Arranging a Funeral

Funeral Services

Traditional Funeral Services

Whilst the definition of what a “traditional” funeral consists of has changed over the years, most of the fundamental aspects have remained the same. Generally the person who has died is taken to the funeral home, where they are looked after by the funeral director. The family may or may not wish to visit them prior to the funeral.

On the day of the funeral, a service will be held for the person who has died. This is usually held in a church or at the funeral home. The minister will visit the family and discuss what kind of service they wish to have. This will include readings and prayers that the family have chosen and usually two or three hymns are sung. The funeral service will then be followed by a committal service either at a crematorium or cemetery.

Whilst not every family attends church, you may still like to have a Minister from your parish church to conduct a service for you. We can discuss your requirements with the minister and arrange for the whole of the service to take place at the crematorium.

Civil Funeral Services

“ A Funeral which is driven by the wishes, beliefs and values of the person who has died and their family, not by the belief or ideology of the person conducting the funeral ”

 

A Civil Funeral is for anyone, whatever their beliefs. There is no set format for a Civil Funeral, as every family is different, and every person unique. A Civil Funeral is a highly personal ceremony, created by you, the family and it can be anything and everything you want it to be.

The ceremony is written by a fully trained and accredited funeral celebrant, who will, in partnership with the family create a loving and memorable service.

The service can include hymns or prayers, but the most important aspect will be the tribute you have created for your special family member or friend. Family and friends may wish to take part in the service making it a more personal time together.

The funeral ceremony is your precious gift to the person who has died. It is a time to celebrate their life, and say goodbye to them with dignity and love.

Humanist Funerals

Humanist funerals are becoming increasingly common. For those families who have not attended church and have no religious principles, then a humanist funeral is a good choice. A Humanist funeral recognises no “afterlife”, but instead it celebrates the life of the person who has died.

A Humanist funeral service will concentrate on the the way they lived their life, the family and friends they have made and everything they have left behind.

The Humanist service should not be offensive to those who are religious, but it will focus on the life of the person who has died. Friends and relatives are encouraged to take part in the service, to celebrate and show affection for the person who has died with warmth and sincerity.

Humanist celebrants will be sensitive to your wishes and will arrange and conduct a service entirely to the wishes of the family.

Many bereaved families find the humanist service helpful and draw comfort from knowing they have given their loved one the service they would have wanted.

Funerals for other cultures

We are able to cater for, and have extensive knowledge of funerals for other cultures.

Polish Funerals

We have arranged and conducted many Polish funerals and we work with a  Polish national who works as a transaltor who can help you with all your needs, documents, arrangements and other requirements you would need for the funeral.

Witamy Panstwa serdecznie. Pragniemy zaoferowac mozliwosc pomocy osoby mowiacej po polsku, ktora pomoze Panstwu we wszystkich sprawach, dokumentach i innych wymaganych prawem procedurach, ktore sa potrzebne w przypadku pozegnania ukochanej Panstwu osoby.

Leszek Plaza, telefon bezposredni 07720248404

Hindu Funerals

Hindus believe in reincarnation and view death as the soul moving from one body to the next on its path to reach Nirvana, heaven. Death is a sad occasion, but Hindu priests emphasise the route ahead for the departed soul and a funeral is as much a celebration as a remembrance service. Hindus cremate their dead, believing that the burning of a dead body signifies the release of the spirit and that the flames represent Brahma, the creator .Family members will pray around the body as soon as possible after death. The body is usually bathed and dressed in white, traditional Indian clothing. If a wife dies before her husband she is dressed in red bridal clothes. If a woman is a widow she will be dressed in white or pale colours. After the cremation, the family may have a meal and offer prayers in their home. A priest will visit and purify the house with spices and incense. This is the beginning of the 13-day mourning period when friends will visit and offer their condolences.

