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Arranging a funeral Before the service

A Funeral Service allows family and friends to come together and share their emotions and memories.

The Service is a reflection a person’s life and beliefs. It is an opportunity to offer support for the family and each other. It can also be an important part in the grieving and healing process. Our staff will work with you to create a Funeral Service that reflects your wishes as well as those of the deceased.

When to have the service

There are many things that have to be organised for a funeral service and you will need to allow yourself time to arrange these without feeling rushed. In consultation with you we will arrange the funeral for a day and time that best suits family and friends. There is no set time frame for when you must have a funeral service. There are however a number of factors to be considered that will determine when the service will be held.

  • Family preferences are the most important consideration. Family and friends will need to be contacted so they can plan time off from work and time to travel.
  • The timing of a funeral may also be determined by religious or cultural traditions. This is an important part of a funeral that we can accommodate.
  • The time of the service may be affected by the availability of the church, chapel or function rooms.

Most people find that a funeral service assists with their grief and bereavement, so it is preferable to not wait too long before having the service. We are also able to delay a funeral for a period of time if required. This may be the case if a family member has to travel from interstate or overseas or other unforeseen circumstances.

Where to have the service

There are many locations that a service can be held. We can arrange for a service to be at a church, chapel, town hall, club, function centre, park, family home or any other suitable location. The choice of location for a service will depend on a person’s religion, their cultural traditions and a family’s personal preference. Wherever you decide to have the service we will arrange for beautiful service that is a reflection of the person’s life.

For many people the location of the funeral service is their church. We have experience arranging funeral services for the many religious and cultural traditions that are a part of our community. There are also many crematorium and cemetery chapels that can be used for a religious or non-religious service. These chapels are very convenient because of their central location, parking and they often have catered function rooms for after the service. There are many other locations that are suitable for a service, we love to help you arrange a service at a place that is special to you and your family.

Clergy or Celebrant

The choice of a Clergy or Celebrant is a personal one that will depend on the type of service you would like.

Clergy – a person’s religious beliefs will guide you on the type of funeral service that they will have. We have a close association with the many the many religious traditions that are a part of our community. Our experience will ensure that religious traditions and cultural practices are respected.

Celebrant – People who are not religious or don’t have a strong relationship with a church may choose a celebrant to lead the service. The celebrant will give you an outline of a service and will work with you to create the type of service that you would like. You may like to include some religious elements in the service. We have a wide network of both male and female celebrants and we will be able to match a celebrant to the type and style of service you would like.

Compassionate Airfares

Some airlines have allowances for compassionate airfares. They may not charge the full cost for a last minute booking if it is for the purpose of attending a funeral. This is usually only for international airlines and does not apply for all airlines. Check with the airline (even after the flight) and we can provide you with a declaration stating the time and place of the funeral.

Flowers

Flowers have always been an important and beautiful part of a funeral service. The flowers on the coffin are usually from the family or close friends. Flowers from mourners should be delivered to the church or chapel where the funeral is going to take place. The flowers can remain with the coffin, be placed on top of a grave or returned to you. You may like to separate them and place them in vases at home or our staff could separate them and hand them out to the mourners after the service.

A lovely way of saying farewell is to invite people to place a flower on the coffin. This could be just the family members or open to everyone at the service. Individual flowers that can be handed out before the service or people can come forward during the service and handed a flower to be placed on the coffin. For a burial we can organise sand or rose petals that can sprinkle on the coffin, or flowers that can be dropped into the grave.

Letting people know

It is important to let family and friends know that a person has passed away, and when and where the funeral service is going to be held. It can be difficult to contact everyone a person knew over their lifetime. There may be many people that a person has lost contact with over the years.

Unity Funerals offers an online Funeral Notices at no charge. This lets people know the date, time and location of the service as well as a detailed directions and maps. A link to this page can be emailed to family and friends and shared on social media, giving everyone the details of the service.

We can also place a notice in the newspapers obituary section.

If you wish to have a private service let us know and we will not publish or give out any details of the service, we will also let the cemetery or crematorium of know.

Some people who should be notified when someone has passed away include:

  • Family, friends and relatives; including those who live overseas or are on holidays
  • Employer or previous work colleagues
  • Clubs and Associations
  • Executor of the will
  • Family doctor
  • Nursing Staff
  • Solicitor

Selecting a Coffin

Selecting a coffin is a personal decision that should reflect a person’s ideas and values.

We have a large range of coffins that include many different of colours, materials and finishes. We have a wide range of styles to suit every person and budget.

Service booklet

Service Booklets, Memorial Cards, Bookmarks and Thank-you Cards are a lovely way to remember a person and a keepsake for family and friends.

A Service Booklet is usually printed on folded card, with the person’s name and photo on the cover. Inside you can have an outline of the service, prayers, poems or words to a song. You can also include a thank you message on the back and an invitation and directions to the function after the service.

A Service Booklet is a lovely keepsake and a thank-you. They are not essential but are becoming a popular item. Our staff hand them to guests as they sign the memorial book, at the service. You can also send them to people who are unable to attend the service.

We can arrange for a professional designer to work with you to create a beautiful design and organise for them to be professionally printed. See the current prices and options here:

Sometimes there is a family member or friend who is able to design and print the Service Booklet, we can provide a template to help them.

Photo Presentation

Many services now include a photo presentation, it is a beautiful way to remember the important moments of a person’s life, set to the music that they loved. Scrolling through photos of a persons life from their childhood and through out the years brings back many memories, tears and laughter.

We can arrange to transfer your photos into digital format and combine them into a beautiful presentation to the sound of your favourite of music.

If there is a family member or friend who is able to create a photo presentation we can advise them about the correct file format for the service.

Testimonials