Tag: Headstones and markers (page 1 of 3)

UK’s biggest headstone could be torn down

Britain’s “biggest headstone ” which features two life-sized models of the deceased and a solar-powered jukebox could be torn down after it emerged it breached planning rules.

Bare-knuckle boxer “Big” Willy Collins, dubbed the “King of Sheffield ” by the travelling community he came from, was aged just 49 when he died during a family holiday to Majorca in July 2020.

The huge grave stone – which is said to be made of 37 tonnes of fine Italian marble – has been branded an “eyesore” and “monstrosity” by some visitors to the cemetery in Sheffield who’ve taken issue with its extravagance.

Initially, the council said that the massive mausoleum, weighing 37-tonnes, had been constructed “without permission”.

But today, they released a new statement clarifying that while the Collins family did obtain permission for a headstone, it had failed to match the designs they had submitted.

The local authority rules that memorials must be under three inches thick and no taller than 4.4ft.

Cemeteries are a place where people can come, pay their respects and visit loved ones who are no longer with us. We understand memorials are deeply personal, however we must have rules in place to ensure fairness.

A spokesperson for the council in a new statement said: “Sheffield City Council approved plans for a memorial; however, the plans which were submitted and approved differ from the memorial now in place.

“This was not fully appreciated until after the structure was fully unveiled.

“We have reached out to the family and intend to discuss changes which need to be made in order to satisfy the cemetery rules and take into consideration other cemetery users.

The stone features imposing biblical carvings, a working jukebox playing Willy’s favourite tunes, and 24-hour surveillance which acts as a walkie-talkie for his family to converse with him whenever they need.

However, many other visitors have branded the stone an “eyesore” and a “monstrosity”.

What to wear to a funeral

Funerals are a time when we pay our respects to the dead. It’s important that you’re dressed appropriately and in black, though there is much flexibility with what color or style of clothing would suit your personal tastes best- bright colours can be very uplifting during this somber occasion!

This passage talks about how funerals have changed over recent years as more people look towards celebrations instead; traditionally reserved only for those who die young (or otherwise), these services allow everyone else also have their say so they do not feel left out leading up until an emotional goodbye afterwards where feelings may run high depending on circumstance.

If you are unsure of what to wear, it’s important to be respectful to the deceased. The family may set a specific dress code, or want you to wear a certain colour, so it’s always best to double check with them first.

Here is our guide for what to wear to a funeral:

What is appropriate clothing for a funeral?

Traditionally, funeral etiquette suggests men and women wear black clothing that’s conservative and respectful. Black or dark colours are most common, but some cultures expect mourners to wear a less traditional funeral colour. The weather and location of funeral services can also play a factor, so try and consider these elements before you decide what to wear.

If you are attending a celebration of life, woodland burial or a funeral in an alternative venue to a place of worship or crematorium, you may find that the family of the deceased are expecting a less formal attire for these occasions. They may request a less traditional dress or may have a personalised theme they would like you to adhere to.

What to wear to a funeral that is not black?

Wearing black to a funeral is generally acceptable across Western society. However, not all cultures consider black as the appropriate colour for a funeral. For instance, black is considered inappropriate at a Hindu funeral or Sikh funeral; instead, mourners (both male and female) are expected to wear white. Here are some other popular colours worn worldwide:

 

  • Red – in South Africa, red is sometimes worn as a colour of mourning. For a Ghanain funeral, it’s traditional for members of the community to wear black and white while the immediate family will wear red and black.
  • Purple – in Thailand, purple represents sorrow and is often worn by widows during the mourning period. Purple is also worn in Brazil alongside black.
  • Grey – in Papua New Guinea, a widow applies a stone-coloured clay to their skin while mourning their husband.
  • Bright colours – many African, Caribbean/West Indies, humanist and non-religious funerals in the UK and across the world will opt for more vibrant colours. Wearing bright colours to a funeral can reinforce the celebration of life.
  • Subdued colours like grey, maroon and navy blue can be a good alternative to black.

