Champ Funerals: Funeral Planning Guide
Author: Lianna Champ
Our funeral planning guide, which contains everything you need to think about before you arrange a funeral, or when you need to arrange a funeral immediately:
Visit a Few Funeral Homes First
Find the right funeral home for you. It’s really easy to find funeral directors who will provide the process. That’s the easiest part. Funerals are an emotional event and you need the right grief help and support to navigate this.
On the day of the funeral, your physical relationship ends with the person who has died, but your emotional relationship will continue until the day you die.
Ensure your funeral home not only provides correct facilities and comfort but can also demonstrate an understanding of your emotional needs. The memories will remain with you long after the practical part is forgotten.
They must provide a mixture of dignity, ceremonial skills and cultural awareness.
Choice of Burial or Cremation
The ratio of cremation to burial is approximately 80% cremation. With cremation, you can have the ashes afterwards and you can choose where to place them.
You may want to keep some or all of them at home. There are many beautiful ashes keepsakes which are lovely if you want to keep a small portion for yourself. There are also full-size containers to choose from.
- Scatter — Garden of Remembrance
- You may want to scatter the ashes privately at a special place
- You may buy a lovely large plant pot and place them in the soil and place the ashes and plant a lovely flowering shrub, like a Camellia
- You can have them scattered at sea
- Place them under a tree
- Ashes can also be placed in a family grave or an ashes grave in a cemetery
If you have a family grave with space, you may select burial. If there is no family plot, you can purchase a new grave either in your borough or in your local churchyard, if there are plots available.
With burial, you have a permanent place to visit and can place an engraved headstone on the grave (there may be restrictions on wording or design)
The initial outlay for a new grave and headstone is far greater than the cost for cremation.
If there is a major hobby or professional achievement, the ceremony can be created around this. You could include colours, flags, anthems, balloons, doves. Anything is possible and a good funeral professional will help you to discover just how you want it to be.
Type of Ceremony
Which can either be held in your church or at the local crematorium or cemetery chapel
Humanists neither believe nor disbelieve in the existence of a god and after death we are nothing. There is no afterlife. The ceremony is based on personality and humanist beliefs. These ceremonies can take place at a venue of your choice.
A civil ceremony is based around the person who has died and their beliefs and the wishes and beliefs of their family. Prayers can be included and the ceremony can be more holistic.
Written and delivered in your own words and in your own way.
What You Need to Know For The Ceremony
Type of Casket
Depending on the type of ceremony, there are many different options to consider:
- Standard type of veneered coffin — suitable for burial or cremation
- Solid wood coffin — suitable for burial or cremation but an expensive option for cremation
- Eco basket — suitable for cremation and also only permitted for natural burial: bamboo, willow, wicker, water hyacinth, banana leaf
- Colourful coffin — any design you like
- A white or plain coloured coffin that you can write your own messages on or attach images
- Cardboard Coffin
- Woollen Coffin
- You can choose hymns to sing in Church or another venue.
- Play favourite songs and tunes
- A favourite song can be played whilst people place a flower on the casket
- Your own recordings
Candles can be lit. They signify our continuation even after death, that our light will always shine. Lighting candles can be an ongoing ritual for anniversaries and special days of remembrance.
Very often family members or friends like the honour of carrying the coffin. Your Funeral Professional will advise you.
Traditional — motor hearse or horse-drawn carriage. The hearse can be decorated to match the theme of the day.
Modern — anything from a canal barge to a milk float.
Do you want a traditional black dress or would you like everyone to add a splash of colour?
These can be a source of great comfort and not only contain the funeral details, but they also become a life story synopsis. Creating these can be really therapeutic as we draw on our memories and feel a closeness. There is something really healing about talking and writing about someone we love.
Choose your favourite photos and use them :
- In the Order of Service
- To decorate the reposing room
- Enlarged on an easel at the service
- For a collage at the reception afterwards
- Make a photo book to hand out
Order of Service
Very often these become a keepsake. Not just because of the photographs but also to read the poems again and to hear the songs or music that was played. Music can be so emotive.
Flowers can say so much and anything can be created. Flowers can be simple or can be made to depict a hobby or favourite animal. There is no end to what you can create and a good florist will be helpful and able to suggest possibilities.
Families are often choosing to have one main family tribute for the casket and give the option to make a donation in memory. This helps to raise awareness if the illness or condition is not widely known. Donations made online are also gift aided.
- The placing of flowers on the casket
- Balloon release
- Dove release
- Sticking pictures or writing on the casket
- Lighting Candles (see above)
- Touching the casket
- A toast of Whisky or favourite tipple
Everyone is unique. Every relationship we have is unique. Just like our own fingerprint. There is no one size fits all. Why have a package when you can have an experience which can remain with you and comfort you by making special memories of the day.
We hope that this opens up your imagination so that you can talk about these things before you actually need to do them.
Also, please do speak to your chosen Funeral Director who will help you with all your planning and pre-preparation to create a perfect send-off.