Planning a Funeral

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

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

We are attentive to our families and present ideas and options to ensure the funeral honours 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.

Consider the following prior to your appointment with a Funeral Director;

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 ensure you have allowed enough time to make the necessary arrangements, including time for people needing to travel.

We will 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. Considerations include, the number of people expected to attend, religious traditions and whether the funeral is private or public, and the facilities provided.

Selecting Who will Lead the Service

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

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

Or alternatively, a civil celebrant, friend, or someone else can conduct this for you, our friendly team are available to arrange this type of service, or if you prefer, you can organise the format of the service yourself.

The Funeral Service

Arranging a funeral when someone you love has died, can be one of the most difficult things you ever do. Our team of qualified, highly dedicated and caring staff provide the special care 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 which helps people farewell their loved one and feel personally supported themselves.

Whatever your beliefs, religion or cultural requirements, a funeral provides people with the opportunity to remember and to say goodbye. We strive to make each farewell 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 and  there is no longer a ‘typical’ funeral.  With services able to be held in our onsite chapel or in a church. On conclusion of the service, the committal will then generally take place at the graveside or crematorium, usually with a cortege of the hearse and cars following from one place to the other.

Additionally, 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 also choose to have the burial or cremation service first, followed by a Memorial Service on that day or a later date. Other families request a cremation or burial with no service or attendance by family members or the public.

Alternative venues are also available, such as garden settings, private homes, a farm or rural property, school 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 loved one is a personal one and is best made by individuals themselves. No-one should be forced to attend a viewing.

In our experience we find many people who were 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  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.

Vigil or Rosary

You may wish to hold a Vigil or a Rosary service before the funeral in our Chapel, or at alternative venues of your choice.

Clothing

You may decide 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 which can be purchased.

Jewellery

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