As I am sitting writing this, I am looking back at some of the funerals that I have arranged and conducted and I can see that more and more families are moving towards having a personalised funeral service. For many, this doesn’t mean going to the extreme but it could just be adding a touch of something different to celebrate the life of someone dear. So here will will look at various options available from Cleobury Funeral; Directors. I hope that this will give you some ideas to consider and get you talking to your loved ones about what you would want. Please dont be afraid to ask if you have something in mind because as long as it is legal, we can more than likely help.
Transport:– There is now such a wide range of funeral vehicles that could be used the choice is endless. These are very personal and not to every ones choice, but if it’s what they would have wanted…why not? The change can be as simple as a different coloured vehicle or the ribbons and bows in the deceased's favourite colour fitted to one of our traditional hearses. Many people do not want the colour black and so have a pink, silver or white hearse and limousines. Of course there are other variations to the tradition hearse:
- Horsedrawn Hearse & Mourning Carriages
- Pink hearse
- Vintage Rolls Royce hearse
- Tank Hearse
- Land Rover Hearse & Limousines
- Motorcycle or Trike Hearse
- JCB Hearse
- London Routemaster Bus Hearse
- Only fools and horses hearse
- Union Jack Hearse
- VW CamperVan Hearse & Limousines
At Cleobury Funeral Directors we are also able to arrange for a New Orleans Jazz band to lead the cortege to the service
Please remember that anything is possible
Flowers:– Flowers are a part of the funeral service that shows a lot about the person. These can be traditional or modern and beautiful in their own right. Adaptation can be made by having flowers from your own garden, using their favourite colour or flower, and for the very keen vegetable gardeners there is also the option to use their own vegetables within the floral tribute.
On a different note there are also adaptations to the style of the tribute. I have seen many wonderful creations in my time including dogs, cars, parrots, hammer, football logos, horses, television and many more. Our local florist will be able to advise you on the many options.
Music – A very personal part of any funeral service and one that is very hard to select is the music. Within this is how many pieces of music should there be. Traditionally there are two pieces of music (one on entry and one on exit) and between 1-3 hymns depending on the type of service. A full Roman Catholic mass may have many more hymns within the service. For non-religious services it is becoming more common to have a piece of reflective music in place of a hymn. Within this time the congregation can take some time to remember the deceased. I would thoroughly recommend that this is something that is discussed as the music played shows the feel of the funeral and the individual. I have had the pleasure of hearing everything from Hey Mickey to the Cha cha Slide, Guns & Roses and even the Only Fools & Horses theme tune..
Readings, poems, and eulogy: – It is a very poinient part of the service when the life of the deceased and the memories that people have with them are read out within the eulogy or within speeches. These can be funny, sad, shocking and very emotional. Readings and poems offer a way of expressing how you feel and can be either religious or non-religious. The staff at Cleobury Funeral Directors will be able to offer guidance and help with suggestions.
Order of Service Sheets:– These are the booklets that show the congregation how the service will be carried out, any words to hymns, where any charity donations are to be sent, any reception details and also gives a way of expressing yourself. There are many different styles out there and can be anything from 2 to 12 pages. Again, Cleobury Funeral Directors will be able to advise and show you samples. You will always be given a proof that will show you exactly how it will be laid out.
Coffin/Casket:– Selecting the coffin can be one of the hardest parts of any funeral arrangement. It is such a personal choice and with whatever coffin or casket you choose, will represent the person for whom it is intended. There are many styles, types and materials that will enable you to make it personal. Wood types can differ greatly from oak, elm, mahogany, maple and cherry all from light to dark. There are many different styles and ornaments that can be added to personalise the coffin as well as the interior linings colour.
Apart from a traditional coffin there is now a much greater selection of coffins. Bamboo, banana leaf, Seagrass, Willow are all a natural alternative. These types are very popular for a natural or woodland burial but are not restricted to these.
For others that are looking for something a little different then there are the soft wool coffins, the eco-friendly cardboard coffins and the endless choice of the reflections range. Within the reflections range the exterior of the coffin can have on any design of your choosing. There are set designs to choose from but if you were looking for something in particular to adorn the coffin then this would be a very good choice. There is a wide range of caskets to choose from for every style and to suit all individuals.
Burial site: – When looking at burials there are four main areas to consider:
• Church yard – Many church yards are now full but it is worth discussing this with the local minister
• Cemetery – These can be run through the council or by a private firm.
• Woodland/natural – Most are run through private firms and offer a range. There are restrictions within the woodland and natural burial sites.
• At sea – Around 50 people each year are buried at sea. There are three places within the UK that allow this but there are restrictions that apply.
When considering the burial plot of yourself if pre-purchasing, or for a loved one on their passing, think about the person, having somewhere to visit, the memorial and the cost.
If the deceased did not want to be buried then there is always the option for cremation and then burial of ashes at any one of the burial sites listed above. These are just some of the burial sites for ashes that can be considered.
Symbolic releases – There are many ways to symbolise the life of someone at the service and can be a very poignant moment in the proceedings. The releasing of doves, balloons and Chinese lanterns can create a very special moment and also helps to involve others within the funeral service.
Getting organisations involved – If they were a member of a club or organisation then why not ask them to be involved. I have seen this on many occasions and it is always heart-warming and very special to see.
Obituary Notice:- This again is a very persoanl thing. Cleobury Funeral Directors staff are able to write a personalised Obituary on your behalf and place in local newspapers for you.
I understand that it is a hard subject to discuss, but I thoroughly recommend that you all discuss with your loved ones the kind of service that you would like, including all the personal touches that would do you proud.