Planning a Funeral

The death of a loved one is a time of great sadness, stress and trial for family and friends. Organising the funeral can be quite daunting. There are so many details to be attended to which are outside the usual experience for most of us.

Once you contact us at Heritage Funerals, we offer you our complete, all inclusive service which means that you do not have to worry about all the many details that make up a funeral service. We will guide and walk you through all the decisions, both big and small, that need to be made.

We are attentive to our families and present ideas and options to ensure the funeral reflects the life of their loved one. After discussing your wishes with you, we will follow your directions and make all the arrangements on your behalf.

Following are items for your consideration:

Selecting a Date for the Service

Most funerals take place a few days following the death. However there is no need to rush and a little extra time can be helpful. With choosing a time for the ceremony, consult with family members to make sure you have allowed enough time to make all the necessary arrangements, including preparation of the leaflets or photo tributes and time for people needing to travel.

We will also need to consult with clergy or celebrants, consider venues and cemetery or crematorium availability before the final date and time can be confirmed.

Selecting the Venue

The location of the service needs to be chosen with care. The number of people expected to attend, religious traditions and whether the funeral is private or public, the facilities provided, all influence the decision.

Selecting who will lead the service

When arranging the funeral service you will need to think about who you would like to conduct the service.

Many families choose their local priest or minister to conduct the service. The pastoral and spiritual support provided is greatly appreciated by the family at this time. Even if the person may have not attended church regularly, we can assist by liaising with the particular church or can recommend a priest or minister to conduct the service.

Or perhaps the person who has passed away has a civil celebrant, friend, or someone else in mind. We can help you to arrange this type of service, or if you prefer, you can organise the format of the service yourself.

The Funeral Service

Having to arrange a funeral when someone you love has died, can be one of the most difficult things you do. Our staff of qualified, highly dedicated and caring people provide the special funeral care that you need at this time.
Beginning with the consultants who initially meet with family members to discuss the funeral requirements through to all the assisting staff, we work together to provide a quality experience – one that helps people to farewell their loved one and feel personally supported themselves.

Whatever your beliefs, religion or culture, the funeral provides people with the opportunity to remember and to say goodbye. We strive to make each farewell service unique, meaningful and appropriate. Whether the ceremony is traditional or non-traditional is not as important as whether the service is a suitable tribute to your loved one and brings comfort to family members and friends.

Types of Funeral Services

Funerals can take many formats as there is no longer a typical funeral. The service may be open to the public or a private ceremony with only those invited attending.

Our Heritage Chapel situated at our funeral home is available to all families and for both religious and non-religious ceremonies. You can choose to have a complete service in our chapel or to proceed to the graveside or crematorium for the committal (final prayers or words of farewell).
The service can be held in a church. On conclusion of the service, the committal would generally then take place at the graveside or crematorium, usually with a cortege of the hearse and cars from one place to the other.
The complete service could be held in the church or chapel but with no cortege. We simply arrange to take the coffin to the cemetery or crematorium on conclusion of the service, with no family attendance.
Alternatively the complete service can be held at the graveside or the crematorium chapel.
Some families choose to have the burial or cremation service first, followed by a Memorial Service on that day or a later date, at another venue such as a church.
Sometimes families request a cremation or burial with no service or attendance by family members or the public.
We can also offer a range of catering options on site for family and friends to gather following the chapel service.
Other venues are also available as requested, such as garden settings, a private home, a farm or rural property, school assembly halls or chapels.

Twilight services

Twilight or early evening services can be arranged. This beautiful time of day can be a very convenient and practical option. Burial or cremation would usually occur the following day either attended or unattended by family members.

Viewings, Clothing and Jewellery

Viewings

For many people there is a desire to spend time with their loved one and see them just “one more time”. When there has been some suffering or a sudden death, it can be very comforting to see the person you love, at peace.

The choice of viewing your deceased loved one is a personal decision and is best made by the individuals themselves. No-one should be forced to attend a viewing.

In our experience we find many people who were at first hesitant to view their loved one, say later how much it helped them with their grief. We offer private viewing facilities for you and your family to say a personal good-bye. The deceased person will be in an open coffin or casket and you are welcome to spend as much time as you need with them. Rest assured that you will have our support and guidance.

Vigil or Rosary

You may wish to hold a Vigil service or a Rosary service before the funeral, perhaps in our Chapel, although other venues are also suitable.

Clothing

You may decide that you would like the person dressed in their own clothing and jewellery, perhaps a favourite outfit or something they felt comfortable in. Be assured your loved one will be fully dressed in the clothing you provide. Alternatively, we have a selection of gowns called shrouds which can be purchased.

Jewellery

Jewellery to be placed on the loved one requires careful consideration. Jewellery worn at the time of death will be returned to the next of kin unless the family request it to remain with the person.