There are many factors involved in arranging a funeral.
It’s important that you know what the options are, what is in your power to choose,
so that you can feel that you made all the right decisions.
Remember – there’s no rush to arrange the funeral, slow down, take your time, consider all the options.
Everyone can feel pressure to get the arrangements made and often think that they must do certain things.
There are only three things you must do.
1. The death MUST be certified by a Doctor
2. The Death MUST be registered (usually within 5 days)
3. The body MUST be disposed of
Here’s a few myths and misunderstandings that I have experienced in the past twelve years.
You have to have a ‘funeral’
There is no law that says you must have a funeral.
You can arrange a direct cremation with no-one present if you wish.
You have to use a Funeral Director
There is no law that says you must use a funeral director.
You can arrange a funeral yourself, with family and friends to help. Please see our information on Family Arranged Funerals here for guidance.
You must have the body embalmed
It is not a legal requirement unless the body is to be transported abroad.
The funeral must be at a Church or Crematorium
A funeral can be held anywhere as long as you have the property owner’s permission.
You must have a Vicar or Priest to officiate at the funeral
Anyone can take a funeral. There’s no law that says you must have a vicar or priest. There are no legal qualifications needed.
You have to include Hymns and Prayers
Any music or no music can be included at a funeral.
The choice of ceremony style is personal – you choose if you want religious, non-religious,
semi-religious, spiritual, atheist or Jedi…
You have to close the curtains at the Crematorium
It’s up to you whether the curtains are closed or remain open. You can push the button yourself to close them if you want to.
The same applies to whether the coffin moves away during the service (for example at Woking crematorium.)
It’s your choice whether the coffin moves away during the service or remains till you have left the chapel.
You see the coffin go into the flames at the Crematorium
Many people believe they have seen this – possibly on television or perhaps at a funeral they attended.
It is impossible at any crematorium in this area.
The coffin is moved into an ante room where paperwork/names/dates are checked before cremation takes place.
You can visit ‘behind the scenes’ to check these processes if you want to be reassured.
(I have, and I am impressed with the care and diligence of the crematorium staff.)
You may not get the right ashes returned to you
Each coffin is cremated individually. Each coffin is tracked throughout the process.
The ashes are recovered separately from each cremation and you will get the right ones.
There are no ashes after a baby cremation
Crematoria in this area all have special processes for babies and they will do their utmost to recover and return ashes to you for burial, for scattering or for a keepsake.