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All You Need To Know About Funerals, Memorial Services and a Celebration of Life

When planning a final farewell for a loved one, you will need to decide on the interment type, whether it be burial or cremation. Once you’ve made that decision, then the choice will be to either arrange a funeral service or a memorial service, in order to honour, mourn and celebrate their life. A funeral director such as Picaluna, will assist you to plan a funeral or memorial service in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Newcastle and the Hunterregion. Bringing experience, the Picaluna Funeral directors will help create a beautiful ceremony,understand the person, tell the story and quality of their life. We provide everything required to deliver an authentic Funeral or Memorial service, including experienced celebrants, live funeral streaming, home vigils, coffins, flowers, order of service booklets and more.

To help you plan for your family and friends to say goodbye to the people they love, we have provided a guide and summarised some important things to consider when organising funerals and memorials.

A Guide to organising an authentic farewell:

Funeral and Memorial Service: A funeral service typically has the coffin present, which can be pallbeared into the Service venue, or placed in the service venue prior to mourners arriving for the ceremony. Funeral services will usually occur shortly after the death, normally within 10 days. A memorial service does not have the coffin present. This allows more time for the planning, as there is no need to have a memorial service shortly after the death; memorial services can be held at any time.

The choice of funeral venues for the funeral or memorial service are many. From a place of worship to a town hall, a function centre, theatre, park or backyard. There are many things to consider in the variety of options available. Was your loved-one a member of their local bowling club or surf lifesaving club? Did they have a strong connection to the local parish? What is the meaning behind choosing this venue or location?

A key element to have in mind when considering an appropriate venue for a funeral, is often a practical one. Will the venue allow a coffin to be present (some don’t)? Is the venue practical for the movement of a hearse and coffin, into and out of the space? Will there be an open coffin or casket? Will there be a private viewing of the body?

Coffins – At a funeral, the coffin is often the focal point of the ceremony. At Picaluna we have a large variety of coffins to choose from. Traditional Rosewood veneer to cardboard, woven and solid wood. Please ask your Picaluna Funeral director to show you our range and discuss the most appropriate choice.

Clothing for your loved-one is worth discussing with your family too. Choosing the most appropriate items can have deep meaning for many.

Further elements to think about when choosing a funeral venue can often relate to important inclusions within the ceremony.

Consider the implications of Music – live or pre-recorded. This will then require audio equipment and space for musicians.

Slideshow – This will require the use of a projector, screen and sound system. It is very important to be sure that the person compiling the slideshow is experienced in doing so.

Flowers – these are a very personal part of a funeral. At Picaluna we work with florists who create purely personal arrangements in collaboration with family.

Celebrant – You may already have a connection to a celebrant at a place of worship, however more than 70% of Australians choose a funeral celebrant to guide the funeral ceremony. At Picaluna many of our Funeral Directors are also highly experienced and Professional Funeral Celebrants and can advise you on the structure and flow of a funeral ceremony. Perhaps you already have a celebrant that you know within your community who is the right person to facilitate an honouring of a life?

Discuss the personality and life story of your person, with your Picaluna Funeral Celebrant. They will likely ask you questions relating to your loved-one’s passions, interests, relationships, values and important aspects of their life. This way, they can assist you in creating a beautiful and personal funeral or memorial that helps honour, acknowledge and celebrate their life.

Memorial Service: A memorial service is much the same as a funeral ceremony, although without the body present. Sometimes the cremains or ashes may be in the space and become a focal point of the ceremony. Other times the ceremony can be centred around a tribute table with photos and flowers and a variety of personal mementos and meaningful items.

Because the disposal of the body is not incorporated into a memorial service, there is more flexibility to the location the ceremony can take place, without the necessary considerations of a hearse or coffin.

Wake – For both memorial and funeral services, these days many people like to hold refreshments immediately following the ceremony, within the same venue. There are as many options to consider around a wake as there are for a funeral and memorial. Talk to your Picaluna funeral director about what venues are most appropriate to serve your needs following a funeral or memorial.

Pre-Paid funeral plans: This service involves a set of arrangements made with a funeral homethat has been already paid for ahead of time. A pre-paid funeral can be as detailed as an individual wants and include different services. You may also consider funeral bonds which are another way of saving for funeral expenses. You pay a deposit then make regular payments over time, and your money grows in value with interest. The money can only be used for your funeral.

Whether you want a memorial service or funeral service in Sydney or you want to opt for a celebration of life, Picaluna funeral directors offer genuine, personal funerals, helping the community to honour, mourn, celebrate, heal and rejuvenate.

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