Over time customs and rituals have evolved. Those that remain with us today are the ones that have proven to offer the greatest comfort and support. The funeral is a final opportunity for family and friends to publicly express their love and respect for the person who has died. If it is arranged carefully and sensitively so that it reflects the feelings and fulfils the needs of everyone attending, then it can be enormously beneficial in helping people come to terms with their loss.
The funeral represents the first and most important step towards working through one’s grief and readjusting to life. Its significant therapeutic value is widely recognised.
From a practical point of view, the funeral ensures the legal, reverent and dignified burial or cremation of the person who has died.
The funeral director’s role is to make all the relevant arrangements prior to conducting the funeral on the day.
The funeral director will liaise with the minister or celebrant to ensure that any of the family’s special requests such as music, flowers, photo’s or audiovisual tributes are met.
The minister or celebrant is ultimately responsible for what happens in
the funeral ceremony itself. This usually involves working with family members to:
- plan the format of the funeral service;
- decide who will deliver the eulogy – family member(s), a close personal friend or the celebrant;
- select music, reading or poetry for during the service;
- decide on the use of other mementos such as flowers and photos as required;
- discuss the content of the printed service sheets; and
- schedule the audiovisual presentation (if any) in the service.
Before the Funeral
Burial or Cremation
During your first contact with Lamb & Hayward, our funeral director will ask you whether the person who has died wished to be buried or cremated. The choice – burial or cremation – determines which kind of medical certificate we are legally required to obtain.
Choosing the Venue
Where the funeral service is held is an important aspect of funeral planning. You may choose to use one of our chapels, a crematorium chapel, or if the person who has died was a member of a religious denomination, often the service is held in their local church.
Clergy or Celebrant
If you are a member of a religious denomination, your priest or minister will be the obvious person to contact regarding the funeral service. Your funeral director will then liaise with them regarding the date and time, and will maintain contact leading up to the funeral.
When to hold the funeral is entirely up to you. Some people believe three days after death is the correct timing; however, legally there is no set time. Given the many matters to consider in arranging a modern funeral, it is not uncommon for a funeral to be held five to seven days after death.
The Canterbury region is home to many different cultures and religions. We have established strong relationships over many years with a wide range of community groups, so you can be assured that we will do everything we can to accommodate your own community practices and protocols.
Ex Service Personnel
The local RSA is happy to attend and conduct a Returned Services tribute for any service person who has died. The Last Post can be played if you would like this tradition to be a part of the ceremony.
The care and respect that Lamb & Hayward gives the person who has died begins from the time they are transferred into our care. Our funeral team are fully trained in conducting the transfer in a dignified and caring manner, whether the place of death is in a private home, hospital or more public place.
Clothing and Dressing
Before you spend time with the person who has died, we will ask you to bring in the clothing you would like them to be dressed in. When deciding on the clothing to be worn, remember to include all undergarments.
Caskets and Urns
The funeral director will assist you when choosing a casket, and will usually do so from Lamb & Hayward’s casket catalogue. Alternatively you may visit our offices and view a casket selection if you wish.
Many people find it helpful to spend time with the person who has died. This special time is an opportunity to say goodbye. We have a selection of viewing rooms for families who wish to visit.
Usually the public will be notified of a death by the placement of a Death Notice in the newspaper. We will assist you to write this notice, and will then lodge it in the various newspapers, and on the days that you nominate.
If you are using pall bearers, it is best that you approach these people prior to the funeral service. Most friends will be honoured to assist you by helping to carry the casket at the funeral. This may also be a useful way to involve members of clubs or groups that were relevant to the deceased or to include other family members.
Service sheets (orders of service) may be printed for handing out at the funeral service. Sizes and styles range from the standard size through to bookmarks which can be laminated if required. Service sheets have now become a sought-after item at a funeral service.
Mementos, Music and Flowers
Using carefully chosen mementos at a funeral service can enhance the significant aspects of a person’s life, and help to create a very personal atmosphere at the service. Photos and flowers add to the ambience.
Lamb & Hayward will assist you with a range of audiovisual services regarding both making presentations as part of the funeral service and recording the service as a permanent record.
Lamb & Hayward offers a range of custom-built hearses as part of our service to clients and families. Our fleet of refurbished classic Ford Mercurys add a sense of style to the funeral service and convey a feeling of tradition and dignity.
Offering refreshments after a funeral is regarded as an important aspect of the funeral service. This is a time for meeting up with family members and friends, sharing stories and recalling in greater detail the life of the person who has died. Sometimes it is an opportunity for a family reunion.
If you would like to know everyone who has attended the funeral, you may find it useful to have a memorial book for people to sign. We do our best to ensure that everyone signs the book either as they arrive for the funeral service or before they leave.
After the Service
Headstones and Plaques
Lamb & Hayward can provide advice and assistance regarding the selection and purchase of headstones and plaques. We are able to refer you to local Canterbury Monumental Masons who specialise in this service.
After the funeral Lamb & Hayward electronically registers the death of the person who has died. Following this online registration, Births, Deaths and Marriages processes it and posts the death certificate to the nominated person, who is most often an executor of the estate, usually within five to ten working days.
Although very important, the funeral is only the first step we take in ‘saying goodbye’. As you begin to work through your grief, the road ahead may seem long and lonely. Relatives and friends will be especially helpful at the time of death and at the funeral.
Every funeral invoice from Lamb & Hayward is individualised. It will generally include professional service fees, mortuary services, vehicle transfers and a casket.