What Happens on the Day of the Funeral?
We will walk the cortege (within reason) from our Chapel to the agreed address at the time given to you on your confirmation letter, sometimes we may arrive a few minutes earlier or a few minutes later allowing for variations in the volume of traffic.
We will greet you at your door, and escort you and your family to the limousine(s). Once everyone is seated, the Funeral Director will walk the cortege away from the house, before getting in to the hearse and travelling to the place of service you have chosen.
At a church, we will first go and speak with the minister, then come and collect you when everything is ready. Please remain seated in the limousine until we returns to assist you. If family/friends are acting bearers they will be asked to come forward to the hearse to prepare to carry the coffin into the church. The coffin will be taken into the church and you will be asked to follow behind. Once inside we will guide you to your seats. At the end of the service, the coffin will be taken out of church and we will guide you back to your car and the coffin will be placed on to the hearse to travel to the crematorium.
If you have requested a service only at the crematorium then we will escort you direct to there. At the crematorium please remain in the limousine until we come to assist you.
If family/friends are acting bearers they will be asked to come forward to the hearse to prepare to carry the coffin into the crematorium. We will assist you from the limousine once we have prepared the floral tributes (if any) ready for your entrance into the crematorium. The coffin is then carried in to the sound of your chosen music and you will be asked to follow.
The coffin is placed on the catafalque (a raised and decorated platform). We will guide you to your seats and then the service; either religious or non-religious will begin once all the mourners are seated.
The committal (removal of the coffin) will then take place. During this time mourners may come forward to place single flowers are place thumb-prints on the coffin as a final act of farewell.
The coffin will then be obscured from view by means of curtains closing around it (you can choose to keep the curtains open throughout the service if you wish), different crematoria have ways of doing this, sometimes the coffin is lowered from sight or withdrawn through a gateway. Once the commital is completed we will guide you out of the crematorium and back to your limousines. Then the mourners leave the chapel. If you wish your floral tributes to remain at the crematorium or wish to take floral tributes with you, then please tell us in advance. Following the committal service our chauffeurs will take you back to the address you advised us of accordingly.
What happens with my loved ones ashes?
After cremation human ashes will be given to you in a container(either cardboard box or plastic – unless you have specified and paid for something different). The container will be the size of a large vase or old style sweet shop container. Although we have lots of Urns to sell you please think carefully as to where the ashes are going afterwards. If the ashes are going to be strewn then you could be left with an expensive Urn with nothing in!
What happens if I choose to leave the ashes at the crematoria?
The ashes will be strewn in the gardens of remembrance. A few crematoria have niches where urns may be placed, but these are usually on a lease basis and if not renewed periodically the ashes would be strewn or buried.
What are the Gardens of Remembrance at a crematorium?
The gardens of remembrance consist of areas set aside for the disposal of cremation ashes. Places are not reserved or marked afterwards. Some crematoria offer plaques, dedicated rose bushes or similar – a lot of these are usually on a lease basis, so check.
How long have I got to collect the ashes?
Some crematorium will keep them for up to one month before making a charge to store them. If there has been no prior instruction, they are strewn in the garden of remembrance. Before this happens the crematoria have to give 14 days notice in writing – they write to the person on the documentation at the time of cremation. However ashes are normally passed to the Funeral Director for collection.
Can anyone collect the ashes?
No, They will only be released to the funeral director or a named individual who will usually need to bring along some identification.
A Certificate of Cremation will be provided with the ashes. This is a legal document with the name of the deceased and date and location of the cremation.
The majority of the answers are based on advice from The Federation of British Cremation Authorities.