As most of us do not attend funerals very often and some of us begin to experience funerals for the first time, it is often difficult to know how to conduct ourselves and what is expected on such occasions. Please browse the titles below for some suggestions to help you feel more comfortable through the various stages.
Visiting our Chapels of Rest
Time spent in reflection with a deceased friend or loved one can be a very healing, often rewarding experience and a positive step forward on your personal grief journey. Try not to let a negative past experience affect your decision, rather take an opportunity to overcome this and see how peaceful someone can really look.
We welcome you to pay your respects at anytime, but ask that you please make an appointment first, so that we may assure you of a comfortable and undisturbed stay.
Family and friends should use their own judgement on what is an appropriate time to call and how long their visit should last.
Remember… it is all about your last memories, if you see no reason to change those, then think carefully before making your decision. If, however, your last memories are not a true reflection of the person you knew, then please do stop by for some quiet time and help restore a truer memory picture.
*Please note: If you are asked to sign an indemnity prior to visiting the chapel it is because the family have opted not to allow for hygienic treatment. In this case, the deceased will lay in a natural state and you should consider how many days have passed before making your decision to view.
Appropriate Attire & Gestures
Although black is still considered the colour for funerals. We recognise this is no longer Victorian England. Funeral Directors may still dress this way, but only as a respectful nod back to the traditions that built the funeral profession. Today, mourners are advised to dress respectfully rather than mournfully. Smart casual is generally preferred to stiff and uncomfortable. On occasions a true celebration of life may find the bereaved family asking for a particular style of dress, colourful attire preferred or requests for a particular colour or garmant can often be read as part of the funeral notice.
There are many ways you can express your condolences to the bereaved family, and there are no rights or wrongs. Your presence at the funeral is often as valuable as any condolence. If attendance is not possible, you may wish to consider sending a floral tribute, or making a donation in the persons memory to the family’s chosen charity. The family’s wishes will be stated in the funeral notice. If there is no notice, then simply call the funeral home and ask. Other ways to pass on your thoughts could be through a sympathy or mass card, available in most retailers and catholic churches respectively. Alternatively, a personal message can be left on this website… look for the funeral notice at the bottom of this page and click read notice, then add a comment in the box. We will print these comments and make sure they are passed on to the family, that way you can pass on your message without feeling shy in their presence.
Floral tributes are a traditional sentiment at funerals, todays culture tends to lean toward ‘less is more’, with donations favoured to suggested charities. If you do wish to make a floral offering in accordance with family wishes then please click the Floral Tributes section of our home page (or use the quick links box) for a selection of some of the more popular choices.
A suggested charity will often be stated in the funeral notice. Please send your charitable donation c/o one of our four funeral homes, along with your name and full postal address (not forgetting the deceased persons name) and we will record it, send you a personal receipt and make sure your details are passed on to the bereaved family. Alternatively, you may provide the above information, along with your card details through the Contact Us option at the top of the page (or use the quick links box).
*Please note: If you choose to disclose your card details through our Contact Us form, we must inform you that our site has not been deemed secure by a notable authority and we cannot accept liability for any ‘rogue’ transactions. If you prefer, please request a ‘call back’ and we can make the desired transaction over the telephone.
A Roman Catholic tradition, also adopted within the ‘high’ Church of England. These cards can be purchased from most Catholic Churches or Prayer Shops and indicate the sender has requested that the deceased person be prayed for during mass, in a particular Church on a specific date, the priest in charge will sign the card to authenticate this. If received at our funeral home in good time, mass cards will be placed on the coffin during the funeral mass and handed to the family at the end of the service.
After the funeral, usually the week following, the bereaved family may choose to place a public thank you in the local newspaper. This is not mandatory, but often helps the family express their sincere thanks to all concerned and alleviates the burden of writing to each individual personally. The funeral director will help word the acknowledgment and place it on the family’s behalf.
Participating in the Service
Pall Bearers: With permission from the family, you may like to be actively involved in carrying (or bearing) the coffin. If so, no practice is needed, our funeral director will simply gather the pall bearers together on the day and talk you through the necessary steps. The funeral director will remain alongside you throughout, ensuring your comfort.
Readings & Eulogies: With permission from the family and the officiant in charge, you may wish to participate in a reading or offer a personal eulogy. If so, please work towards a 2-3 minute tribute and remember… the funeral service is not a full life story, but a series of heart warming anecdotes on which mourners can hang their memories.
Club or Association Participation: If you are attending and representing a specific club, order or association please inform the funeral director of any customs or traditions that you and your associates wish to carry out during the service. This will help both parties understand each others needs and ensure events run smoothly on the day.