That being said, it’s best to speak to a family member regarding what they want you to wear.

Royal Funerals

Royal funerals are a state affair — but what does it actually mean to handle one?

The last royal funeral in the UK was for Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. He passed away on April 22nd 2021 at age 92 and asked to have a ceremonial rather than stately ceremony because he felt like an ordinary member of society who had served his country well with loyalty until retirement from public life several years ago- not someone special or entitled enough according how most people think about these things anyway!

Royal undertakers are always prepared

The current funeral directors and undertakers to the royal family, Leverton & Sons, overlooked the funerals of Princess Diana, the Queen Mother, and the Duke of Edinburgh.

Chairman Clive Leverton said that “back in 1991, I had a phone call from the Lord Chamberlain’s Office.” He wasn’t approached with a written contract. “It was just a handshake really,” the Guardian previously reported.

Apart from helping to arrange the funeral service, royal undertakers also have responsibilities to plan for a sudden death and keep a special coffin at the ready in case a member of the royal family dies, as reported by Sam Knight in the Guardian.

During the inquest into the death of Diana, Leverton told Jonathan Hough, the counsel to the inquest: “We have some plans for some members of the royal family, and there is an overall operational plan involving repatriation if there is a death abroad — or, say, in Scotland, where road transport would not be practical.”

The pandemic also compelled the royal family to adapt their funeral protocol to England’s third national lockdown. The guest list for Philip’s funeral was cut from 800 to 30 people, with no lying-in-state ceremony for the public.

Royal undertakers have to abide by strict procedures following the death of a sovereign, but changes like these have prompted questions about the flexibility of the traditions that have been inherent to royal funerals.

“We’re 300 years old, but compared to the business of being the royal family in the state of the UK, it’s really nothing,” Field said. “They’re kind of more constrained around what they can and can’t do with a state funeral.”

Philip’s death also sparked questions around funeral procedures for the Queen.

Codenamed “Operation London Bridge,” current royal undertakers Leverton & Sons have prepared for any emergency scenarios following the Queen’s death, including keeping a “first call coffin” at the ready.

If she dies abroad, a plane called “the Royal Flight” will take off from Northolt, with the coffin from Leverton & Sons, Knight wrote.

Her state funeral would most likely be held at Westminster Abbey, and would include a procession in London and Windsor and a nationwide two minutes’ silence at midday, as reported in Elle.

Although many royal funeral traditions have stood the test of time, embracing modernity has become a bigger part of the equation in the last century. Royal funeral directors are now tasked with the challenge of abiding by the monarchy’s protocol, while adapting to any unprecedented changes that are thrown at them.

How to plan the perfect funeral

When a loved one dies, it’s often difficult to know what to do. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some tips on how to plan the perfect funeral. By following these simple steps, you can make the process easier for yourself and your family. First, decide what type of service you want. There are many different options available, so choose the one that best suits your needs. Then, select a burial or cremation site and make arrangements with the funeral home. Finally, gather together any important documents and ensure that the deceased’s estate is in order. Planning a funeral can be challenging, but it’s important to remember that there is no right or wrong way to do it. By taking care of everything ahead of time

  • Plan the funeral in advance
  • Choose a location for the service
  • Find out what will happen during the ceremony
  • Write your eulogy to be read at the funeral
  • Select music that is appropriate for your loved one’s life and personality
  • Send invitations to friends and family members

Planning a funeral is one of the most difficult things someone can do in life. That’s why it’s important to take care of all the details so that loved ones are able to grieve without having prep too much on their plate for this final celebration of love. If you need help with your planning, contact us today! We have experts ready and waiting to help make sure every detail is perfect for your family member or friend who has passed away.

What to say when someone dies

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.

Dealing with funeral costs

If you arrange the funeral with a funeral director, you’re responsible for the costs. You should ask to see a price list before choosing a funeral, or explain how much you have to spend and see what services are possible.

