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Choosing Between Traditional and Contemporary Funerals

Today’s funerals are more personalised and individual than ever before, allowing us to say goodbye to loved ones with meaning.

You can completely customise a funeral service to reflect the life and preferences of the deceased, but if your loved one didn’t leave explicit instructions how do you know where to even begin choosing the right service?

The best way is to decide whether you’d like a traditional or more modern and contemporary funeral and use that as a base model to which you can add personal touches.

wooden cross decorated with flowers kept need the tree

Traditional Funeral Services

A traditional funeral service is what many of us think of when we envision a funeral.

The casket lies in the church, crematorium, or funeral home for mourners to visit and pay their last respects before the funeral service begins.

Once the service concludes, the casket is then cremated or transported to the cemetery or burial site for a short graveside service before being committed to the ground.

The mourners then move onto the wake or funeral reception for refreshments and to share memories of the departed and support each other through their grief.

While the service is quite structured, with formal rituals, there are many opportunities to customise it to your preferences by adding music and flowers.

Contemporary Funeral Services

These days many people are moving away from the traditional, often religious, formal funeral service in favour of a fully personalised, informal service.

Often the deceased has left detailed instructions as to how and where they want to be buried or cremated, and it’s important to honour those wishes in the best possible way.

A contemporary funeral service can be anything meaningful to the deceased and their family and friends. The service might include a unique location, specific rituals and objects, and detailed directives for particular family members or friends.

Your Loved One’s Wishes

While it’s important to honour the wishes of the deceased, unless there was a discussion beforehand or precise written instructions, the exact details of many funeral services can be open to interpretation, and that may be how the deceased envisioned it.

If that’s the case it should be easy to choose what type of service they’d want based on what sort of person they were in life.

Family members or friends who knew the deceased very well usually make funeral arrangements, as they’d know what the person would want most.

For Family and Friends

Funeral services are mainly for the benefit of those left behind, so if no particular instructions were left, try to arrange something that will help the deceased’s friends and family cope with their grief and loss, and say a final goodbye.

That can be as simple as a memorial service or wake, or as complex as a full traditional funeral.

It may take some discussion with family members to come to a final decision and you can seek professional advice from your funeral director, but remember it’s your way of paying your final respects, so choose something that will help you say goodbye in a meaningful way.

Arranging a Funeral

As a family owned and operated funeral home, Personal Farewells understands the importance of family, and we’re here to support, guide and help you choose the right funeral service and a meaningful farewell for your loved one.

We offer a range of affordable funerals to help you honour and celebrate their life, with genuine compassion and personalised services to suit your individual requirements.

Call us on 1300 95 95 33, email us on [email protected], or fill out our contact form for more information and support to help you through the funeral process.


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