Sikh Funerals

Sikhs view death as a separation of the soul from the body and is considered part of God's will. The first line is read from the Holy Book and Ardas, prayers, are said. Sikh scriptures state that relatives should not indulge in wailing and anguish. Cremation is the accepted form of disposal of the body. The body is bathed and dressed in fresh clothes. Hymns that induce a feeling of detachment are sometimes sung on the way to the crematorium to aid the family in not showing their grief. At the crematorium the prayer known as the 'Kirtan Sohila' is often recited. A member of the family will then light the funeral pyre. In traditional ceremonies this will be done with a naked flame, but in Britain it is more usual for a family member to push the button for the coffin to disappear. Men wear black headscarves to the funeral and women wear pale coloured or white headscarves Ashes are collected and scattered in running water or on the sea. After the cremation guests return to the family home and readings are given and hymns sung. Neighbours and families make a substantial meal for the bereaved family. Everyone must bath as soon as they go home to cleanse themselves. A candle, jot, is burned in the home. This is made from Ghee (clarified butter) and cotton and has a sweet smell. This cleanses the home. The mourning period lasts between two and five weeks.

Muslim Funerals

Muslims prefer to bury the body of the deceased within 24 hours. The deceased is placed with their head facing the Muslim holy city of Makkah. The body is then ritually washed. Muslims prefer this ritual to be performed by family or close friends rather than by hospital staff or undertakers. Male relatives will wash male bodies and female relatives will wash female bodies. After the ritual washing, the body is wrapped in a shroud. This is usually white. The salat for the dead, is then performed. The ceremony usually takes place in the family home and is led either by someone the deceased chose before their death, a close relative or the family imam. It is generally accepted that Muslim funerals should be as respectful as possible without being extravagant. It is forbidden to cremate the body of a Muslim. Muslims are buried with their face turned to the right, facing Makkah. Gravestones are kept simple, marked only by the deceased's name and date of death. Many Muslims will spend money on the poor rather than on an elaborate memorial stone. Official mourning lasts for 3 days and includes a banquet to remember the deceased. On the third day relatives visit the grave and recite extracts from the Qur'an.

Jewish Funerals

It is tradition that the burial takes place as soon as possible, sometimes on the same day as the death, and no more than two nights after the death. The dead body is placed on the ground and psalms are recited. The body is then washed and wrapped in a white linen shroud, following which it is placed in an inexpensive wooden coffin. At the graveside it is considered an honour to shovel soil onto the coffin. Flowers are not generally brought to the funeral as it is kept as simple as possible. After the funeral the mourners eat a simple meal prepared by friends or neighbours. In orthodox families the next of kin will tear their upper garments and remain indoors for seven days (the shivah) sitting on low stools. Mourning can last for one month or one year. These stages of return to normal life of the mourners reflect the soul's gradual progress to the afterlife.

Buddhist Funerals

Funerals are relatively unimportant in Buddhism. Buddhists concentrate their efforts on the deceased’s frame of mind up to, and at the moment of death. Most Buddhist funerals held in the west are simple and low key affairs organised by family and friends. Buddhists agree that the body is just a shell and view that the spirit of the deceased will undergo re-birth, usually after 49 days. Funerals include appropriate Buddhist readings and tributes. Most Buddhists prefer cremation although some want a green burial through concern for the environment.

Enviromentally Friendly Funerals

A Woodland or Natural burial offers you or the person who has died, the chance to have a final resting place, where peace and tranquillity, go hand in hand, with the continuous changing colours of the seasons.

Green funerals have grown in popularity over the last few years with the first green burial site opening in Carlisle in 1993. To date there are now more than 200 such sites across the United Kingdom.

Biodegradable coffins are generally used, for example - bamboo, willow or seagrass, along with hyacinth or pineapple leaf coffins are all very popular. It is also recommended that no embalming is carried out. At most woodland burial grounds a tree is planted on the grave; alternatively some Natural Burial Sites offer a flat memorial engraved stone to identify the grave.

There are a number of sites locally where people can be laid to rest.

Tarn Moor Woodland Burial Site

Located on the outskirts of Skipton, this natural burial ground is on the threshold of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, and opened in November 2002. In an endeavour to keep the habitat as natural as possible there is no physical identification at the site of burial, but accurate plotting and recording is undertaken to ensure current and future generations can locate their loved ones.

Rose Hill Natural Burial Ground

This Huddersfield site houses mature oaks, beech and ash trees and is set within traditional English parkland, unchanged for five centuries. The grounds attract people of all religions and also those having no religion at all. Most of the graves have Cumbrian green slate plaques as identification for relatives and friends.

Lawnswood Cemetery

A Woodland burial site is available within the grounds of Lawnswood cemetery.