What happens at a cremation service

Funeral services don’t have to take place in a religious venue or crematorium. This is a guide as to what typically happens at a cremation service. The entire service can be held in the crematorium, or it can be held in a place of worship or an alternative venue before going to the crematorium.

Before the funeral

The funeral director will meet the family at their home with the hearse and any limousines, and they'll be driven to the crematorium. Alternatively, the family may decide to meet the funeral procession at the crematorium.

At the cremation service

Crematoriums can be very busy - there are usually funerals taking place one after another.

Pallbearers will lift the coffin and walk into the crematorium, unless a wheel bier is used.

It’s the family’s decision on whether they want people stood outside or to be seated and waiting inside before the coffin enters the crematorium.

The family will commonly follow the coffin and then be seated at the front of the crematorium.

The officiant will hold the service which usually includes readings, eulogies and music.

Some crematoriums have curtains. Closing these can indicate the end of the service, however this part is the family's choice.

If the service is being held at a different location before the crematorium, the only difference is that at the end of the service, pallbearers will carry the coffin into the hearse, and the funeral procession will go to the crematorium for the committal.

After the service

The family will often leave the crematorium first. Sometimes the family will decide they want to stay for a few moments of private reflection with the coffin afterwards.

Family members may line up outside the door to greet people as they leave the funeral.

If the family have chosen to use limousines, the funeral director can take them on to the wake, or back to their home.

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