Help & advice - Choice of funeral

“Say not in grief he is no more, but live in thankfulness that he was”  - Hebrew proverb.

At Welham Jones, it’s our job to find out as much as we can about the person who died.

That way, we can offer a personalised service and a funeral that truly reflects the deceased. We will make suggestions for the funeral based on our experience; however, we encourage your ideas and input. The funeral of a loved one is a deeply personal affair and the service has to be right for you and your family.

We believe a funeral should be an uplifting and fulfilling experience in honour of the deceased; a day friends and family can look back on with a smile. We encourage our clients to go with their own ideas, moving away from the serious and dour Victorian-style funerals people often dread.

What you can expect

  • Funeral services as individual as the deceased.
  • A service based on cultural or religious beliefs.
  • A celebration to give thanks for a life.
  • Full guidance on all practicalities.

The cortege

What we offer:

  • Hearse
  • Limousines
  • Horse-drawn carriage
  • Motorcycle hearse
  • Dry carts

Led by the hearse, followed by one or more of our limousines (if they are required) and the cars of other mourners, the funeral cortege will most likely start from the deceased’s home:

  • We can take a direct route to the service, or the cortege can travel past places of special interest.
  • We can also take the coffin to the church the day before the funeral or in advance of the service, if desired.

The service

Type of funeral service:

  • Christian
  • Other Faith
  • Humanist
  • Secular

Whether it’s simple or ornate, private or open, the choice is yours. You can also choose to have a memorial service or service of thanksgiving at a later date.

Need an officiant? We can introduce someone suitable. Theoretically, anyone can take a funeral service, but that can limit the venues available.

Most crematoria offer the choice of concealing the coffin behind curtains, lowering the coffin from view or keeping it in view at the point of committal.

At a burial, coffin bearers will lower the coffin into the grave: Scottish cords are available.

Family involvement

Once you appoint an officiant, he or she will contact you regarding the specifics of the service, as well as to discuss the deceased and their life. You may wish to ask some family members or close friends to do a reading, poem or eulogy.

It is sometimes possible for members of the family or close friends to carry the deceased. Please let us know if this is something you would like to do, although you should bear in mind that you will be asked to accept responsibility for any injury or accident that might arise.

For the service, we will reserve the seats at the front for close family.

Secular funerals

Secular funerals are an increasingly popular alternative for those who were not religious. We offer some guidance on the practicalities of conducting this type of service: 

  • It is advisable to use the services of an officiant - without a framework, services can lack focus and have a tendency to drift. 
  • Venues for secular funerals include crematoria chapels, cemetery chapels, village halls, gravesides and woodland burial sites but clearly not churches. 
  • As a secular service is one of remembrance and celebration, greater family input is generally required.

What the service may involve:

  • A favourite piece of music playing at the beginning of the service, whilst family and friends take their seats or gather. 
  • A welcome by the officiant on behalf of the family/head of family to all present.
  • A eulogy read by the officiant, prepared by the family or intertwined with personal input from family members and the officiant. The eulogy will consist of remembrances of events, places visited and times shared. 
  • A chosen piece of music playing during the reading out of family letters and/or poems, or the showing of photographs. 
  • An opportunity for private prayer or the reading of a chosen prayer, for guests who are religious. 
  • A form of committal to close the service. This may be accompanied by music and/or a prayer as the catafalque curtains are drawn or the coffin is lowered into the grave. 
  • Another favourite piece of music playing whilst family and friends leave the chapel, move to a reception or disperse.

Music for the service
Music plays an important role in many funeral services.

What you need to consider:

  • Favourite hymns, tunes, songs, or pieces of music (yours or the deceased)
    - you should discuss these requirements with the officiant. 
  • Do you require an organist for the service?
    - this will usually incur an additional charge. 
  • Sourcing specific tracks
    - many crematoria provide music in digital format by computer download and it can take time to source specific tracks. Other venues still function with CDs, or you may be able to provide your own via a memory stick or smart phone. 
  • Live music requirements
    - we can source musicians for your service, including a choir, 'pipes and drums', a bugler for the Last Post, or even a jazz band.

Next : Funeral Cost

The big question we are often asked is "how much does a funeral cost?" We have an online funeral cost calculator where we like to be as honest and transparent as possible.