Although a funeral director will be invited to organise the majority of funerals, some people prefer to organise funerals themselves. They may feel that personally organising a funeral is their final tribute to the deceased person or they may simply wish to save money. An independent funeral can mean taking responsibility for collecting and moving the body, arranging embalming and viewing of the deceased, providing a coffin, hearse and arranging the service or it can just mean arranging the burial and service.
There is now a move towards a more ‘green’ type of burial which promotes bio-degradable coffins and gives the option of a woodland burial. The Natural Death Centre is a charitable project launched in Britain in 1991. It provides information to help people arrange inexpensive, family-organised, and environmentally-friendly funerals. It has a more general aim of helping to improve the quality of dying.
There is no requirement to have a religious ceremony, or any kind of ceremony at all at a funeral. Many people now choose to have a Humanist Ceremony where the proceedings involve a celebration of the dead person’s life through readings, tributes and appropriate music. At this type of funeral the services of an officiant, on the lines of a minister or celebrant are commonly employed. The British Humanist Association website offers advice on all aspects of humanist ceremonies.
If you dont want a ceremony at all, members of the family or close friends can attend the committal, which can be in silence or with some music being played.
If you are getting Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or certain other benefits, you could get help to pay for a simple funeral of a partner, a close relative or a close friend.
For more details contact your local Pensions Centre or Social Security office.
Non-Christian and Minority Group Funerals
Most cemeteries are owned by local authorities or private companies and are non-denominational, although some have space dedicated to particular religious groups. Some religious groups also have dedicated cemeteries:
Most Muslim communities appoint one person who is responsible for making funeral arrangements. It will be their job to advise of the rules and to select a suitable funeral director.
Go to the downloads section for more information.
Hindus are always cremated, and never buried. There are many possible variations of rights which depend on their form of Hinduism.
Jewish funerals are usually arranged by a dedicated Jewish Funeral Agency, or the local community may have a contract with a Gentile funeral service, which will be carried out under strict rabbinical control.
Please contact us for more information on any of the above.