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Your Essential Guide to Planning Your Loved One’s Funeral


Funerals are comprised of different elements, and while some are quite practical, some aren’t as practical and are based only on the deceased’s preferences or your own wishes to make the occasion more special or unique. But we all know what a funeral is for – it is to honour your loved one’s life and their beliefs and values, and you can make their funeral a happy celebration of their life, a chance to reflect, an occasion for the expression of grief, or all of the above. If you are dealing with your loved one’s loss but know that you still have to plan their funeral and would like to make it the best it can be, here’s your essential guide to planning your loved one’s funeral.

The mourners

It wouldn’t be the usual practice to invite ‘guests’ to a funeral, and most of your loved one’s other friends or family members or colleagues would usually find out about it through a death notice or an obituary. Nowadays, obituaries can be posted online on social media as well. Your funeral director, such as one from highly-esteemed independent funeral services like Carrollandcarrollfunerals.co.uk, would often be the one to arrange the obituary, and it can include information on whether it will be a private funeral service or is open to individuals who would like to pay their respects. It can also include special requests or a required dress code.

The theme

If you are posting an obituary, you can request a specific dress code, as already mentioned, or you can also request colleagues to wear their uniform if your loved one was in a particular profession or was in service. You may also request them to provide an informal or formal guard of honour or other ceremonial tributes. Nowadays, live streaming a funeral service can be done by funeral homes as well if you have friends or family members who live far away. You may also ask friends or family members to be pallbearers at your loved one’s funeral, and they will then be tasked to carry your loved one’s coffin straight from the hearse and onto the place where you are holding your service.

The officiating person and place

Your funeral need not be officiated by a minister if you aren't inclined to avail of their service; in fact, any member of the family or friend can officiate. Some families choose to include readings and poems at the service rather than prayers or scripture; again, this is will depend on you and your family, as well as your deceased loved one's preferences. You may include special music as well as words with special meanings. A typical funeral service is usually held at a place of worship or a multi-denominational crematorium, but other sites are emerging as well, such as woodlands, community halls and spaces, or even football fields and grounds.

The funeral service’s order

If you are organising a funeral with a religious theme, there are certain guidelines you may have to follow depending on the religion. Certain religions may have ceremonies or prayers, and you can discuss this with your minister. Many other religions, however, can be quite flexible, and you may be able to discuss certain requests with their representative, too.

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