You may arrange the funeral yourself or employ the services of a funeral director. If the funeral has been pre-paid the funeral directors may have already been chosen and there may be wishes of the deceased that are in the funeral plan or perhaps in the will that you will need to adhere to, it will be important to check this. The funeral directors may be allied to professional bodies such as the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) or the Society of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF). You may want to get more than one quote from funeral directors in order to compare prices as they will vary. Ask for a written quotation and also ask about disbursements which are fees paid by the funeral directors to others, such as a newspaper for the notice of the funeral. Once you have a written quote the funeral directors cannot charge more than that amount. Important functions of funeral directors are to provide staff and a coffin of your choosing, they will move the deceased from the place of death to the funeral director’s premises, they will look after the deceased before the funeral and provide a hearse. Funeral directors are excellent at helping you through the funeral process and they can give useful guidance.
Burial or cremation – You will need to make decisions about the funeral such as whether to have a burial or cremation, however it is likely that the deceased had expressed wishes regarding this. Other factors that you may need to decide though are whether the service will be held in a church or crematorium and how many cars you will need. Again the funeral directors will lead you through this. Once it is arranged you will need to inform people about the funeral, this may include putting a notice in the local newspaper and if you wish order your flowers. It is usual for those attending a funeral to be invited somewhere afterwards for light refreshments. People use various places such as their home, a home of one of the friends or relatives, a church or village hall, a pub or social centre.
Personalising the funeral – It can be comforting to choose favourite music to come in to and leave by, choose hymns and readings of poems or stories of the deceased which will bring memories back for those gathered. Close relatives or friends could be asked to do the reading(s). You may want to order or make Order of Service leaflets; these contain a programme of what is to happen at the funeral, often with a picture of the deceased and details of where to meet afterwards.
An important point to remember is that you will not be able to finalise the date for the funeral until after the death has been registered and if the Coroner is involved the date when the funeral can be held will be affected.