Attended or Unattended?

Generally, there are two types of funeral: attended and unattended. More often than not, attended funerals are by far the most popular choice, but in certain circumstances, some families may wish for an Unattended funeral, which is sometimes described as a Direct Cremation. This could be the case if your loved one has said they don’t wish to have a traditional service, or you wish to have the cheapest option available, or you’re planning your funeral with our pre-paid plans and want to cover off the most basic elements of a funeral. No matter the reasoning, we’ve detailed what to expect from both types and outlined their differences below to help you decide between our unattended and attended funerals.

What is an unattended funeral?

Different to a traditional funeral, an unattended funeral has no ceremonial service and no mourners can attend. Also called a direct funeral, or a direct cremation, unattended options are appealing to those who are potentially looking for ways to limit the costs associated with planning a funeral, as well as people who would prefer to have a no ceremony or service at the crematorium that may be because you wish to hold a separate ceremony, such as a service of thanksgiving or remembrance at a later date, or it may be because you do not wish to have a ‘traditional’ funeral service where family and friends can attend and pay their respects.

What happens at an unattended funeral?

During an unattended funeral, we’ll bring the deceased into our care from the local place of death (within a 20 mile radius). If this is outside of our normal office hours, there will be an additional charge of £225. Once in our care, we’ll carry out the preparation of the deceased, excluding the embalming and visitation in our chapel of rest, and we will provide a simple coffin.

The unattended funeral will be arranged to take place at a crematorium of our choosing, at a convenient day and time within 14 days of completion of all the necessary paperwork. On the day of the funeral, we’ll transport the deceased directly to the place of committal by hearse with a funeral director and a full complement of staff. Where requested, cremated remains will be available for collection from the funeral home within 21 days of the service taking place. 

Please note: The unattended cremation includes all third party fees, such as doctors fees and crematorium fees but there’s no reduction if the coroner is involved. We require full payment within five days of the funeral being arranged – see our price list page for further information on the costs of our unattended funeral. 

What is an attended funeral?

An attended funeral is the most traditional type of funeral, which is accompanied by a service for friends and family. Whether you choose to have a burial or a cremation, this will proceed in similar ways. At Heart of England Co-op Funerals, we’re proud to arrange a fully bespoke, personalised send off for the deceased, in line with the deceaseds’ or their loved ones’ wishes. An attended funeral tends to take place on average three to four weeks or so after the person has died, subject to the clients instructions, for example we can arrange funerals to take place much sooner, but we can also delay the funeral taking place if so desired. So the timing of this type of funeral can vary depending on individual circumstances and requirements. You’ll be able to discuss the availability of your family and friends, and elements of service that are needed for the funeral, when making arrangements with our team.

What happens at an attended funeral?

On the day, once our funeral colleagues have placed your loved one in the hearse, they will drive you to your chosen address, usually the residence of the deceased or the home of the client where the cortege will start from, followed by a procession of family cars with the funeral attendees. Or if required we can go directly to the service location, perhaps a church or the crematorium or cemetery chapel. 

The funeral begins with a ceremony in which those who have attended can pay their own respects to the deceased. Depending upon personal beliefs, the ceremony might include songs, hymns, prayers and readings along with a eulogy from family or friends. This is followed by the committal which is either the burial or cremation, and then the wake, where mourners will gather together to celebrate the life of the deceased.

Please note: The cost of an attended funeral can depend on the funeral director you choose and the services you require, as well as the additional costs of any doctor’s fees, cremation or burial fees, flowers, limousines or specialist requirements. Attended funerals can cost more than an unattended funeral, if you feel like the funeral may be costing more than your budget, talk to your local funeral home, as arrangements can be made to help keep the costs down.

What is the difference between an attended and unattended funeral?

An attended funeral is the most common and traditional choice of funeral service, with the choice between a burial or cremation, and all family members and friends can attend the service depending on the preferences of the deceased or their next of kin. They will also be able to plan every detail of the service, down to the flowers, songs, and more. This costs more than an unattended funeral, but most wish to have their friends and family around for their send off. Whereas, no friends or family members will be present at an unattended funeral, but some will still prefer this route as they may not wish for a full service, or might want to save on the costs.

Our experienced funeral directors can help to guide and assist you to plan a fully personalised service to help you celebrate your own, or your loved ones’ lifetime.

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