The person who died might have paid for their funeral already. This is called a funeral plan. If you don’t know if there’s a funeral plan, you can:

  • check the will
  • ask the person’s close friends and relatives
  • ask local funeral directors

You might be able to get help paying for the funeral if you’re on benefits. Check if you can get a Funeral Expenses Payment on GOV.UK.

Getting a written estimate

Once you’ve chosen the funeral, you should be given a written estimate giving a breakdown of all of the costs involved. Ask for one if it’s not provided.

If you want to compare costs, you can contact other funeral directors, or ask someone else to help you with this.

Paying for the funeral

Some funeral directors might ask for a deposit before making the funeral arrangements.

You may be offered a discount to pay for the funeral before or soon after it takes place. If you know the money will be released at a later date to cover the cost, you might want to consider a bank loan or overdraft to pay early.

Money may be released later, if the person who has died made arrangements to pay for their funeral through an insurance or other policy, or if money is released after their estate has been dealt with.

If there is a legal claim for negligence against someone for the death, the cost of the funeral can be claimed as compensation.

Otherwise, you may agree payment by instalment, or pay after the legal process of dealing with the person’s estate has been settled.

Most Popular Funeral Songs

Choosing funeral songs is often seen as an important part of personalising a funeral service for your loved one. It is a chance for you to pay tribute to their personality, their hobbies, or simply say farewell with one of their favourite songs.

Popular funeral songs

Some people choose live music for funerals, commemorating a person’s life with uplifting and happy songs. The choice is completely up to you, and depending on the rules of where the service is being held, there really is no right or wrong.

As funerals become more tailored to reflect the life of the person who has sadly passed away, families are opting for modern songs to be played at the service.

Here are some of the most popular funeral songs:

  • My Way – Frank Sinatra
  • Angels – Robbie Williams
  • The Best – Tina Turner
  • Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler
  • Always Look on the Bright Side of Life – Eric Idle (Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’)
  • Time to Say Goodbye – Sarah Brightman and Andrea Bocelli
  • You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry and the Pacemakers
  • You Raise Me Up – Westlife
  • See You Again – Wiz Khalifa

Classical funeral music

Classical music remains a popular choice for funerals, setting the stage for an emotional and moving service. Many people opt for light classical music for funerals, whilst others may prefer a more dramatic piece which reflects the personality of their loved one.

Some of the most popular classical music for funerals include:

  • Canon in D – Paachelbel
  • Nimrod from Enigma Variations – Elgar
  • The Four Seasons – Vivaldi
  • Ave Maria – Schubert
  • Pie Jesu – Fauré
  • Adagio – Albinoni
  • Air on a G String – Bach

Creative ideas for a special funeral

Remembering your loved ones in a unique and special way. Buckley Memorials have put a few ideas together to add something unusual and memorable together for the celebration of life.

Choose a personalised casket

People are becoming increasingly creative with coffin and casket choices as a way of celebrating a person’s life and their interests.

Some coffin-makers specialise in colourful and patterned coffins, with a vast range of designs, from flowers, butterflies and stars, to music-themed designs, national flags and animals. Some companies even allow you to custom design a coffin with a specific image.

Another option is choosing a plain coffin and inviting close friends and family members to decorate it with drawings or messages for their loved one. You could use permanent marker pens, paint, crayons or stickers. Some people find that being closely involved in such a way helps them understand the grief they are feeling and say goodbye to their loved one.

Personalise the order of service

Order of service booklets are often handed out at funerals. Most commonly they are quite plain, with perhaps one photograph on the front cover. However, these booklets are another opportunity to personalise the funeral.

The cover could be a collage of many different photographs of the person who has passed away. You might even add captions to each photo to explain where and when it was taken. Not only will this look colourful, it will also serve as a unique keepsake for the mourners to take away. Mourners who are not close friends or family may not have access to photographs of the person who has passed away, so this is a fitting way to share memories of them with everyone in the congregation.

