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Making the Funeral a Personal Tribute

  • Consider the music - you may not want to use the organ, but prefer a CD or iPod with speakers, or even a live musician.  Discuss it with relatives, the minister officiating and the cemetery or crematorium staff.
  • Think about individual contributions such as an address, a reading, poem or favourite story.  Plan a running order so that those contributing know when to do so.
  • Consider personal items that might help to reflect the person who has died, or that might make the ceremony more special, such as a special throw to drape over the coffin or a photograph of the person.
  • A montage of photographs may be appropriate, so mourners can see the person at different ages and in different settings and times of their life.

    Whilst many traditional hymns can be quite comfortingly familiar, they are essentially religious and may not always be appropriate.  Traditional church services may be more difficult to personalise, but certainly crematoriums and other private ceremonies offer a much wider scope for musical choice. 
  • The broad range of music performed at the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, including Elton John's rewritten version of Candle in the Wind' cleverly reflected the wide range of tastes and ages of her many admirers around the world.  It also showed that it is possible to vary from the traditional and still be dignified and uplifting. 

    The use of W H Auden's poem in the film Four Weddings and a Funeral showed how powerful the written word can be at a funeral, and how a reading can make a lasting impression.  There are many readings and poems that are appropriate and can be used to personalise a traditional church service or make a service less religious.  Keep in mind whether the service is trying to convey a sense of the celebration of life or reflecting the agony of loss.  It is also worth checking that the reader is able to cope with what will inevitably be a highly emotional moment.

Contact Information

Livesey Funeral Services
The Private Chapel, Church Street,
Horwich, BOLTON BL6 7BR
We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
To contact us:
Phone: 01204 696 311
email: info@liveseyfunerals.co.uk
National Association of Funeral Directors