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Organising a Funeral Part 5: When, Where and Who

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Where do you want the ceremony to take place?

Consider the type of ceremony you would like, as this will influence the location.

  • Will it be a religious service at a place of worship, with particular traditions and rituals?
  • Would you like a ceremony at the crematorium/burial site, led by a celebrant, friend or family member?
  • Will you have a memorial event or wake?

When to have the funeral?

Unless your faith or personal spirituality requires it, there is no great hurry to set a funeral date. Taking time will allow you to assess your budget, discuss your plans for the funeral and raise the deposit. If you’re using a funeral director they may charge additional costs for taking care of the person who has died for more than 14 days. The time allocation for a service is about 20 to 30 minutes. A ‘double’ hour-long slot will cost extra.

Who will conduct the ceremony?

Ministers and other faith leaders can attend a crematorium or bless a woodland burial, so it is possible to have a religious ceremony at your chosen venue. Speak directly to the faith leader who will guide you and provide support. There may be some financial support available from the community of your church, mosque, synagogue or temple.

If the person was not religious you may want a humanist or independent celebrant to create a ceremony. Funeral directors can help you to find one, or you can find your nearest celebrants through the website.

A friend or relative can also conduct the ceremony, or you can do it yourself. Several family members or friends can also deliver readings and eulogies. Working on the funeral with a group of friends and family, and sharing responsibilities on the day, can be very supportive. It also provides the opportunity for doing something more personal. 

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