A funeral service provides an opportunity to farewell a loved one, as well as to celebrate their life. A funeral celebrant can help remove some of the many worries about organising the service, as this is something they will help you with. Today we'll walk you through the most common events that occur during a funeral service.

What Happens During a Funeral Service?

A funeral service is a ceremony where family and friends come together to pay their lasts respects and say goodbye to a recently deceased person. During a funeral service, several things may occur:

  1. Body of the deceased leaves from the funeral home or their home in a hearse or other vehicle. There may be a procession of mourners following the car through to the church, crematorium or other building.
  2. Casket is removed from the vehicle, and the pallbearers carry the casket through the building and place it at the front of the building, where funeral flowers, wreaths and pictures are placed on or near the casket.
  3. Music is played while people start to arrive, this lasts until it is time to start the ceremony.
  4. There will be a person leading the ceremony, such as a celebrant, priest or religious leader or it can also be a family member who says a prayer, performs a mass, introduces people to the stage who wish to speak about the deceased person.
  5. Music will play as guests leave to go to the next stage of the funeral service.
  6. Body is lifted by the pallbearers and carried back to the hearse (unless the burial spot is right near the church or crematorium).
  7. Hearse drives to the committal spot where the body is to be laid.
  8. Body of the deceased person is gently lowered into the grave.
  9. The deceased is given their last rites or prayers are said, and guests can pay their final respects. Often this involves laying flowers or dirt upon the casket.
  10. Usually a reception or wake is held not long after the funeral, where food and drink are served. This can be held at the home of the deceased or another family member, or at a place not far from the church or crematorium. This is the final place where family and friends can share memories together about what the deceased person means to them.

There are no must-dos when it comes to holding a funeral service. Rather, it is the wishes of the deceased and their loved ones who guide what occurs during the service, which is then followed by the funeral celebrant.

We encourage you to view and choose from the funeral celebrants listed within our Celebrant directory to help you through this challenging time.