A step-by-step guide for planning a funeral

Organising a funeral can at first seem like an overwhelming and complicated process, made even harder by the emotional stress that usually follows the loss of a loved one. In light of this, many people these days are enlisting the aid of funeral directors to pre-plan their own funeral in order to make the task easier for those they leave behind. In other cases, where a funeral was not pre-planned, families tend to consult funeral homes for help regardless, especially since they know exactly what you're going through and will do what they can do to make the process bearable. What follows is an easy step-by-step guide for planning a funeral. Your chosen funeral home will help you along the way. 

How to prepare

Before planning the actual ceremony, it is important to make a number of decisions and gather important information that you'll need later on. In addition to selecting a funeral home, you will need to collate what you'll want to include in the deceased's obituary and any eulogies that will be given at the funeral. Furthermore, you will want to organise what you want to do with the deceased's belongings; some people donate what's appropriate to charity while others prefer to keep the things as mementos. 

In addition you'll want to decide on the participants to the funeral. This includes the friends and family members who would like to perform speeches, the pallbearers, any musicians or organists, and the clergy and officiator of the funeral. 

What your funeral home will help you with

Funeral homes will assist you in a majority of the funeral planning process for varied fees. Ultimately, it involves a lot of decision making by you, allowing you to tailor how you say farewell based on your own desires and any request by the deceased. After deciding on either cremation or burial, a funeral director can show you the different types of caskets, burial vaults and cremation urns available. You will also be able to decide on a location for burial, the kind of funeral service you want to organise, and whether you want to have a closed family viewing or open it to visitation.

Furthermore, you'll be able to make a number of aesthetic decisions. This includes designs for floral arrangements and memorial cards, any photographs you want to display, any religious or fraternal items to include and what the deceased will be dressed in. Finally, you'll be able to choose the music or hymns to be performed and any literature and scripture to be read out at the funeral. In terms of transportation to and from the ceremony, many funeral homes can provide a funeral coach, clergy car, limousine for the family and other variations. Once preparations have been completed, it is time to decide on a time and date for the funeral.

Funerals can seem like emotionally draining affairs. While they may seem scary, having power over how exactly a funeral is arranged makes the mourning process easier. Funerals are, after all, an incredible opportunity to remember, pay tribute to, and say farewell to those who have passed away. For more information, contact local professionals like Caring Funerals.