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All You Need to Know About Funeral Services

Updated: Jan 24, 2023

Losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional time for anyone. The thought of planning a funeral can be overwhelming, but it is important to know what options are available and what to expect during the process. In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about funeral services in Australia, including the different types of services, costs, and what to do after a death has occurred.


All You Need to Know About Funeral Services


Different Types of Funeral Services

There are several different types of funeral services available in Australia, each with its own unique features and traditions. The most common types of funeral services include traditional funerals, cremations, and memorial services.


Different Types of Funeral Services


Traditional Funerals

A traditional funeral is the most common type of funeral service in Australia. It usually includes a viewing or visitation, a service, and a burial or entombment. The viewing or visitation allows family and friends to say goodbye to the deceased, while the service is a formal ceremony that can be religious or non-religious. The burial or entombment is the final disposition of the body, which is typically done in a cemetery.


Burial Services

Burial services are one of the most traditional forms of funeral services. This type of service involves the interment of the deceased's remains in a cemetery or burial ground. The service can include a viewing or visitation, a funeral service, and a graveside ceremony. Burial services may also include a wake or reception after the service.


Green Burial


Green Burial

Green burials are a more environmentally friendly alternative to traditional burials. This type of service involves the interment of the deceased's remains in a natural setting, such as a conservation area or a natural burial ground. Green burials do not use embalming fluids or metal caskets, and the remains are typically wrapped in a biodegradable shroud or casket.


Cremation Services

Cremation services involve the use of heat and flame to reduce the body to ashes. The ashes can be buried, entombed, scattered, or kept by the family. Cremation services may include a viewing or visitation, a funeral service, and a cremation ceremony. Some families choose to have a traditional service with cremation instead of a burial.


Direct Cremation

Direct cremation is a more simple and more cost-effective option for those who choose cremation. This type of service involves the direct cremation of the body without any prior viewing or service. The ashes are then returned to the family.



Memorial Services

Memorial services are a way to honor the memory of a loved one without the presence of the body. This type of service may be held at a later date or in place of a traditional service. Memorial services may include a eulogy, music, and a slide show of photos.


Wake Services



A wake service, also known as a viewing or visitation, is a time for family and friends to gather and pay their final respects to the deceased. This type of service usually takes place before the funeral service and can be held at a funeral home, church, or other location. The body of the deceased is typically present during the wake and may be in an open or closed casket. Wake services can be a time for family and friends to share memories, offer condolences, and provide support to one another.


Some families may choose to have a wake service at their home or another location, while others may opt for a more formal service at a funeral home. The wake service can be held in the traditional way or can be personalized to reflect the deceased person's life and personality.


It's important to note that, wake services are optional and not everyone chooses to have it. The decision depends on personal preference and cultural and religious customs.


Private Funeral Services

A private funeral service is a funeral service that is not open to the public and is usually attended by only immediate family members and close friends. This type of service can be held at a funeral home, church, or other location. It can be a traditional service or a more personalized service, reflecting the life and personality of the deceased.


Many people choose to have a private funeral service as it allows for a more intimate and personal goodbye. It also provides a sense of privacy and security for the family during difficult times.


Private funeral services can be arranged in the same way as a traditional or public funeral service. The family will still need to contact a funeral home and make arrangements for the service. The funeral home will assist with the transportation of the body and will help the family with the necessary paperwork. They can also help the family choose a casket, flowers, and other funeral arrangements.


It's important to note that, some funeral homes may have a limited capacity for private services and it's best to check with them before making any arrangements.


Is a Memorial Service the Same as a Funeral?


Is a Memorial Service the Same as a Funeral

No, a memorial service is not the same as a funeral. A funeral is a service that takes place in the presence of the deceased's body, while a memorial service is a service that takes place without the body being present.


A funeral service typically includes a viewing or visitation, a service, and a burial or entombment of the body, while a memorial service is a service held to commemorate the life of the deceased without the body being present. The memorial service can take place at a later date or in place of a traditional funeral service.


It's important to note that, while a funeral is often a requirement of religious or cultural customs, a memorial service is more of a personal choice. Some families choose to have a memorial service in addition to a funeral, while others choose to have only a memorial service.



What is the Difference between a Funeral and a Memorial Service?



A funeral service and a memorial service are both ceremonies that are held to commemorate the life of a loved one who has passed away. However, there are some key differences between the two:


A funeral service, also known as a wake, is a formal ceremony that takes place in the presence of the deceased's body. It usually includes a viewing or visitation, a service, and a burial or entombment of the body. Funeral services can be religious or non-religious, and often include customs and traditions specific to a particular culture or religion. They typically take place soon after a person's death and are often held at a funeral home, church, or other location.


