There are a number of options available to you regarding your funeral outside of a Church or religious funeral at the crematorium. Decide what is best for you and / or talk it over with your Funeral Director or celebrant.
* Unattended / Direct Crematorium
This is where there is to be no visible cremation service or ceremony and no attendance by any individuals. (Possibly no relatives or a memorial to be held at a later date).
Funeral Directors arrange for the person to be taken in usually an unmarked vehicle direct to the crematorium. The ashes are then available for collection or delivery within a day or two.
A full service run either by the family or with the assistance of a celebrant within a crematorium. The coffin can be delivered in the traditional way by hearse or by the families on arrangements. This generally follows an agreed format with a combinations or readings / poems / music / hymns etc. as decided by the family and ends with the Final farewell / Committal.
Important Note: Crematorium slots can be restrictive for longer services with between 30 mins (Emstrey Shrewsbury) to 45 mins (Telford) being available from entry of mourners to exit and clearance.
(Note: The notion that funeral directors re-use coffins by emptying them beforehand is a myth. Neither is the idea that you cannot be sure you are getting the right ashes returned. The Shropshire Crematoriums have multiple furnaces and do not ‘hold over’ bodies to another day).
* Short Cremation Service & Follow Up Memorial
Where there may be many mourners or, it is not possible for all to attend in the period following a death, an option may be to have a short cremation or burial service attended by close family and friends and at a later date, a Memorial Service held at a favoured location where more can attend and there is no time restriction.
This could also be the option where there is family conflict where they wish on one hand to have a private affair but on the other hand, provide for a wider circle of friends and colleagues.
* Memorial Service
It may be possible for various reasons that there is no body to cremate or bury. (Manner of death means no remains, person has been missing presumed dead or donated their body to science).
* Natural Burials
A burial can take place at a natural or woodland burial site. This allows far more flexibility over timings and funeral ceremony. Natural burial grounds also provide families and friends with a peaceful location for subsequent visits
Using a funeral director is not a legal requirement.
You may wish to handle the arrangements yourself. You can do everything from collecting the person who has died from the mortuary to taking care of them at home, transporting them to the funeral, and even arranging a burial or cremation. You may come across resistance from professionals who may tell you that you have to use a funeral director. This simply isn’t true. If you’d like to sort out the funeral yourself, talk to the Natural Death Centre Charity who will be able to provide guidance and advocate on your behalf.