The Power of a Good Funeral
A good funeral can be profound and transformational in helping the people left behind to accept and acknowledge the death of someone close to them.
A Funeral that Works for You
A funeral doesn’t have to be like the ones you’ve been to in the past; you can create a funeral that works for you and helps your grieving process. There’s no such thing as a ‘standard’ funeral. Contrary to popular belief, the funeral doesn’t need to be in a church or have three pieces of music, a poem and a hymn. A funeral can be held anywhere you like, however you like and it can be hosted by whoever you like.
Consider what purpose the funeral is serving. It can be a space for the entire spectrum of human emotion that comes with grief. Sometimes a celebration of life is appropriate, other times a serious and solemn funeral that serves as an acknowledgement that something horrific and traumatic has happened is what’s required.
We can work with you to create a funeral that gives people the space to do whatever it is they need to do. Grief is complicated and comes in many forms: numbness, gratitude, silence, sobbing – it can all be accommodated at a funeral.
At the Crematorium
Barnsley Crematorium at Ardsley generally is the closest crematorium in the area. However, you don’t have to go to the one closest to you.
Most crematoria operate time slots. Lengths differ from an hour to 30 minutes. Be aware that a 30 minute slot is only 20 minutes of service time as 10 minutes will be taken with getting everyone in and out of the chapel. If you know that there’s going to be a lot of content, you can request a double slot.
At some stage, you may be asked to make a decision about the committal. This is when the curtains close around the coffin and/or the coffin moves through the doors and out of sight. Each crematorium is set up differently. It’s your choice as to how you say goodbye – you may want the curtains to remain open and the coffin in place.
You may prefer to say goodbye in your own way. For example, a message writing ceremony, a simple word of farewell or placing a rose on the coffin as you depart. There are no rules.
Natural Burial Grounds
Natural burial grounds can be a peaceful setting for a funeral. They’re often set in beautiful locations and some have ceremonial halls on site. With natural burial, there’s much more time and space to hold the ceremony you want. Each natural burial ground is different and has its own vibe. It’s good to visit and have a good look around before making a decision. Be aware that some natural burial grounds will not allow you to mark the grave site. Some will allow a simple marker whilst others encourage the idea that the person who has died is becoming part of the landscape.
There are no laws stating where a funeral must be held. You can hold the service outside of the crematoria or church. Community halls, theatres and historic houses may work well for you but check that they will allow the coffin to be there, if that’s important to you. You can even hold the funeral at home or in your garden.
The Funeral Service
If you’re going to have a funeral service, you’re going to need to make some decisions about the kind of funeral service you’d like and who you’d like to perform it.
You may already have a minister to conduct the service. If not, we have excellent relationships with many local religious officiants and will be able to liaise with them to arrange the service.
Funeral celebrants will facilitate the funeral that you’d like to have based on your beliefs, not theirs. The funerals they put together are usually life centred and can include elements of religion such as prayers and hymns if required. A good celebrant will visit you at home and spend time talking about the life of the person who has died.
There’s a whole spectrum of celebrants, each with their own style and offering. If you’re looking for a funeral from a non-religious and non-spiritual perspective, we can arrange a celebrant from the British Humanist Association to take the service.
We live in a society of multiple faiths. Belief systems in families can be complicated. Mourners may have differing needs, but they don’t need to be contradictory. For example, an Imam worked with a celebrant to put together a funeral ceremony for a young woman who had died. Her family were
religious, her friends weren’t. The resulting funeral met everyone’s needs.
Friend or Family Member
You can put together the funeral yourself or appoint an open-minded celebrant to assist you with certain elements such as how to structure it. A family member or friend can even lead the service.
There’s no requirement to have a service. Funerals don’t have to stick to any structure or format. You can just play a favourite song on repeat or sit in silence if that resonates with you.