Planning a funeral service in advance
Advance Funeral Planning is where I offer help relating to the planning of the particular type of funeral you would wish to have. But note that this does not involve paying for a funeral in advance. The latter is a service which is available from many funeral directors. Instead, my work is concerned with discussing your thoughts for the purpose of getting your funeral service right according to your own personal wishes. The aim is that it will be a fitting tribute to the gift of your life and a consolation and comfort to your family and friends. It will also ease the burden on the people who will be arranging your funeral.
Funeral Planning Meeting
I will first meet with you at a time and pace of your choice. There we will discuss your circumstances and ideas in a relaxed atmosphere. Next, we will go on to consider the type of ceremony you might wish to have.
Type of Service
For example, would you like to have a religious service, in what church, what format? Or is it is your wish to have an interdenominational or non-religious ceremony? Then there is the matter of selecting readings, poems, hymns or music that are particularly meaningful for you. I can offer you an extensive choice of readings and music suitable for a wide variety of circumstances and situations. And have you any thoughts about singers, instrumentalists, choir?
Burial or Cremation
Would you wish to have a burial or a cremation and where? Is there a family plot with space available for another burial? Have you any preferences as regards readings or music at the cemetery or crematorium? And if your choice is cremation have you given thought to the matter deciding upon a final resting place for your ashes?
We will look at practical matters. Have you a preferred funeral director? What type of coffin would you wish to have? Is it your wish to be laid out at home or in a funeral home? We consider whether your removal from there should be to a place of worship overnight or directly to a church or crematorium on the day of your funeral. Would you prefer that mourners would make a donation to charity rather than provide flowers? Are your mourners to be invited to some specified place for a meal and refreshments following the ceremony?
Have you any final words, advice or message that you would like to record or have written? If so these words could be read or given to your loved ones after your death or perhaps they might be read at the requiem itself. Be assured that we will discuss all this and anything else that may be on your mind when we meet.
Benefits of Advance Funeral Planning
You will see from all the above that Advance Funeral Planning will significantly ease the strain on your family. It means that your loved ones will have the comfort of knowing what were your most recently expressed wishes. All this is important because, following a death, there is so much to be done by a grieving family in a very short space of time.
Failure to set out your desires can even result in your family incurring more expense than you would have wished had you made your views known. We all want to do the very best for a deceased family member. Advance Funeral Planning allows you to state your preferences clearly. By thinking about this in advance, your final parting will accord with a plan designed by you. Hopefully, your funeral, sad though it may be, will be a treasured memory for your family and your friends.
Apart from the matter of Advance Funeral Planning, it is important to think about, discuss, and record your preferences regarding end of life issues. The Think Ahead form from the Irish Hospice Foundation will be found to be a great help in ensuring that the people closest to you are aware of your preferences so that, should a time come when you are unable to express them yourself, your wishes will be clear to those caring for you or managing your affairs.
Don’t forget your will
Do not overlook the very important matter of dealing with your property by leaving a valid will.