When a person dies, his or her friends and family members usually organise a funeral. A funeral can be defined as a ceremony which performs the last rites before the person is buried. It can be conducted during cremation, burial or independently depending on the culture, the religion, the last wishes of the deceased and the family's wishes. This means that there are so many different types of funerals all over the world.

More information on funeral services

Why do funerals occur?

The aim of the funeral services is to celebrate the life of the deceased, mourn him or her, bereave with the family and in some cases, they can be celebrated to assist the soul of the deceased to transition into the afterlife safely.

What happens at a funeral?

The activities in funeral services differ across religion, culture and traditional beliefs. However, most funerals may have a religious aspect where there is praying, reading a holy book, meditating and singing. Some may include full flung religious ceremonies like mass. Other ceremonies may involve cremation of the body or burial depending on the community in question. Funerals are sad and people mourn in different ways.

Who attends funerals?

Given that the funeral allows the congregation to pay their last respects to the deceased, funerals may attended by family members, friends, colleagues, neighbours and people who may not necessarily be related to the deceased but who may have taken care of them during sickness. Funerals for public figures are usually open to members of the public who may have been served by him or her or those who may have identified the public figure as a mentor or role model.

Arranging funerals

This is one of the most devastating times for any family and therefore they may choose to either plan the funeral themselves or to outsource the services. For most people, close family and friends will assist in arranging the funeral to ensure that things are done properly. When you choose to outsource, choosing the service provider needs to be done carefully. What should you look out for when outsourcing such services?

There are many activities that need to be arranged for. These may be provided by different companies. However, there are companies that may provide all the services. Such a company is easier to deal with since it minimises the number of companies and people that have to be supervised. In addition to this, it may be cost effective since you have grounds for discounts. You also need to ensure that the funeral organiser has the experience required to ensure that your friend or family member has a decent send off.

What will it cost to organise the funeral and get all the necessary supplies? Will they take care of all the documentation and permits? Is the cost inclusive of all items or will some of them be charged for as extras? Do they take care of the transport? These are some of the questions that you need to ask yourself before you select your preferred service provider. Remember to check whether there are any last wishes that need special arrangements in order to communicate them to the funeral organiser in time.