10 Important Questions about Funerals

There’s a lot of questions surrounding funerals. Find out all the answers you need to know, in our post.

For many of us, funerals aren’t our area of expertise. When it comes to a time when you’re arranging or attending one, there’s a lot of questions you may have surrounding them. We’re going to answer some of those questions, in our post. We’ve spoken to S. Stibbards & Sons, funeral directors in Southend on Sea, and asked them about the most common questions they receive surrounding funerals. If you’d like some of your questions answer, please read our post.

1.  Are funerals religious?

Many may assume that funerals must be religious because they can be held in a church or other religious places of worship, but funerals aren’t just for those of faith. Funerals are a part of modern culture and have been integrated into society since ancient Roman times. They’re not just a religious ceremony, they’re a celebration of the life of the deceased. So, whilst some funerals can be religious services and ceremonies, not all of them are.

2.  Where can funerals be held?

Most hold funerals in churches or other places of worship, but like we’ve said above, funerals aren’t just religious ceremonies. Many assume that funerals are held in churches or other religious places, but funerals can be held in other locations. For those that aren’t religious, funerals can be held in crematoriums, parish halls, a cemetery chapel or even in your own home. You’ll have to check the details with those organising your funeral however.

3.  Can funerals be private?

Whilst you can have a funeral service in your own home, a funeral in a public place may not be private. Yes, you can choose who to invite and who will attend, but it’s virtually impossible to prevent people attending a service in a public crematorium, graveyard or church. You can explain to people that it is a private funeral, however some may take offence to this and want to pay their respects to the deceased. If a funeral is held in a public space, it cannot be completely private.

4.  Who arranges funerals?

A funeral can either be arranged by a funeral director or planner, or yourself. However, it takes a lot of preparation and planning to organise a funeral. It’s more than just arranging the service, it’s the burial or the cremation, the wake, the transport, the casket and so much more. If you’re considering arranging a funeral for a loved one, please be aware that it can be stressful. At an already difficult time, many may not want the added stress of planning a funeral. This is why many choose to use funeral directors and planners.

5.  How do funerals work?

Once a funeral is arranged, the following will happen. Close family and friends may visit the chapel of rest, to see the body of the deceased, before they are transported to the funeral. These close members of the family usually arrive in a funeral car following the hearse. Those who are not travelling with the funeral procession will arrive prior to the coffin. Once there, the coffin will be carried into the funeral procession and the service will begin. This can either be a religious service or one that simply celebrates the life of the deceased. There can be music, prayers, hymns and eulogies for the deceased. Following this, if the deceased has chosen to be buried, the burial service will commence. After the service, the wake usually follows at a different venue, catered with light refreshments.

6.  Are funerals usually on weekends?

Funerals can be held on any day of the week. It is dependent on the venue you have chosen for the service too. For example, funerals may not be able to be held at a church, on certain times on a Sunday. This could be due to a general church service. However, if you enquire at the venue of your choosing, you’ll have an idea of when you can hold a funeral. Alternatively, funeral directors can assist you in planning the date and day of the funeral. Whilst funerals can be on weekends, they can also be held in the week – many can receive compassionate leave from work in order to attend a funeral.

7.  Are funerals required by law?

Whilst there is no law requiring a funeral service, the law does state that the body of the deceased should be buried or cremated. Some choose to have a direct cremation, where no service is held for the deceased. Whilst the funeral service is not compulsory, the body must be ‘disposed of’ through burial, cremation or other means – according to the Births and Deaths Registration Act.

8.  Why are funerals important?

Many consider funerals an important part of death as it’s a chance to say your final goodbyes and pay respects to the deceased. Whilst there’s no obligation to hold a funeral, many find it helps the grieving with a formal service to bring a close to a difficult time. Families and friends can go forward with their lives with their loved ones in their hearts and memories knowing that they have said their goodbyes and that their physical form has left this world. Funerals are important for the individuals that knew the deceased.

9.  Are funerals excused absences from school?

In the event there is a funeral held in the week, and you need to take your child out of school, most institutes will allow funerals to be marked as an authorised absence. Whilst different schools have different policies, you should be able to request that your child is taken out of school for a funeral service of close family.

10.  Can funerals be held at night?

In the winter months, when the days are shorter, and it becomes dark, there is not a huge window for funeral services. In response to this, funeral arrangements can be made to include lighting for burials (usually for an extra charge). However, it’s important to speak to either your funeral director or the venue holding the funeral, as they may not allow for later funerals to be held.

We hope these answers helped you.