Funeral Planning: 3 Frequently Asked Questions


If you have recently lost a loved one and need to plan their funeral, you may have a lot of questions about the traditions and conventions which exist around the ceremony. Below are the answers to some of the questions people often have when planning a funeral.

Do the mourners have to wear black?

While it is traditional at Australian funerals for the mourners to wear black, this is no longer enforced as strictly as it once was. Many decades ago, it was traditional for a widow to wear black for a considerable amount of time after the funeral and for men to wear a black armband when in mourning after the loss of a loved one. However, in recent times, it has become acceptable for people to wear other colours at funerals if they have the family's permission. For example, if the deceased had a favourite colour, you may request that those attending the funeral dress in this colour as a celebration of their life. Or you may request that guests wear the colours of a charity or hospice which supported your loved one in their final days as a way of showing thanks and support.

Is there a time limit on how soon a funeral should take place?

While different religions have their own traditions when it comes to the burial of a body, there is no legal timeframe in which the burial of a body must take place. You should first consider if the deceased followed a particular faith and if they expressed any wish to be buried following the customs and traditions of that religion. If this is the case, you should do your best to honour this. However, if the deceased did not follow a faith or express any strong wishes about when their funeral should take place, you should choose a time which will allow as many family and friends as possible to be there. If this means postponing the funeral for a few days or weeks, the body can be placed in a chapel of rest at the funeral home until the time arrives.

Can only males carry the coffin?

Again, while it is traditional for men who are family or friends of the deceased to carry the coffin from the hearse into the church or memorial service and, in the case of a burial, from the hearse to the grave, there is no requirement for this to be the case. If you wish, and if the individuals you ask are happy to do so, there is no reason why you cannot have female pallbearers. The only thing you need to consider when considering who to ask is if they can physically carry the weight of the coffin.

To find out more, contact a company that offers funeral planning services.


18 April 2018

Organising a funeral for teenagers

It's incredibly hard to plan a funeral for teenagers. They should have their whole life ahead of them, and even if they have had a terminal diagnosis, often their parents cannot believe that they could actually be gone. When my niece passed away, I worked with her friends to make sure that the funeral worked for them and gave them a chance to grieve as well. It was great to see how much impact my niece had made on the world in such a short time, with her friends and family coming together to pay tribute to the beautiful young woman she had been. This blog has tips for other people planning funerals for teens.