In traditional Sikh funerals, the cremation would be carried out on a funeral pyre, however, with this not readily available in the UK currently, so a family member is often welcome to press the button for the casket to disappear.
Sikh scriptures state that relatives should not indulge in wailing and anguish. Hymns that induce a feeling of detachment are sometimes sung on the way to the crematorium to aid the family in not showing their grief.
Funeral attire includes black head scarves for men and pale or white head scarves for women. During the service, the first line is read from the Holy Book and Ardas, prayers, are said.
After the cremation, guests return to the family home and readings are given and hymns sung, then neighbours and friends make a substantial meal for the bereaved family. Following this, a candle, jot, is burned in the home, made from Ghee (clarified butter) and cotton, which has a sweet smell and cleanses the home. The mourning period lasts between two and five weeks and when the ashes have been returned to the family, these are scattered in running water or on the sea, which we can help facilitate if required.