Traditional Funeral Service

A traditional funeral service often follows a similar structure, but can be tailored to meet your family’s specific requirements. Following the death, the individual will be brought into the care of the funeral home and housed in the mortuary until the service. During this time, they will be washed, dressed and prepared for their ceremony.

Viewing & Paying Last Respects

Viewing is usually customary and allows family and loved ones to pay their last respects to the person who has died in the chapel of rest, at the funeral home. The person will either be situated in their coffin or on a bed, and will be dressed in clothes provided by the family or a gown in a complimentary colour.

Family and friends are welcome to visit with their family member or friend, and can spend as little or as much time with them as they wish. Some people also put tokens, pictures, cards, poems, messages and even snippets of pet hair in the coffin with the person.

A member of the clergy, such as a minister, will speak with the family prior to the service and learn more about the person who has passed away and help them select the readings, prayers and hymns that are most suitable for the ceremony.

Funeral Service

On the day of the funeral, the hearse and cortege will collect the family from their home and together they will escort the person who has died to the place of worship, church, crematorium or graveside where the service will be held.

Some funerals include a church service and then a second location for the cremation or burial others will include further ceremonies, depending on the religion.

One of the key themes in a traditional funeral is the reading of prayers and 2 or 3 hymns – typically chosen by the family, followed by the committal.

Burial or Cremation

A procession to the graveside often follows next and is led by the clergy and the family, or if the funeral is a cremation, then the casket will be transported to the crematorium with the cortege.

If you choose a cremation, then you may wish to have an ashes interment at a later date. This is when the ashes are buried at a cemetery, and prayers are read by the clergy over the plot as the ashes are either buried in a container or sprinkled directly into the hole.

Wake or Funeral Tea

Following the ceremony, family and friends usually choose to gather at a communal location or a family home, for the wake or funeral tea. This can range from a ‘pot luck’ whereby the community brings individual, home cooked, dishes to share or catered buffets and afternoon tea.

The wake is a time to speak with one another, share stories and recharge after the ceremony, which can be emotionally and physically exhausting. There is no requirement to attend the wake; however, it offers an opportunity to support one another and share the weight of grief with a group of people who feel the same.

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