A funeral is an opportunity to honour someone’s life, their values, qualities, character and beliefs.
It can be an occasion for grieving, thanksgiving, reflection, and celebrating someone’s life. However, making funeral arrangements while grieving is a difficult responsibility. It can be a very stressful time when a friend or loved one dies or is close to death. With that in mind, we’ve provided some guidance below, covering the matters that need to be dealt with and the important first steps you’ll need to take. With Darwen Funeral Services, you’ll receive experienced advice and support at every step.
When a death occurs at home
1. Telephone the doctor, who will pronounce that death has occurred.
2. Contact Darwen Funeral Service on 01254 873618.
3. Our on-call funeral director will then take some brief details, and make provisional arrangements for a Funeral Director to call round, or for your family to attend our offices to make Funeral arrangements.
When a death occurs at hospital
1. If a death occurs at hospital, contact Darwen Funeral Service on 01254 873618. We will give you immediate advice on what to do next, for example collecting the death certificate, registering the death and other vital steps.
2. We will arrange a convenient time to visit you at your home, or if you prefer, to visit our offices to make some provisional funeral arrangements.
3. As your funeral director, we will transfer the deceased from the place of death to our facility. The deceased will be in our care while we complete arrangements for the funeral.
If you are the next of kin or family of the deceased, you will need to give some thought to the type of Funeral that you require. We can discuss how the deceased will be cared for, whether you will have a burial or cremation, and what type of ceremony you would like to have. Sometimes the deceased leaves behind a pre-arranged funeral plan, so this is worth checking before you start to make arrangements.
Common considerations when planning your funeral
- Is the Funeral to be a burial or a cremation? (the statutory documents vary in this case)
- Is the Funeral Service to be held in Church, or is it to be held at the Crematorium Chapel?
- Did the deceased leave any particular wishes or instructions?
- Will any family members like to act as pallbearers? (usually the pallbearers will carry the coffin
from the hearse to where the service is being held)
- What type of coffin or casket would you like?
- What music (if any) would you like at the service?
- Will you require any hymns?
- Who will be performing the eulogies, poems and readings?
- Would you like floral tributes?
- Would you like catering arrangements after the funeral?
- How many mourners will require transport?
- Would you like to arrange announcements in the local newspaper?
Many people like to have the funeral led by a religious minister. Some prefer to have a funeral celebrant officiate at their loved one’s funeral service, with poems and readings instead of scripture and prayers, or words with a spiritual, but not necessarily religious element. Some religious funerals also include non-religious words or music that have special meaning.
Funeral services are often concluded with a reception, funeral tea or wake after the ceremony. If your loved one is being buried, it may be close family only who attend the graveside committal, while other mourners and sympathisers await them at the funeral reception venue.
As an occasion of reflection and celebration of your loved one’s life, the funeral reception may form a part of an afternoon or evening dedicated to remembering them. You may choose to host this at home, or another venue. If required, we can help you to organise the wake and assist with the catering arrangements, to enable you to focus on your loved one.
If the deceased will be buried and cemetery property has not already been purchased, we can liaise with officials of your chosen cemetery to arrange the purchase of an interment property (e.g., grave plot, crypt, a niche for an urn).
You can discuss all these considerations in depth with our funeral directors. We will help and advise you on all areas of the funeral, including the order of service if required. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or make requests, even if they seem a little unusual. We will always look to accommodate your needs and desires.
Once you have arranged a convenient appointment to meet our Funeral Director, we will discuss, guide and advise you on all matters related to arranging the Funeral. All costs will be thoroughly explained to you and we will provide a fully itemised written quotation for you to consider.
Once all of your requirements have been taken by the Funeral Director, we will then begin to liaise with all the appropriate authorities such as Coroners, Hospitals, Doctors, Ministers etc. Our funeral directors are experts at handling the paperwork, logistics and practical elements involved in arranging your funeral to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
It’s unusual to directly invite people to a funeral. People often post the details of the funeral arrangements on social media and many people find out about the venue and time through a death notice or online obituary. As your funeral director, we can arrange the obituary on your behalf. This can include details such as dress codes, special requests, and whether it is a private service or open to anyone who wishes to pay their respects.
If people are sending flowers ahead of the funeral, we can arrange to receive these. Some bereaved families politely request that, rather than spend money on floral tributes, people instead donate to a charity in memory of their loved one. We can help with collections during the funeral service and arrange to pay this to the charity.
During the interim period leading up the day of the Funeral, families will be contacted by the presiding minister or priest, or in the case of a non-religious funeral, by the person conducting the service.
The person conducting the service will discuss readings, hymns and other elements.
If you have not ordered floral tributes with the Funeral Director, then arrangements to visit a florist should be taken into account.
You may also wish to visit the venue where the funeral reception is to be held to discuss buffet menus or other catering matters.
Families wishing to visit their loved one in our Chapel of Rest may come anytime from Monday to Friday, during the hours of 9.00 to 5.30, without making an appointment (outside these hours, an appointment may be necessary). Floral tributes or other personal items may be left in the private room until the day of the funeral. Our phone line (tel 01254 873618) is open 24 hours a day for any enquiries, always answered by a qualified member of staff.
Your funeral director will enquire whether any personal items are to be left in the coffin and will also establish whether any jewellery is to remain with the deceased, or to be returned to the family.
Whether you are leaving from our Chapel of Rest, the home of the deceased or from a family member’s home, we will already have discussed and established the appropriate routes and your Funeral Director will have previously discussed with the family, who will travel in each vehicle.
The Funeral procession will then make its way to either the Church or Crematorium. Upon arrival, the Funeral Director will instruct the family bearers (if any) and will then escort the family members into the Church or Chapel and seat them in their appropriate places.
During the service all arrangements with regard to entrance music, hymns etc will have already been made. At the end of the service your Funeral Director will escort the main family members from the place of service to the awaiting limousines, which will then convey the cortege to the crematorium or cemetery for the final committal or to the catering venue chosen by the family.
ollowing the funeral, some families decide to inter their loved one’s ashes in a family grave, or a special ashes plot at either Darwen or Pleasington cemeteries. Purchasing an ashes plot is simple, and once purchased, may be used for the interment of up to six ashes caskets.
Being a private plot, the family are entitled to erect a headstone or memorial, commemorating those interred.
After the funeral, you will also need to consider various other matters, including:
- Cancellation of, utility services, gas, electric, phones, etc.
- Contacting insurance companies etc.
Closing bank and building society accounts
Following the funeral, the affairs of the deceased must be put in order. These affairs range from sending death notices to filing death benefit claims to changing the title of the deceased’s assets. We can provide advice on how and where to address these matters.
We can also offer the family bereavement counselling, or put you in contact with services who offer this type of assistance.