Create a memory board

Use a freestanding noticeboard to create a collage of photographs to display at the funeral and wake. This creates a place for mourners to come together and share memories.

You could expand this idea by providing labels or cards for guests to write on and add to the board. They could leave memories, messages, or even write down their favourite things about the person who has passed away.

After the wake the family can save the photographs and messages in a photo album as a lasting memorial.

Don’t be afraid to be colourful

It is becoming more and more common for people to request ‘anything but black’ for a funeral, whether that’s the dress code, hearse or casket.

You can ask mourners to wear bright colours, or an item of a particular colour, if your loved one had a favourite. Alternatively, you could hand out flowers of their favourite colours at the entrance to the funeral service. These could then be placed onto the coffin before burial or mourners could take them home as a keepsake.

How funerals have been affected by Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic has presented an unprecedented set of challenges for bereaved families who are having to arrange funeral services for loved ones, as well as many mourners who wish to pay their final respects.

Whilst funerals are still able to go ahead, there have been some important changes. The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), alongside several other funeral related organisations, have formed the Deceased Management Advisory Group (DMAG), which is regularly liaising with government officials and cabinet members on the sector’s response to Covid-19.

Things have now been adapted so that a lot of the legal requirements can be done online, minimising the need for actual contact. The certificate needed to register a death (MCCD) and medical certificates from the hospital, coroner or your doctor are now transferred by email. There are, of course, stringent codes to adhere to in all of this, but the system is working well. Registering a death now cannot be done in person by attending a registry office either, but is instead done by telephone, with the required documentation then emailed to the necessary authorities.

Though government directives are changing all the time, churches and chapels are currently closed, along with all buildings used by the public, such as clubs, pubs and hotels. Graveside services and services at the crematorium are however allowed, albeit with reduced numbers and with everyone strictly observing the two metre social distancing guidelines for the safety of everyone involved.

At present, up to 10 people can attend funerals, which should be only the closest members of the family. In many cases, it is not the way families would like to say farewell and it is especially difficult if the family have not been able to visit their loved one in hospital or a care home. Family members – or very close friends if no family – can attend the service even if they are in the vulnerable category or are self-isolating as long as they do not have symptoms of Covid-19 themselves and that they strictly observe the social distancing rules.

Many families are intending to hold memorial services or celebrations of their loved ones’ lives when the current restrictions are lifted, and there are certainly plans being considered for special services of Remembrance and Thanksgiving for those who have died during this crisis, by the crematoriums, churches and chapels.

Reasons people choose cremation over burial

Whether you’re planning your own funeral or a loved one’s, deciding between a burial or a cremation is a very personal decision.

Currently, cremation is the UK’s most popular way of dealing with the body after someone has passed away, 75% of Brits are cremated compared to just 18% who are buried.

A poll carried out by YouGov also discovered that three times as many Brits say they wish to be cremated rather than buried after they pass away.

So, why are so many people choosing cremation over a burial?

Advantages of cremation

More affordable

Funerals are expensive and the cost of dying keeps rising year on year. With the average price of a funeral now totalling £4,417, many people are finding themselves forced to look for ways to push the price down. On average, a funeral involving a cremation costs £3,853, compared to £4,975 for a burial funeral.

Environmental benefits

Both cremation and burial have their disadvantages when it comes to looking after the environment. Some important environmental benefits of cremation though are that it saves land and doesn’t require the toxic embalming chemicals used during many burials.

Scattering ashes

Many people like the idea of having their ashes scattered in a beautiful area or a place that is meaningful to them.

Not tied to one place

With a burial, the body will remain in its final resting place, meaning that if loved ones move away it will make it difficult to visit the grave. Keeping a loved one’s ashes in an urn, means that you can always keep them close if you wish to.

If your loved one is cremated, but you would still like to have a memorial for them at your local church or cemetery, then this is usually still an option. Most churches and cemeteries have a separate area for cremated remains.

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