Example Service

The conduct of a service can be as you wish as there is no set format. However, taking into consideration time constraints at most crematoriums and the need for a structured approach, the celebrant will often assist and recommend a service structure.

An example may be: 

*    Entrance to music

*    Opening Words                              

  Poem / Reading / Hymn  (Optional)

*    Tribute 

*    Poem / Reading / Hymn / Prayer  (Optional)

*    Final Farewell / Committal

*    Reflection (Music or Silence)

*    Poem / Reading / Hymn / Prayer (Optional)

*    Final Words

*    Exit to music   

Note: Additional music pieces, prayers, poems, readings and hymns can be added and inserted to the service where-ever required.
……….(Consideration must be given for overall service time). 

*     Presenters & Readers 

It is generally accepted that the Celebrant will give the introduction and closing words and in most cases, the committal. All other elements can be lead, presented or read by any other individual from close family members, friends and colleagues or, the celebrant can undertake the complete service. 

*     Readings

This can be a passage from a favourite book, or something written by a family member, friend or colleague and read out by either the celebrant or the person themselves.

*     Poems

These are often seen as a way of reflection or remembering certain aspects of the individual. If there are no favourite poems, then the celebrant can usually assist with finding appropriate options and choices if wanted.

Links to sites with a Selection of Poetry can be found at the Poetry & Music Page.

*     Hymns / Prayers

Generally, Civil Ceremony Funerals tend to be non-religious and as such do not have to feature prayers or hymns.

However, there are some occasions when a particular hymn or prayer may be requested for any number of reasons including perhaps as a recognition for the more religious mourners.

Links to sites with a selection of music appropriate for funerals, hymns and bible verses can be found at the Poetry & Music Page.

*     Music

There are generally no restrictions regarding music and it is up to the family to decide what is appropriate. This could be favourite tracks, bands, hymns and such. The period designated ‘reflection’ should be a piece to allow the mourners to either have a few minutes of quiet reflection or be an evocative piece to generate memories.

The music is booked via the celebrant / funeral director who in turn orders it from a digital supplier to be played through the crematorium built-in system. For outside and external locations, other arrangements may need to be made.

Some funerals may also wish to incorporate ‘live’ music which can range from a professional band or singer to a family member or child playing a personal instrument. 

Note: Due to the overall time limitations of the cremation slot, some tracks may need to be faded out before their full time.

*     Family Contributions

This could be where family and friends wish to contribute actively and can be anything from playing a piece of live music, reading something they have written or known to be relevant etc.

*     Congregational Contributions

This is where the congregation as a whole can participate. That can be from joining in with a hymn to responses to verses at various points such as the committal.

Other occasions have been where the curtains have remained open and the congregation invited to place a flower on the coffin as they exit to writing last messages on a cardboard coffin.

*     Timings

Every crematorium will have different ‘time slots’ for the service. This is in two parts, the Overall Time Slot and the Service Time Slot.

It is extremely important to know and adhere to the Service Time Slots which is generally from the point of entering the chapel to everyone leaving. Some crematoriums impose penalties if service over-run. 

The difference between the the Overall and Service Slots, usually 15 minutes is the time the busy crematorium has to prepare the chapel for the next funeral if all slots are booked. 

*   Telford Crematorium:             Overall Time Slot   1 hr                    Service Time Slot:   40 Mins 
*   Emstrey Shrewsbury:              Overall Time Slot    45 mins            Service Time Slot:   30 mins
*   Bushbury Wolverhampton:    Overall Time Slot    45 mins            Service Time Slot:   30 mins