Funeral Service Formats

You can choose from a variety of funeral service formats. There is no one 'right' way to hold a funeral. A funeral should simply 'fit' the person who died and the family and friends who survive that person. To help you in your planning, here are the most often asked-for formats for a funeral.

  • A service held in a church or chapel, followed by a full cortege to the place of burial or cremation where the committal will take place.
  • A service held in a church or chapel, followed by a private cortege to a place of burial or cremation, where only the family is present to witness the committal.
  • A service and committal in a church or chapel, with no cortege. The funeral directors remove the coffin or casket from the church during the singing of the final hymn.
  • A service and committal in a crematorium chapel or funeral director's chapel.
  • A service and committal at the graveside.
  • A memorial or thanksgiving service. No coffin or casket is present at the church or chapel. A memorial or thanksgiving service usually follows a private graveside or crematorium committal.


The service choice may be either public or private.

Who will officiate or lead the ceremony?

If you or a loved one has an association with a church fellowship, your clergy will be the obvious choice. You may have not attended a church for many years but would still appreciate a clergy person to officiate at the ceremony. Your funeral director can easily arrange this. You may prefer a celebrant to lead the ceremony. This, too, can easily be arranged by your funeral director.

You or the person who has died may already know the clergy or celebrant. However, this is often not the case and it will be important for the clergy or celebrant and your family to meet and discuss the life of the person who died, the ceremony and your wants and needs.

 
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