the deceased person lived. This means that the service will heavily feature the person’s life and achievements.

Loved ones that are left behind are also acknowledged, and their memories of the deceased person are shared. Similarly, prayers and hymns do not take place.. However favourite songs or a reading are often included.

In order to respect the views of the family, it is best to avoid using phrases such as “they are in heaven now”. 

After the service

Similarly to a religious ceremony what happens after the service will depend upon the families wishes.

If the families wishes are for the deceased to be buried then the coffin will be taken to a cemetery and a burial service will take place. If the body is to be cremated then the whole ceremony will usually take place at a crematorium and at the end of the service the body will be cremated.

Direct Cremations

Direct cremations offer you an opportunity to celebrate your loved one’s life in a more personal way. They take place without mourners and are completely separate from any service.

A direct cremation gives you the freedom to choose exactly how and you say your goodbyes.

What to expect

When you choose a direct cremation the funeral director takes care of all of the legalities and transfer to the crematorium.

After the cremation has taken place the ashes can be strewn on your behalf or delivered to you in an urn of your choice.

This means that you can choose how to celebrate the life of your loved one in a completely personal way without the need for ceremony or formality.

A personal memorial

This means that your memorial can take place wherever you choose with no limit to attendance.

As a direct cremation is considerably cheaper than a traditional funeral you can spend the money on a more fitting send-off.



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