The Funeral Service
The funeral service is an important part in the very personal journey of grief we all travel on the death of someone we love. It honours and celebrates your loved one’s life, it gives family and friends the opportunity to share their memories, their thoughts and their grief together, and it gives them the time to acknowledge the life of, and say farewell to, someone who has touched their lives in so many ways.
Planning a funeral service in the short space of time from death to service and trying to reflect the life of your loved one and personalise the service, can be stressful. We hope that some of the options here will help you to think about how you would like to honour their lives, but we are here for just that, to guide and assist you with this, discussing your own ideas and helping you to make them happen.
Burial or Cremation
This is one of the first decisions you will have to make mainly because different documentation is required for each option. Often the preference has already been stated in the will so please check with your solicitor or executor.
Burial involves selecting and purchasing a burial plot in the cemetery of your choice. You will also need to select a headstone and the wording you require on it. The selection of the headstone can be done at a much later stage. For many people it is traditional for the headstone to be placed and 'unveiled' with a special ceremony, a year later. We can advise you on the cemeteries and costs in your area.
Cremation has become the more popular option in Christchurch. We have the Harewood and Canterbury Crematorium cremation facilities. Both venues gives families greater options for having the entire service all at the one venue were the cremation will take place. There are many options for the final resting place for your ashes and we can give you advice on many of these including the memorial gardens at both Canterbury and Harewood Crematoriums. This is not something that you have to decide until you feel you are ready, and it is wise to take your time with your decision.
Saying goodbye to your loved one, friend or colleague is an important part of grieving. Spending time with the deceased helps us accept the ‘death’ and come to terms with the reality of the loss. You may wish to have your loved one at home for some time before the service, or spend time with them at our funeral home. Our family viewing rooms including the ‘Memories lounge’ are quiet, spacious and private ensuring your time with them is peaceful and belongs to you and your family. This can also incorporate Zoom options with the 55 inch screens in the room.
We have renovated a space we are called our ‘Memories Lounge’. This space can be used for a visitation or viewing time, especially if you want to spend extra time with your loved one. If you wish, you can stay and have a cuppa in our open plan kitchen area, listen to music through our system that covers the whole space, plug your own device in and play a montage through our 60 inch TV screens.
The Memories Room can also be used for one of our Simply Respectful plans where we can provide a funeral celebrant, have a small funeral service and carry the casket to the hearse parked in the clean lined garage separated by the graphic’s glass wall and sliding doors We can provide Web streaming and Zoom for two way options. Following this we can provide a caterer to provide food, to go with a cuppa after the service.
Writing a Eulogy
Sometimes your minister or celebrant will ask to write out a “life history” of your loved one to be read at the service. This might be read by you, or another family member, a friend, or the person officiating. You are the only one that knows all the little things and the big things that have happened throughout your loved one’s life but being asked to write these down can just seem too hard! Don’t worry, it is not possible to write down a person’s whole life so just choose the parts that mean something and are special to you and your family. Just glance through the list below to help jog your memory. Often talking with the family will bring up lots of memories; have someone jot these down so that you can think about them when you are writing the eulogy.
- Where and when born,
- Parents and siblings, schooling, childhood days, teenage and young days,
- Employment/career, marriage, children, home,
- Trips/adventures, special events, clubs, passions and loves, hobbies, social life,
- Favourite sayings, anecdotes, favourite readings, poetry, songs, music.
If you do not have your own minister and would still like to have a religious service we can arrange this for you, similarly if you wish to have a non-religious service we can organise a celebrant who will help you plan the service of your choice.
We can arrange for any musician such as an organist, piper or soloist to play at the funeral service.
Here is a list of some example songs that our musician can play and sing along with. Any other songs are also fine to play – so long as the musician has one night to practice.
We have collected a large numbers of poems which you may use for inspiration for your service. Download the Simplicity Poems Booklet here.
We make it easy for you by offering a complete range of printing and multimedia services. Our professional Graphic Designers are on-hand to create beautiful works of art in the creation of Service Sheets, Visual Tributes, Thank You Cards, and any other graphic or multimedia output you might need.
Service Sheets (Orders of Service) are available in a variety of styles and designs. These include photos of the deceased selected by the family. Service Sheets can be personalised by our graphic designers to capture aspect’s of the deceased’s life. They are a personalised memento, for family and friends to help remember the persons life. We will work with you to ensure the service sheet is exactly right.
Proofing of Service Sheets
We email a proof of the service sheet to families to check before we go to print. Families will be notified once a proof has been emailed.
We regularly work with Victoria Florists where you are assured of the freshest flowers, the most innovative bouquets and arrangements, and personal, attentive service. Here is their flower catalogue.
A memorial book offers you the opportunity to record your funeral day. Include photos, letters, a service sheet and signatures. Copies can be sent to those who are not there. In the days that follow, having a reminder of the day can be a source of comfort.
View a selection of book styles below. Click images below to expand.
We can assist with the wording and format for your Death Notice and can place them in any of the papers in New Zealand and overseas.
Photo Tributes are now a important part of today’s funerals. This is where a montage of photos from a person’s life are set to music and played during the service. This is a meaningful way to capture and present important parts of someone’s life, This is a fabulous keepsake for the family.
We can arrange to do this for you through our AV professional expert. Just select the photos (about 30-40 or more if desired) we need at least two working days before the service. You can also select the piece of music you would like to go with the photos.
If you’re going to create your own Photo Tribute we require the final copy at least 24 hours before the service so that it can be tested on the system.
Live Web Streaming
Live Web-Streaming links are also available and this option has become increasingly popular for overseas or remote friends and family.
Hearses & Cars
After hours support
Advice and assistance is available over the phone after hours on 03 379 0196 , and we are able to talk you through the next steps if a loved one has passed away, and make arrangements to bring them back into our care.
This involves the preservation and presentation of the deceased for the duration of the funeral service. It is a medical procedure that ensures the disinfection and preservation of your loved one for the time they will spend until the cremation or burial. It is important to us that our embalming can give a more natural appearance, ensuring that viewing is a positive experience.
Knowing what to do with your loved one’s ashes can be a dilemma for many. We can advise and assist with the many options available, from scattering at sea, in a garden, in a cemetery, burial in a public garden, or a cemetery or even interring them in the crematorium memorial gardens at Harewood or Canterbury. We can also offer some nice options for Urns or Scatter Tubes along with our Keepsake Jewellery.
Being prepared and preplanning your funeral can lessen the worry for your family and can make the many decisions a little easier for them. It is important to hold these records in a secure, known location. We can hold your records, with a copy for your next of kin or executor, giving you peace of mind. You may wish to fill out the pre-planning forms online and either send them to us for safe keeping or keep them with your important papers.
Funeral Pre-payment Deposit
We have a safe secure prepayment plan where your money is securely held in The Funeral Trust account. Prepayment Deposit can relieve your family of the financial burden of funeral costs and put your mind at rest (knowing that these costs have been taken care of). Comprehensive brochures on prepayment options are available on request. Please contact us.
Should your loved one die overseas or you wish to have them returned to their country of birth, there are a number of important legal considerations and documentation that must be completed. We can take all the stress and worry away with our expertise in repatriation.
We offer a Live Streaming service with a secure link to your loved one’s service, for you to share with family and friends out of town or who may not be able to attend in person. These options include two way secure Zoom links with screens up at venues.
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Free Funeral Info Pack
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