A memorial service, on the other hand, is a ceremony that takes place without the body being present. It may be held at a later date or in place of a traditional funeral service. Memorial services are usually more personal and can include elements that reflect the life and personality of the deceased. They may include a eulogy, music, and a slide show of photos. They may also include different types of services such as scattering of ashes or a tree plantation.



Which one is Best?

In terms of which one is best for a particular situation, it depends on personal preference and cultural and religious customs. A funeral service is often a requirement of religious or cultural customs, while a memorial service is more of a personal choice. Some families choose to have a funeral service and a memorial service, while others choose to have only one or the other.


It's best to speak with a funeral director, they can guide you through the process and help you choose the right type of service for your loved one and your family.


Costs of Funeral Services

The cost of a funeral service can vary depending on the type of service, the location, and the individual funeral home. The cost of a funeral service includes many different expenses such as the funeral director's service fee, transportation of the body, embalming or cremation, the cost of a casket or urn, and the cost of the burial plot or cremation niche.


A traditional funeral service can be more expensive than a cremation service or memorial service. On average, a traditional funeral service can cost between $1,500 and $10,000, while a cremation can cost between $3,000 and $5,000. It is important to keep in mind that additional costs, such as headstones, grave liners, and flowers, can also add to the overall expense.


Pre-planning a funeral can help with costs, as you can lock in prices and make financial arrangements that fit your budget. Also, many funeral homes offer pre-paid funeral plans, which allow you to pay for your funeral in advance and can help to ease the financial burden on your loved ones.


It is always a good idea to get a price list from a few funeral homes and compare the costs before making a decision. Some funeral homes may have hidden costs, so it's important to ask for a detailed breakdown of the costs before making a final decision.


It's important to note that, the government provides financial assistance to those who are eligible, such as pensioners and veterans, to help them with the cost of a funeral service.


What to Do After a Death?


What to Do After a Death

After a death has occurred, the first step is to contact a funeral home. The funeral home will assist with the transportation of the body and will help the family with the necessary paperwork. The family will then need to decide on the type of service and make arrangements for the service.


Pre-planning a Funeral

Pre-planning a funeral can be a thoughtful and responsible decision. It allows individuals to make their own funeral arrangements in advance, which can take the burden off of their loved ones during a difficult time. It also allows individuals to choose the type of service and make financial arrangements that fit their budget. Many funeral homes offer pre-planning services and will keep the arrangements on file until they are needed.



Funeral Planning Checklist

Planning a funeral can be a daunting task, but having a checklist of things to do can make the process a bit easier. Some of the things that should be included on the checklist include:


  • Contacting a funeral home

  • Deciding on the type of service

  • Making arrangements for the service

  • Notifying friends and family

  • Obtaining death certificates

  • Taking care of legal and financial matters

  • Making arrangements for the disposition of the body

  • Planning for a reception or gathering after the service

Grief Support

Losing a loved one can be a traumatic experience and it is important to have support during the grieving process. Many funeral homes offer grief support services, such as counseling and support groups. It is also important to reach out to friends and family for support and to take the time to grieve in your own way.


Funeral Customs and Traditions



Funeral customs and traditions vary depending on culture, religion, and personal preference. Some people choose to have a traditional service with a religious aspect while others may choose a more contemporary service. Funeral customs such as a wake, eulogy, and viewing of the body are still widely practiced in Australia, but it's important to note that it's becoming more common to personalize the funeral service to reflect the deceased person's life and personality.


Statistics

According to the Australian Funeral Directors Association, there are approximately 170,000 deaths in Australia each year, with about 60% of those deaths resulting in a funeral service. The majority of funeral services in Australia are traditional funerals (about 75%), while cremation accounts for about 25% of funeral services. In terms of costs, the average cost of a traditional funeral service in Australia is around $7,000, while the average cost of a cremation is around $4,000.


Conclusion

Wrapping up the whole discussion we may deduce that losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional time, but it is important to know what options are available and what to expect during the process of planning a funeral. In Australia, there are several different types of funeral services available including traditional funerals, cremations, and memorial services, each with its own unique features and traditions.


The cost of a funeral service can vary depending on the type of service, the location, and the individual funeral home, but on average, a traditional funeral service can cost between $1,500 and $10,000, while a cremation can cost between $3,000 and $5,000. It is important to keep in mind that additional costs, such as headstones, grave liners, and flowers, can also add to the overall expense.


After a death has occurred, the first step is to contact a funeral home. The funeral home will assist with the transportation of the body and will help the family with the necessary paperwork.
















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