Funeral Products and Services
There has been a big shift in the way funerals are conducted in recent years. Families and individuals are looking for ways to create a personal, meaningful service that as is unique as the person who has died. Personalisation is about the celebration of life not death. It can be the simple touch of of your loved one's favourite song to a whole theme that runs throughout the funeral.
When selecting the products and services that will be used it's important to keep track of costs, you will be billed for each and every product you buy and every service you choose to use. This section includes an overview of the more common products and services that you're likely to need or want when planning a funeral.
Coffins and Caskets
The purpose of the casket or coffin is to provide a dignified way to move the body before burial or cremation. A coffin is tapered at the head and foot and wider at the shoulders, while a casket is rectangular in shape. Coffins and Caskets vary widely in style and price and sold primarily for their visual appeal. Typically they are constructed of wood, fibreglass, plastic or metal. Environmentally friendly cardboard caskets are also now available in Australia. There are certain government regulations for coffins and caskets which relate to handling and strength requirements, dimensions and materials acceptable for cremation. Depending on the size of the funeral home's business you will be able to choose the coffin or casket from floor stock or from a catalogue.
Cremation urns are made from many different types of materials from wood to precious metals. There is no need to purchase a special urn if you are planning to scatter the ashes, crematoriums will return remains in basic containers. The cost of the urn will depend on the choice of materials, size and level of personalisation you want.
Burial plots can be expensive. It is worth noting that you cannot buy or own a cemetery plot, you simply purchase the 'right of burial'. When purchasing cemetery plot, check for any time limitations on use. Some plots can accommodate more than one interment, which is a popular choice for families. Other considerations should include: location, whether the cemetery meets your spiritual or religious beliefs, the type of monuments or memorials it allows and whether flowers or other remembrances may be placed on graves. Sometimes perpetual care is included in the purchase price but its important to clarify that point before you buy. Elaborate interments such as concrete lined graves, crypts and vaults will drive up costs.
Columbaria, Memorial Walls or Memorial Gardens
Crematoriums and cemeteries have specialised areas for accommodating cremated remains. A columbarium is usually a building or wall located on the grounds of the cemetery or crematorium. The remains are placed in a niche with memorial plaques or display fronts. Some cemeteries have special areas set aside for scattering gardens. The deceased can still be memorialised in an area with a plaque or plant.
Embalming is the custom of temporarily preserving bodies after death. Embalming has traditionally been practiced in traditional funerals to allow time between the death and burial to observe social customs such as visitations and open casket funeral services. Unless the body is repatriated from overseas embalming is not required by law. Refrigeration is an alternative method of preserving bodies.
Additional Products and Services
You can choose to use the services of a funeral director or delegate the additional services that you want out to a family member of trusted friend. Some of the products and services you might require include:
- flower arrangements
- music or musicians
- hearse and mourners car
- memorial - headstone or plaque
- death, funeral and obituary notices
- venue hire - wake, viewing, church service
- celebrant or clergy
- mourning stationary
- recording services
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