There is usually some time between making the initial funeral arrangements, and the time of the actual service. The length of time will depend on your instructions and cultural requirements, and the circumstances of the death. There is no need to feel rushed.
Our experience gives us a good understanding of what our families experience during this period, and it’s our purpose to help them protect the stories, memories and wishes of their loved one for years to come.
We know that saying goodbye is different for every culture, religion and person. Our experience is why flexibility and understanding underpins all our funeral services. We'll help you celebrate the life of your loved one on your own terms, creating a funeral service as unique as the person it celebrates.
Meeting the Funeral Director
Allow 1-2 hours for the first meeting, to get the funeral arrangements started. Not all decisions need to be made in this meeting, though there are some details that need to be agreed:
- The day, time and place for the service. This helps family and friends to be able to plan their time if they need to travel or take time off work.
- What you would like for the service itself - who will lead the service, and options like music, flowers, newspaper/internet notices, catering, webcasting, videos and anything else you would like to do to personalise the funeral.
- All documentation requiring completion, including the death registration.
The costs and payment options will be explained by your funeral director and you will be provided with a fully itemised estimate of the fees.
Your funeral director liaises with all service suppliers for you – you do not need to make contact yourself. This includes contacting the crematorium or cemetery and booking their facilities. They will provide you with a copy of the funeral arrangements so you both know what was agreed.
What to bring with you when you meet your funeral director
- Supportive family member or friend.
- Information for Death Certificate. See what needs to be included here.
- Clothes for the deceased to be dressed in, including perfume and make up if you wish. A current photo is also helpful to assist with their presentation.
- Prepaid funeral plan documents, if any.
- Burial site reservation, if any.
- A list of any questions you may have.
Why funerals matter
Having a funeral provides us with the opportunity to say our goodbyes, which is important for dealing with grief and finding support. All cultures have rituals to honour their dead because it's important to acknowledge how much a person meant to us and respectfully lay their body to rest.
What do I need to consider when choosing day and time of the funeral service?
You should allow enough time for out-of-town guests to travel to attend the service. If the death has been referred to the Coroner, it may be necessary to factor in their requirements before a funeral can take place. George Hartnett Metropolitan Funerals will liaise with the Coroner and keep you informed of the expected timeline.
Can funeral services be held anywhere?
Almost anywhere. You can hold a funeral at a place of worship or one of our beautiful chapels. Another option is to hold the entire service as a graveside service. A funeral service can be held at a family residence, or it might be possible to arrange for it at a favourite place, such as a beach, garden, golf club or RSL. Tell your funeral director about your thoughts and they'll be able to help you arrange something truly special. You can draw inspiration for your own arrangements from Book of Ideas, which contains stories shared by our funeral directors of how families have honoured their loved ones.
May I participate in a funeral service?
Yes. George Hartnett Metropolitan Funerals encourages families to participate in a funeral service. For example you can form a guard of honour, deliver a eulogy, decorate the coffin, or light a candle. Participating in the funeral allows you to express your feelings more meaningfully and will give the service a more personal touch.
Taking one last time to see your loved one before their funeral to reflect and spend a private moment with them can be very helpful to your grieving process.
Choosing whether to have a viewing is a personal choice, but it can be a special time together.
Tips for writing a eulogy
There is no wrong or right approach for writing eulogies. Our time bringing family and friends together to say goodbye has taught us the most special messages are the ones from the heart. We’ve reflected on the eulogies we’ve heard during our time and put together a guide to help you craft the perfect message of farewell for your loved one.
Why funerals matter
Learn why having a farewell helps us cope.
Create a special funeral service as unique as your loved one.
Book of ideas
Funeral directors share their stories for your inspiration.
Spending time with your loved one before the funeral.
Understand what you can and can’t do with your loved one’s ashes.
Eulogy writing tips
To help spark some ideas for a special tribute to your loved one.
Planning ahead means celebrating your life, your way.