Some funeral directors are now offering coffins for rent to cut down the costs for families.
An average funeral runs to thousands of pounds, with coffins a major contributor.
The cheapest wooden coffins on offer by Co-op funerals on their website are £450 for traditional oak, cherry or maple, while their most expensive standard coffin (white rose casket) is £2,650.
Even a cardboard coffin is priced at £450.
With many families struggling with increased costs of electricity and fuel, finding the money to pay for an expensive funeral is an added strain.
The rented coffins are used in the service and even in the burial, but are later removed with the deceased person later being cremated or laid to rest in the simple wood or cardboard liner.
US provider Everplans, which offers rented coffins, says on its website: ‘A rental casket is a casket that has a removable interior. The body is placed in a simple wooden box and the box is placed inside the casket, giving the appearance that the body is actually in the casket.
‘In fact, the body never touches the casket, and the wooden box is easily removed after the service. The body can then be buried or cremated in the simple wooden box, and the funeral home can re-use the rental casket.’
Order of service booklets are important for a variety of ceremonies, including weddings, funerals and christenings. The order of service provides a useful guide to the service, often containing words of songs, hymns or readings so guests can follow the ceremony more closely. Many people will retain the order of service from ceremonies so they have a memento of the day, so it is worthwhile to create a professional booklet and arranging for printing.
MAKING AN ORDER OF SERVICE BOOKLET
It is quite easy to make your order of service booklets with online templates and they provide a useful layout guide to help you format your booklets. Order of service booklets are usually A5 size. In general, the front cover of an order of service booklet contains important information about the date and time of the event, the venue and address and the name of the person. It is also a nice touch to add a photograph of the person to the front cover. You choose the typeface and size of font you wish to use on the front cover and will also need to decide whether you are printing your booklet in colour or in black and white.
Generally, order of services include:
- details about the person or couple
- a timeline of the day
- a listing of close family members
- details of location for the wedding reception or funeral wake
- complete words for any hymns, readings or poems
- a note to thank all guests for attending at the end of the booklet
It can also be very poignant to include a collection of photographs in your order of service booklet.
KEEP IT SIMPLE
It’s important to keep your order of service booklet as simple as possible as this makes it easier for guests to follow. Choosing an easy to read font helps make the text clear for all guests and creating a centred layout is also easy to follow. You can use bold or italic styles to make headings stand out, and adding a quote or poem to the back cover of your order of service booklet is a final touch that’s often forgotten.
When somebody dies it can be difficult to know what to say. If someone has lost their mother, father, sibling or friend, it is normal to worry that we might offend them or make things worse, but it’s more hurtful to say nothing at all.
Here are a few things that you can do:
- Acknowledge the person’s death
When you are searching for what to say when someone dies, don’t be afraid to state what a terrible thing it is to have happened. Do it in a way that feels natural.
- Talk about the person that has died
One of the main things that people find difficult after someone dies is when no one talks about their loved one anymore. Sharing a memory and saying things like ‘they were so funny’, or ‘I remember this about her so clearly…’ can open up an opportunity for them to talk.
- Express your own sadness
When someone dies it can leave many people feeling shell-shocked and sad. It’s okay to share your own feelings of sadness, but avoid implying to people closer to them that your feelings are the same.
- Be empathetic
Regardless of how sad you’re feeling, or your own experiences of a loved one dying, you should never assume that someone who has been bereaved feels the same. Saying ‘I can’t imagine how it feels for you,’ acknowledges that their grief is unique, not that you don’t sympathise with them.
- Accept anger
Don’t let fear of tears or anger hold you back from expressing words of sympathy. If a person is grieving after someone dies don’t try and explain or fix something that’s been taken badly. Just say sorry.
- Keep in touch
After a funeral support can gradually – or suddenly – disappear, but the bereaved person is still grieving for their loved one. This can leave people feeling very isolated. Asking them ‘what’s life like now?’ and ‘how are you coping?’ can be really helpful.
Bereavement is the state of sadness and mourning following the death of a family member. It is characterised by grief, which is the process and the range of emotions we go through as we process the loss.
When we lose someone close to us it can be emotionally devastating, and it is therefore natural to go through a range of physical and emotional processes as we come to terms with the loss. This process is unique for every individual who experiences it.
Whilst there is no simple formula for getting through a deep loss, this article will provide you with some tips for dealing with grief.
Expect some loneliness
The feeling of loneliness is completely normal however it is important not to get too isolated. When you are experience loss and grief make sure you reach out to people and support groups who understand what you are going through.
Be gentle with yourself
Try not to put pressure on yourself to feel better. Do not judge yourself for not “doing better” or “keeping it together”. Getting over a big loss takes time, you need to allow yourself this time to heal.
Embrace all emotions
We tend to have little control over our feelings, and they come and go whether we like it or not. It is important that you let them move through, like waves in the ocean. It does not mean that you are weak or abnormal if you feel these waves of emotion. If they are overwhelming you can practice mindfulness (e.g. by meditating) as this will help with emotional self-regulation. It is also important to know when to seek professional help.
Keep structure in your day
Set your alarm, get up, shower and have breakfast – this will automatically make you feel better. You do not have to leave the house but having some structure will help you mentally and physically at this hard time. Also try to eat small, regular meals, even if you are not hungry.
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A new limit has been put on the number of people allowed to attend gatherings after funerals as Boris Johnson unveiled a three-tier lockdown system for England.
Only 15 mourners can attend a wake under the latest coronavirus rules.
Boris Johnson unveiled a new three-tier lockdown system, where areas across England will be labelled as ‘medium’, ‘high’ or ‘very high’ risk of coronavirus.
The new rules are suppose to “simplify and standardise our local rules”, the Prime Minister said, as well as stamping out the spread of the virus in areas where it is spiralling out of control.
But the fine print of the rules reveals a number of quirks in the system.
Funerals are permitted to go ahead with up to 30 mourners regardless of the Covid-19 alert level.
A report from the Mirror advises that:
The number allowed to attend a wake has been cut to 15 in Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 areas.
Government guidance did not previously include a 15-person limit on gatherings after a funeral service.
The existing social distancing rules continue to apply, such as keeping two metres apart and wearing a face covering indoors.
Wedding ceremonies can go ahead as long as there are no more than 15 guests
But receptions will be completely banned in areas in the strictest ‘Tier 3’ lockdown.
Death is an inevitability we all have to deal with and for those left behind it is always difficult to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. But in recent years we have seen funerals that celebrate the life of a person rather than make them a traditionally sombre occasion. So which approach is the right one?
Celebrating the life of a person at a funeral is not a new idea, in Ghana for example, the deceased have a special coffin made to celebrate a person’s interests or passions. Funerals are thus more light hearted than the traditional funerals we have here in the UK where people wear black and coffins are build to a standardised design.
The celebration funeral is perhaps a reaction to this type of funeral. Increasingly nowadays people want to express their individuality rather than end their days like everyone else with everyone surrounding a coffin dressed in black.
Then there are people who prefer the traditions such as TV presenter Colin Brazier, who asked for people to wear black at his wife’s funeral.
It is easy to empathise with both sides of the debate. Those with strong religious beliefs will naturally prefer that traditions are maintained and that fun funerals miss the point about the finality of death and the passage to the afterlife.