Your Questions Answered
Why have a funeral?
A funeral service is a very important event. A funeral can be exactly what you want it to be: from a few words shared amongst family and friends in the presence of the deceased, to public gatherings in churches, chapels or other suitable venues. A funeral allows us to stop and think about the person who has passed, as they have gone from being a physical presence to a memory. Having a funeral brings mourners together, to support and encourage one another through the initial grief, and helps us move forward.
Is a burial more expensive than cremation?
Yes, the cost of purchasing a burial plot, the interment fee, gravedigging and a memorial plaque or headstone is more expensive than the cost of a cremation. Costs vary for each cemetery or crematorium.
Why should you have a viewing?
Viewing a loved one after death can be beneficial for the family. As well as allowing a personal last goodbye, the viewing helps establish the reality of their loss. The viewing is even encouraged for children, for they grieve in the same way adults do. Many grief specialists believe that attending a viewing dramatically aids in the long-term grief process, particularly with an unexpected death.
Should our children attend the funeral?
This is a decision that must rest with the parents. Children experience grief and should be encouraged to express their emotions. When given the opportunity to attend the funeral of someone they loved and cared about, children will be able to sort out the finality of death in their own minds and deal with it accordingly. If a child expresses a wish to attend the funeral that wish should not be discouraged. Life education courses are often part of the school curriculum and provide an honest and open forum where death and its processes may be discussed. Some children seem to cope with grief better than many adults – but each individual, child and adult, will react differently.
What happens at the crematorium on the day of the funeral?
The coffin is usually brought into the chapel and placed on the catafalque or table prior to the mourners entering and taking their seats, or by family pallbearers at the beginning of the service. At an appropriate time during the service the coffin can be removed from view, usually by closing a curtain. This may vary at each crematorium. At the end of the service the mourners leave the chapel. Afterwards they may gather for a wake to share stories and refreshments and show their support to the family.
What happens to the coffin after the service?
It is taken into the committal room where the nameplate of the coffin is removed and checked with the cremation order to ensure correct identity. The nameplate stays outside the cremator until the cremation is complete to assist with identification of the cremated remains.
Does the cremation take place immediately?
The cremation may not take place on the day but will follow as soon as possible after the service within a time frame recommended by health regulators. (usually within six hours from arrival)
Is the coffin cremated with the body?
Can relatives witness the committal of the coffin to the cremator?
Yes. People are permitted to attend if they wish, however, advance notice is required and special arrangements as to timing may need to be made. Some crematoriums charge a fee.
Is more than one coffin cremated at one time in a cremator?
No. The only exceptions permitted to this rule are in the case of a mother and baby, or twin children when some crematoria will accept both in the same coffin if the next of kin requests that the two be cremated together.
What happens to the cremated remains?
Some people request that their cremated remains be placed or scattered at a location that holds special significance to them – perhaps a rose garden, niche, or in the ocean. If no specific instruction has been left, your Funeral Director can make suggestions and help make the appropriate arrangements. How and where the remains are distributed is the personal choice of the family.