When arranging a traditional funeral, there are several main things that need to be considered. This includes the location, the venue, the ceremony content, dress code, transport and any post-ceremony gatherings that may take place. We hope that this guide to what a traditional funeral is and how to organise one will help you along the way.

What is a traditional funeral?

Typically, a traditional funeral is made up of three main parts. It will normally start with the family of the deceased gathering at the deceased’s home to await the cortege. Once the funeral directors arrive, the procession then makes its way to where the service is being held. A ceremony will then be held, followed by a committal (the point at which the coffin is taken out of sight or lowered into the ground). After this, many people choose to hold a reception, referred to as a wake, at an arranged location in remembrance of the lost loved one.

Choosing a location

The location that the service will be held at will depend on the type of ceremony being held. For burials, the service will typically be held at a place of worship before the coffin is taken to be buried.

For cremations, the service is usually held in a chapel alongside the crematorium. Although, it is not uncommon for a service to be held at a local place of worship before moving to the crematorium.

If you are unsure of where the service should be held we can help advise of local venues that may be suitable.

Organising the ceremony

Arranging the service is usually done through talking with the funeral director and the priest or vicar who will be leading the ceremony. During these discussions, they will be able to guide you through the different options for the proceedings and explain what the ceremony for a traditional funeral will look like. They will also be able to offer advice and guidance on hymns, poems and other religious readings that you may want to include.

Arranging Transport

When it comes to arranging transport, there are a few options that are common for traditional funerals. Your funeral director will be able to talk you through the choices and help you choose the right one. At SC & BS Cocks we have our own fleet of Mercedes vehicles that can transport the deceased as well as you and your family to and from the location for the service.

Although traditional hearses are the most common transport chosen, there are alternative hearses available. These make the day more personal to the deceased. We work with a number of local businesses and can help arrange horse-drawn hearses as well as motorbike hearses.

Organising a Wake

Wakes are a personal gathering of close family and friends in remembrance of the loved one who has been lost. They are not required for traditional funerals and some families choose not to hold one. There is no set tradition to arranging a wake, and it usually depends on the deceased’s wishes or the wishes of their family.

Typically, wakes will be held either at a public location or at a family member’s home. Mourners are welcomed and can share food, drink and reminisce over memories. Public venues could include a local pub or restaurant, a village hall or a favourite location of the deceased.

At SC & BS Cocks, we understand that arranging a funeral can seem like a big task during such a difficult time. That is why we’re here to help every step of the way. Throughout the process, we’ll talk you through the different options available and offer advice on the choices that will best suit your requirements. If you have any questions at all please feel free to get in touch.