The whole aspect of funeral services are changing. The church or graveside is still the main place for a ‘religious’ funeral service, but what are the options for a non-religious one, does it have to be at the crematorium? The answer is No! If you can accept that the coffin makes a solitary journey to the crematorium, or with a small family escort, then you can hold your funeral service almost anywhere. Many Funeral Directors have a small chapel attached to their premises, where the service can be held, then afterwards, the coffin is taken to the crematorium. and the family head off for the funeral tea. But, there are so many other options.
In the majority of Crematoria, you have a slot, and this is usually anything from 20 minutes to half an hour, there are exception to this, but that’s the general length of time you have for the service. How do you do justice to someone’s life to such a short period of time? It’s almost impossible in just a few minutes to portray in words the life of a person who has lived for a full life, and no portrait, no matter how good, will be a complete reflection those that knew them. As a Celebrant, I can only really sketch a picture and ask that you fill in the colours to complete the portrait with your own memories. So what options are there?
Well, the limitations are boundless, with the permission of the owner of the premises you may choose. A hotel can be an ideal option, the service can be held in one room, and then afterwards, move through to another part for the funeral tea, this cuts down on the travel, the stress of standing in a queue shaking hands afterwards and is a much more relaxed atmosphere and no time constraints. If the deceased was a regular at a local pub or club, why not hold the service there and not just the wake/tea? A golfer – how about the Golf Club? A football fan – their local football club?
The limitations are boundless. Death is a sad time for those left behind, but the deceased had a life to be celebrated, don’t be held by tradition when looking to hold their ‘Final’ farewell. What would you have to do? All you need is to seek permission, the logistics and planning will be for the Funeral Director, the Celebrant and the Premises to work on between them. I hope I have given you food for thought.

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