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Giving A Funeral The Personal Touch

Oct 17, 2007
Funerals are often seen as a way of celebrating someone's life, as much as saying goodbye, and today many people like to personalise funerals to reflect the deceased person's life, personality and interests. For example, it is very common for traditional hymns to be bypassed at funeral services with instead a selection of music that the deceased enjoyed, or what the family or close friends think best represented them, played.

The same is sometimes applied to colours and dress code. Many funerals ask that attendees do not wear black whilst others may ask that people dress casually if for example the deceased was not a fan of formal events. There are many other ways that funerals are personalised and these are just examples to highlight that a funeral does not have to follow a strict protocol and that when organising a funeral you should always do what you think the deceased person would have wanted.

Today with fewer people attending church it is quite likely that if you choose a religious element to a funeral that the member of the clergy will not have known the deceased. Many will ask you for lots of information about them, including their interests and perhaps some anecdotes, for them to integrate into their procedings but again there is nothing stopping you or someone else close to the deceased making your own speech reflecting on the life of your loved one.

And when making speech it doesn't have to be formal. In fact the less formal the better in some cases. Again the funeral is meant to be a celebration of someone's life and I'm sure the deceased would prefer funny stories and incidents being recited rather than long passages that are irrelevent to them and those attending the funeral.

Personalise the Coffin

As well as personalising the funeral service there is also the option of personalising the parts that make up the funeral such as the flowers or the coffin itself. For example, someone who was particularly concerned by the environment or saving money may prefer a cardboard coffin. These are a lot cheaper than wooden coffins and can often be personalised to reflect a truly individual style.

Some wooden coffins can also be painted and personalised to reflect say the support for a particular football team. Some can also be shaped to symbolise a particular interest or hobby.

Coffins are traditionally carried by pall bearers who will normally be supplied by the funeral company or crematoria you are dealing with. However, do not be afraid to stipulate who you would like to see carrying the coffin as often family members and close friends like to be involved in this part of the funeral service.

Another way to personalise the funeral service is to ask mourners to bring something along to lay on the coffin as it is buried or cremated. Some people prefer this to be for close family members only but is the perfect opportunity for people to say goodbye through a note or object which they associated with the deceased.

There are of course hundreds of ways to personalise a funeral service and it will depend on the person whose funeral it is and those who are organising the funeral. The best way to approach it is to think what the deceased would have wanted and how they would have liked to be remembered. Remember this day is about them and their life, not just about your relationship to that person, but also the relationship that person had with everyone else they knew and loved.
About the Author
The Funeral Site offers advice and guidance regarding funerals. For more information please visit http://www.funeralsite.co.uk
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