What happens at a cremation service?


Not everyone who dies will want a church service followed by a cemetery burial. Increasingly, people choose to have their body cremated and the ashes scattered at a favourite spot associated with their life.  

The funeral home will be able to advise you about arranging a cremation and also assist with the types of service that can be used. Many people prefer a cremation as there is more flexibility with this type of service.  


After someone has died their body will be taken to the funeral home where it will be prepared and dressed. If the family want to have the body cremated they will still be able to organise a viewing in the usual fashion before the deceased is taken to the crematorium for the service.

Notices should be sent to the press to inform the mourners that the service will take place at a crematorium. Increasingly, families are nominating favourite charities for donations as a substitute for floral tributes and most charities have a legacies team who will be able to arrange the transfer of these donations. Alternatively, the funeral directors will be able to arrange this process.

Following the death of a relative or friend, and the close family has decided upon a cremation, then the usual legal notifications will have to take place and the costs settled. The crematorium will have to be paid, as will the funeral directors for transporting the body to the crematorium.

Order of cremation

The Co-operative Funeralcare describes the cremation process as varied as the mourner desires. Some families might choose to design a service of their own, selecting poems or readings, playing their own music and decorating the crematorium with their flowers.

Others might prefer a shorter service, known as a committal, where a few words are spoken about the deceased before the coffin finally disappears behind a curtain to be cremated.

The type of cask that is chosen to contain the deceased’s ashes can be as individual as the family chooses. Funeral homes can provide the standard wooden urn, decorate the urn with pictures or even provide an ethical casket made from natural fibres; decorated biodegradable urns can also be provided. The scattering of the ashes can be a very intimate affair, while some people prefer to disperse the ashes during a wake as a continual celebration of the deceased’s life. Woodlands or rivers tend to be very popular venues for these activities. If the urn is to be transported overseas, please inform customs beforehand.