Arranging a Funeral

Things to consider when organising a funeral

There are many things to consider when arranging a funeral. These will differ depending on the circumstances of your bereavement. Please either read the text below, or watch the corresponding video which will hopefully answer any questions you may have. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any additional information.

If the deceased had a pre-paid funeral plan, then in most cases almost all of the decisions will have already been made and you will just need to register the death and make arrangements with us regarding the time the date and any elements not confirmed in advance.

Otherwise, the first thing you need to consider whether the funeral should be a burial or a cremation. This is a decision for the family to make. Sometimes the deceased will have expressed their wishes, sometimes it will be a family tradition. In any instance it is pretty much the first decision that you will need to make.

Do you wish the funeral to be Religious, or non-religious?
In many instances, people are regular church goers and in those cases the decision is going to be relatively easy. We will contact the minister or priest and a mutually agreeable timescale can be worked out. Increasingly nowadays more and more people are moving away from organised religion and there are several options in this situation. The most popular is to engage the services of a Humanist Celebrant. Humanists do not believe in the existence of God  and as such there should be no Hymns or Scripture at these services.

There are Civil Funeral Celebrants too. These are lay people with no allegiances to any church, however they will allow the singing of hymns and references to the existence of God. Nearly all of the non-religious services are held together with up to three pieces of secular music.

In all cases, religious, or either of the non-religious I have talked about. The celebrant is reliant on the family to provide background information on the deceased. Most will visit the family in order to build up a picture of the deceased and how they lived their life. Humour is not out of place here, after all this should be a celebration of the deceased life.

Where will the funeral take place?
In most cases where there is to be a cremation, there will only be one service at the crematorium, with whoever is officiating present. Sometimes, there will be a service at the deceased’s church, before the crematorium, or even occasionally afterwards. In the case of a burial, there will usually be a service prior. Either at the church if it is a religious service, or in a local hall, if it is not. Sometimes it is even held in our premises, but this is not usually suitable if the funeral is expected to be very well attended.

When someone dies at home

First things first. Call the Doctor, whether it’s the family G.P. or NHS 24. A medical professional should be called to verify death. If the doctor agrees that a medical certificate should be issued, then phone us on 01505 322444. Most families prefer the deceased to be removed, usually to our premises, at this time. If the doctor decides against issuing a death certificate, they can, under certain circumstances involve the police and the death may become a matter for the procurator fiscal.

When someone dies in hospital

You may be present when death occurs, or you may be called in after death occurs. In either case the deceased will later be removed to the hospital mortuary. You may be asked by staff if you have made a decision as to whether the funeral is to be a burial or a cremation. This is to allow staff to have the appropriate paperwork drawn up. A death certificate must be issued in every case, however, in the case of a cremation, two further doctors must agree on the cause of death and fill in and sign separate paperwork. We will liaise with the hospital on all of these aspects.

There is little or no point in phoning us in the middle of the night as we cannot remove the deceased or contact any personnel. However please don’t hesitate to contact us at any other time; evening, weekend or first thing in the morning.

When someone dies in a nursing home or hospice

In either a nursing home or hospice, when death occurs, usually the attendant staff will contact the undertaker, once the doctor has attended. In many cases you may well have known in advance that the death was imminent and as such may have given some thought as to what should happen next. Sometimes the deceased themselves may have left instructions. You of course can stipulate who they contact either in advance, or at this time.

Most nursing homes or indeed hospices do not have mortuary facilities and will call the undertaker to remove the deceased as soon as is practical. You may of course stay with your loved one until that point. We usually take over at that point dealing with all of the requisite paperwork and carrying out your wishes, as instructed.

Funeral Flowers & Memorials

If you would like any advice, or would like to organise a funeral tribute, please contact us.

Additionally, we can deal with any existing or new memorial headstone requirements.

Call 01505 322 444 or email [email protected]

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  • We would like to thank you for all your kindness during this sad time. Also, for the first class service received.
    Thank you all once again.

    Annie & Raymond

  • Just a note to thank you for your help during my recent bereavement. As I found out last year, you help to make a difficult time a little easier. Please have a drink or two on me.

    Ann Devine

  • Many thanks for all your assistance in relation to Hugh Macdonald’s funeral. Your advice in the planning stages was invaluable to me and the whole operation was carried out in a totally professional manner. Hugh always did things in a very organised way and he would certainly have approved. Thanks very much again, and best wishes for the future.

    A. Macpherson

  • Thank you so much for guiding us through the arrangements for mum’s funeral on 31st May

    Mary Boyd

  • Thank you for everything you have done at the sudden death of my husband Peter Samuel Whyte. You helped guide me to what I had to do. You did an amazing job with Peter as he looked as if he were asleep.

    Margaret and Tina

  • Thank you very much for the professional & compassionate way in which you conducted my mum, Chrissie Pattison’s funeral. Your care and attention made things that little bit easier for the family.
    Thanks again and regards to you all

    Christine Donaldson

  • For both your professionalism and support to our family at the time of my husband Jim’s funeral. I offer my sincere thanks.

    Anne Sanderson

  • I just wanted to thank you all for your professionalism, kindness and understanding when handling my father’s funeral arrangements, having never had to arrange anything like that before it was a great relief to me leaving things in your capable hands.

    Lesley Parr

  • We are so grateful for all your guidance & support with John’s funeral arrangements especially as it gave us some peace to see him at rest in the parlour.

    Margaret, Mary, Marion & Marlene

  • Thank you so much for the perfect arrangements and kindness at this sad time

    Rosemary F. Evans

  • Lindsay, Ewan and I would like to say a huge thank you to you and your staff for all your help and support through our recent sad bereavement of my wife, Linda. You made what must be one of the most traumatic life experiences a lot easier for us to handle. Nothing was ever too much trouble and yor time and patience for us is very much appreciated. Possibly a strange thing to say to a Funeral Director, but, I would certainly recommend you to anyone who needs to arrange a funeral. Thank you very much again

    Gordon, Lindsay and Ewan McNeil

  • Just a little note to say a very big thank you for everything you did to enable my mum, Jen Dougall’s funeral to go as she had wished. Nothing was too much trouble for you and I really appreciated it as it made a very difficult and upsetting time so much easier to cope with. Everything went as she had wished, and for that alone I cannot thank you enough (she won’t come back to haunt me now!)

    Lynsey & David Caulfield & Family