What to Consider when Planning a Funeral

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Over the past 15 years the funeral industry has seen vast changes.

Whilst historically funeral services were largely made up of psalm readings, hymns, mourners dressed in black and hearses and limousines, these days the creative requests faced by our funeral homes vary extensively.

Today it is more about celebrating the life and individuality of the deceased and tailoring their farewell service to their likes, dislikes, the person they were and the way they lived their life.

There are many factors to consider when arranging a funeral. Most are optional and the choice is flexible and very much personal to you and your loved one.

These include:

Transport for the day:
Should you use a hearse or would you prefer a horse drawn carriage? Was your loved one a biking or classic car enthusiast? If so there are specialist hearses which can be sourced which suit almost every taste.

Traditionally funeral services would always include a sombre piece of music giving mourners a period of quiet time to reflect on their memories with the deceased. While these are still a popular choice they are often accompanied by much lighter-hearted pieces of music, usually at the end of a service. A recent survey listing the most popular choices in the UK included Kool and the Gang’s Celebration, Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side of Life and even the Benny Hill theme tune! All in the best taste of course and often reflecting the personality of the deceased.

A eulogy, which gives a close friend or relative the opportunity to deliver a personal tribute about the deceased, is increasingly popular. Traditionally eulogies would consist of readings but as the years have gone by more people prefer to deliver their own tributes, evoking memories which mourners can often relate to.

While flowers have always been popular at funerals nowadays it isn’t just a heart made up of red roses, we can be asked for all sorts of weird and wonderful floral tributes – from bingo cards, to Eddie Stobart trucks, to bottles of beer – whatever the family want to ensure the tributes are unique and personal to them. Some people prefer family flowers only and give the option for donations to be made to a nominated charity.

Orders of service:
About 20 years ago orders of service were only seen at more elite funeral services. These days they are standard at almost every service we attend.
They are ideal for informing mourners not just of the schedule of the funeral service – but the etiquette involved, such as when to sit or stand for a prayer, a reading or a hymn. They usually display favourite photos of the deceased and are themed. Furthermore, they are hugely popular among mourners who like to hold on to them as a keepsake of the person who has died.

Darryl Smith, General Manager of the Heart of England Co-operative Society’s Funeral Division, said: “Today’s funerals are more about a celebration of the deceased’s life and in many cases, less formal. The funeral can be a mirror of the deceased’s personality and achievements, leaving his or her loved ones with a memorable farewell to them.”

The above is an insight into some of the factors to consider for your loved one’s funeral. For further details log on to http://www.heartofengland.coop/funeral/funeral-choices or call into any one of our funeral homes.