Personalising the funeral service
Creating a custom ceremony
Having a funeral service is a beautiful way to honour and really celebrate the life of your loved one. Remember the joyful times, the things that made them special, and hear tributes and stories from friends and family.
There are many ways you can make a funeral ceremony a personal celebration of your loved one’s life. Find out below.
When someone we love dies, the funeral service is not for them, it’s about them. The funeral ceremony is for everyone who knew, loved and was connected to that person.
You can display things that were important to your loved one at the funeral venue or on their casket. People have shared flowers and vegetables from their garden, sports equipment and trophies, fun hobby fanatic themes, books and art, photographs, candles, and religious texts.
Choose your loved one’s favourite flowers and colours or personalise arrangements with meaningful mementos. Flowers bring colour, scent and significance to a ceremony.
We can arrange flowers for you, or you may wish to provide the flowers for the ceremony. Families can find this a soothing thing to do, especially if your loved one was a keen gardener.
Service sheets explain the order of the funeral service. They’re also an opportunity to celebrate your loved one’s life and a precious memento for family and friends.
Consider including photographs, memories, meaningful texts, poems, or your loved one’s own words. We can design the service sheet for you or help you with the process if you wish to create it yourself.
A wonderful way to remember your loved one’s life is to create a slideshow of photos to be played at the funeral. This can be shown before, during, or after the ceremony.
We can help you compile a slideshow. Your Funeral Director will share our presentation guidelines to help you gather images. Sometimes families like to invite friends and colleagues to share their photographs too.
Music & movement
Meaningful music is a beautiful way to celebrate your loved one’s life. There are no rules. Our chapels have hosted symphonies, operatic arias, the blues and rap. Live music is always special, and pipers or buglers create moments to remember.
You may also like to consider whether you would like movement, dancing or a guard of honour to be part of the ceremony.
A memorial book is a record of everyone who attended the funeral ceremony and a way to collect memories of your loved one. We can help you create a memorial book to match your service sheets, you can choose from a range of memorial books, or use your own.
Often families request donations to a charity in place of gifts of flowers. If you would like to do this, we can help arrange donations in memory of your loved one through Memorial Gifting, a simple way for people to give online.
Pallbearers carry your loved one’s casket from the funeral ceremony to the hearse, and from the hearse to their grave if they are to be buried. They may also bear the casket into the funeral.
Pallbearers are often close family and friends. Carrying the casket shows love and respect to the person who has died. Pallbearers can be women or men, and they can be accompanied by honorary pallbearers, who can include children.
Usually, six people carry the casket. At the ceremony we can arrange for the casket to be transported on a wheeled stand, and your pallbearers can accompany the casket and guide it. This helps if pallbearers are less physically able and allows people of all ages and abilities to take part.
Our Funeral Directors can also serve as pallbearers if you wish for help.
Eulogy & readings
Giving a eulogy is a tribute to our loved ones and a chance to share our precious memories of them. It’s impossible to sum up a life in a few short minutes, but stories are a wonderful way to celebrate their spirit.
Stories are always powerful, so talk about your feelings for your loved one and your experiences with them. A eulogy can also include important life milestones, and humour is always welcome, so don’t be afraid to share those cheeky fun-loving stories that encapsulate their personality.
Friends and family may feel unable to speak themselves yet have important things to say. It can be good to check if they want to offer a few words or a precious memory and include these in your eulogy too.
Below are some tips to get you started:
- Birthplace and short details of early childhood.
- Educational and sporting achievements.
- Work and career.
- Marriage and family life.
- Hobbies, club memberships, charity involvement, and faith.
- Preferences in music, literature, and the arts.
- Characteristic words and sayings.
- Personal qualities illustrated with stories.
A eulogy can be as long or as short as you wish, however 10 minutes (1,500 words or a couple of typed A4 pages) is a good appropriate length.
Every funeral is unique
Planning a funeral need not to be daunting. We’ll help you understand your options at each point in the process. We’ve gathered information about each step when planning a funeral.
Remember your loved one with keepsake jewellery.
Designed and crafted in New Zealand, Keepsake jewellery offers a sensitive range of memorabilia including pendants, rings and charms. We have a wide range of jewellery for both men and women.
Keepsakes can be filled with a small amount of ashes, a lock of hair, or other small Keepsake, meaning you can always keep your loved one close to your heart.