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The Day of the Funeral

Funerals can be as unique or as traditional as desired, and at Alan Greenwood & Sons we can help you plan all the minor details every step of the way. Most funerals tend to follow the same general schedule throughout the day, from the procession to the wake. To give you an idea of what to expect, here is a rough itinerary.

Itinerary of the Funeral Day

The funeral procession

Usually, the funeral procession will start at the home of the deceased. Your chosen hearse will arrive at the specified time, with the coffin already inside. Loved ones who will travel in the procession in your chosen vehicles, behind the hearse, will be collected from this same place. The route to the funeral service will have already been properly planned by the Funeral Director, making sure the quickest and simplest route is taken. The funeral procession will typically travel at 20mph, and the Funeral Director will usually get out of the vehicle and lead on foot upon arrival at the venue.

Arriving at the funeral

When the procession has arrived at the church or crematorium the Funeral Director will liaise with the service officiator to make sure everything is in order. If you have requested pallbearers, they will remove the coffin from the hearse, and prepare to enter the venue. If you have your own pallbearers, they will be instructed on the best way to do this by the Funeral Director.

Funerals can differ in the order in which people enter the church or crematorium. Sometimes everyone will follow the pallbearers, and other times guests are asked to be seated before the hearse arrives, with only immediate family members of the deceased following the coffin. Either way, the first few rows of seats are reserved for specified close friends and family.

The funeral service

This will largely depend on whether the funeral is being held at a church or a crematorium. In churches, the service will usually last around one hour, however at a crematorium it can be around 30 minutes. The officiator at either venue will lead the service, although chosen attendees are often asked to read poems or passages, and a eulogy. The officiator can do all of this if preferred, including reading a eulogy that has been prepared by a loved one. At the end of the service, in a church the pallbearers will take the coffin out of the church to take it to the burial ground or cremation venue. At the end of a crematorium service, the coffin will be enclosed by curtains before cremation begins.

The committal service

Many people choose to have a committal service after a church funeral ceremony, which will either take place at the burial ground or crematorium. Depending on the whereabouts of the venue, the coffin might be placed in the hearse, once again followed by the procession and other guests. If you are staying at the same venue, the Funeral Director will walk with you.

The committal service usually involves readings and/or poems, and after the service guests will have the opportunity to give flowers and pay final respects. The Funeral Director will be on hand to make sure everything runs smoothly and, at the appropriate time, escort the family back to their vehicles to then make their way to the wake (if there is one).

The wake/funeral reception

Most families choose to host a wake after the funeral to give friends and loved ones an opportunity to offer their best wishes and share happy memories. This part of the funeral day is entirely up to the loved ones; however the Funeral Director can offer advice at the planning stages regarding venues and caterers for example. After escorting you to the venue, at this point the Funeral Director will depart.

After the funeral

After the funeral, remember the team at Alan Greenwood & Sons are still here to give you any advice, help, and support that you may need. You can also read our tips on coping with grief and what to do with ashes.

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The Day of the Funeral

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A Few Kind Words...

“Lynn, Bruce and I thank you so much for the wonderful understanding and help you have given us over the past days.It has been a difficult time but made so much easier by your guidance. With your kindness, we feel we managed to say our goodbyes to ‘Roger’, ‘Dad’ and ‘Grandy’ – showing our love and thanks to him for looking after us so perfectly over the years.”

Pat Clark

“Thank you so much for the care, support, compassion and understanding you showed with helping Chris and us to plan his funeral. You made a very difficult time for us more bearable for which we are very grateful. Thank you also for enabling all Chris’s plans to come to fruition. His ‘send-off’ was exactly what he wanted. Malcolm did a brilliant job too. Thank you, Jane, With love and sincere, thank you.”

Kathy, Samantha, Rosie and all the Sayer Family

“As a family we cannot thank you enough for all your care and support of us on the passing of our mum – Peggy Hart on October 19th and her funeral on October 31st. As we know from the past, you do a wonderful job and all the staff are so caring and compassionate. Carol you are a rock (dare I say Star!) as you guided us through so much and helped keep us on track.

The day went off so smoothly and well. Mum looked good and would have so enjoyed her last ride in the jag! Also she would have been pleased at Alan leading the way, as Dad – Bill thought so highly of him and always spoke of him in glowing terms when he was alive and said he was a great guy to work with.

Thank you, thank you, what more can I say. I just wish you had offices in Canada so when my time comes, I know I would be in such excellent caring hands.”

Maggie & Mike Raftery

“We would like to thank you for a friendly and professional service and especially Adam who made a good job of the service, and a big thanks to Jane who was a great help and showed much kindness. We would recommend your company.”

Chris & Mike Whalen

“Thank you for the care and support you gave to us all at the funeral of Annette Streetley, we did appreciate you kindness as we first stepped through the door at your Claygate branch and the days following. I know Tony, Rachel & Andrew were extremely grateful”

David & Betty Wakeford

“Just a wee note to say a huge thank you for your amazing support, care and friendship when helping us to arrange my dad’s funeral. Although it was such a difficult time for us as a family, you ensured that we were so well looked after & that everything went perfectly. Our tears often turned to laughter in your company & that’s because you helped us remember the good times.

Thank you for everything from the bottom of our hearts. We would also like to thank the whole team involved in helping before, during and after my dad’s funeral. You truly are amazing, showing such dignity, compassion, care and professionalism. Thank you.”

Karen, Anna & family

“Thank you for all your kind attention during the funeral of my husband John on the 24th May. The arrangements were so efficiently and sympathetically handled that it lifted a huge burden from my shoulders. I enclose a cheque in favour of the Alzheimer’s Society in memory of my beloved John.”

Catherine Waterman

“Thank you so much for the care you took of mum and help and kindness you showed us making a very sad time so much easier to bear. With very best wishes and a very big thank you.”

Claire, David & Pia Stevens

“Just a note to say a huge thank you to yourself and the wonderful team at Send Greenwoods, they took care of us all yesterday at Les Ingram’s funeral. I’ve really valued your help and support over the last few weeks and the wonderful men yesterday went beyond their ‘call of duty’. They were certainly there at our great time of need. Please pass on my thanks to everyone. I also enclose four more donations. Many thanks again.”

Judith Hookins

“We just wanted to say a huge thank you for everything you did for us. You certainly made a very emotional and difficult time so much easier to bear. We are so grateful for the support you gave us and your gentle guidance along the way. Everything was perfect thanks to you and we would highly recommend you to all. With very best wishes.”

Family of Stanley Stearman

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