One of the things we will discuss as part of arranging a funeral is whether a religious or a non-religious funeral service is preferred.
For those who chose a religious funeral service, there are a number of options. If you choose to hold the funeral service in a Church or other place of worship prior to burial or cremation, then the Minister of that Church, or an elder or one of their readers or assistants, would usually take the service.
If the service is to be held at a Crematorium or Cemetery Chapel, the choice of who could officiate is wider, and could also encompass retired clergy, independent and non-denominational ministers and officiants.
The format of a traditional Christian funeral service typically includes readings from the bible, hymns, prayers, a Eulogy and an address by the minister. Tributes or poems, read by or on behalf of members of the family can also be incorporated. Pieces of music can be chosen to be played at the beginning and end of the service, or during the service for a time of reflection – if the service is held in a Church, then the choice of music must be with the agreement of the Minister.
When dealing with funerals for other faiths, we will be guided by the wishes of the family and the community elders who are involved in the funeral arrangements, and we will do everything we can to ensure that the arrangements are conducted in the appropriate manner.
Once we have made the appropriate arrangements with the person who will be taking the service, we will pass on our client’s contact details to them, so that they can arrange to meet, discuss the format of the service, and find out more about the person who has died and the wider family.
A funeral without religious content is no longer uncommon and may be a more fitting reflection of the deceased’s life and beliefs. The ceremony can take place at a crematorium or cemetery chapel, or in a secular venue such as a parish hall or hotel or our own chapel.
We have a range of officiants available who we can ask to perform a non-religious funeral ceremony. They will meet with the family to discuss the format of the ceremony, find out more about the deceased and wider family, and find out whether friends or family wish to contribute to the ceremony.
As an alternative, a family member or friend can officiate at the ceremony themselves if they feel they have the confidence and ability to do so.