Types of Funeral
A funeral is so much more than a way to say goodbye, it’s an opportunity to celebrate the life of someone special.
Today, a funeral can be as unique as the individual who is being honoured. From simple touches like displaying personal photographs to events created around a favourite pastime, funerals can reflect any aspect of a person’s life and personality.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help personalise a service:
- What did the person like to do?
- What was the person like as an individual?
- What was the person like as a professional?
- Was the person spiritual?
- Was the person proud of their heritage?
What did the person like to do?
Often people have hobbies that become more than just a casual pastime. Their activity could have been as much a part of who they were as their smile. Why not showcase that important part of their life during the funeral?
Incorporating a hobby can be as simple as:
- Displaying items used for their hobby; e.g. sports equipment, gardening tools, or collections.
- Personalising the casket or urn with a symbol of their hobby.
- Displaying trophies or awards they won.
- Creating a picture board or presentation featuring pictures of them engaged in their hobby.
- Having someone speak about the person’s passion for the hobby.
By adding these or other personal touches to a funeral, the service becomes a reflection of the person’s life and personality.
What was the person like as an individual?
One way to enhance a funeral is by bringing a piece of the person’s personality to life. Consider what made that person special, what made them who they were. Then find ways to link their individuality to traditional aspects of a funeral service.
Other themes you may want to consider:
- Military honours for a member of the armed forces
- Harley-Davidson rally for the Harley owner
What was the person like as a professional?
Many people take great pride in their career. Perhaps they dedicated a lifetime to a profession that transformed into more than just a job. If this holds true for your loved one, you may want to consider ways to include their professional life into their funeral service.
Following are two examples of how you could incorporate a profession into a service:
For a teacher:
- Have the choir or band from the school perform during the service.
- Encourage students to write essays about the person, which could be displayed.
- Invite a past student to speak at the service.
For a firefighter/police officer:
- Incorporate any honours or traditions that their department has established.
- Use fire trucks or police vehicles in the procession.
- Have bagpipers play at the service.
- Display their uniform and equipment.
Was the person spiritual?
Through organised religion or personal beliefs, most people have some sense of spirituality in their life. Often those values are from the very core of who the person was in life. Therefore, you may feel it is important to incorporate the individual’s sense of spirituality into their funeral service.
Here are some ideas on how to incorporate spirituality into a funeral service:
- Hold the service at the person’s parish or religious facility.
- Have someone read excerpts from a key religious publication (i.e. Bible, Koran, etc.).
- Have the person’s cremated remains scattered at a place of spiritual significance to them.
- Read a prayer that touches on their key beliefs.
- Include sacred music from the religion in the service.