woman with white lily flowers and coffin at funeral in church

Funeral Traditions and Why They Need to be Questioned

woman with white lily flowers and coffin at funeral in church

Each culture has their own traditions when it comes to honouring the life of a person – from the pyramids of Ancient Egypt to a Tibetan Sky Burial that involves feeding bodies to birds to feast on, as an act of compassion. In Australia, our funeral processes seem a little more straight-foward. Generally, a funeral is held about a week after the death of a person, attendees wear black clothes, and there is a service at a church or non-religious location, followed by a burial or cremation, then usually a wake.

For as long as we can remember, that’s the way we’ve always done things. However, that doesn’t mean you have to strictly follow traditions when you’re saying goodbye to a partner, close friend or family member.

Honouring a person’s life in your own way

Every person is unique, and the way you say goodbye to them can be, too. We’re encouraging you to stop planning within the confinements of what you think “should” constitute a funeral; instead, plan a service the way you and your loved one would have wanted it!

Life is always changing – and so is the way we celebrate life during a funeral. We’re noticing that direct cremations or cremations are now more common than burials, that there’s a rise in non-religious services and that more people are choosing eco-friendly burials. So, think about what was important to your loved one! How can you give them a memorial service that is a true reflection of their life and personality?

How can you make a funeral unique?

Before you rush into making funeral arrangements, have a chat with your family to think up ways to make it unique, to say farewell to your loved one in your own way. Whilst this is a time for grieving, it’s also a time to gather the people close to you to talk about happy memories you share about a person.

To help you think of some unique ways to say goodbye, here are some conversation starters:

  • What was their favourite thing to do? If the person loved to spend time at the beach, in the park or at their local sports centre, consider holding the ceremony there.
  • What music did they like? A funeral song doesn’t have to be chosen just for its solemness; you can inject joy into the celebration by playing the music the person liked, no matter how upbeat it may be. There are no rules here!
  • What were their happiest moments? Look back on a life well-lived with photographs, videos or slideshows of your memories with this person. To help you to curate a collection, ask close friends and family members to send in their favourite photographs.
  • Did they have any quirks? In the past, wearing any colours other than black was viewed as disrespectful. Nowadays, many people are choosing to organise themed funerals. If the recently deceased person had a bright, sunny personality, consider encouraging guests to wear their most colourful outfits. You could even go one step further with a themed funeral based around the things they loved, such as superheroes or 80’s pop music!

Contact us to discuss your options

Whatever way you choose to honour a life, do it in a way that’s unique to you and them. Affordable Cremations is here to listen to your wishes and will do our best to help make them come true. To find out more about our services, send us a message; we’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.