Can the funeral be webcast or recorded?

Yes. At our local crematoria, webcasting facilities are installed in each chapel. This allows for people who cannot attend the funeral to watch online. Recordings of the service can also be made for people to watch later. Please ensure that you let your funeral arranger & minister/celebrant know if you would like this so that it can be booked and the details provided to you in plenty of time.

Can I have “My Way” played at the funeral?

Yes, you can. Nearly all churches have facilities for playing CDs, so you can simply deliver them to the church prior to the funeral and let the Minister/Celebrant know your wishes. West Herts Crematorium, Chilterns Crematorium and a number of others have a system where music is downloaded by them in preparation for your funeral service, obviating the need for CDs. For funerals at these crematoria, your minister/celebrant will book the music online in advance of the service.

Can we place personal items in the coffin with the deceased?

Yes. Whilst there are some limitations on what can be placed in the coffin for a cremation, you can place any legal, non-hazardous item in a coffin for a burial. If you are coming to visit your loved one in our chapel of rest, this is an ideal time to do this. Alternatively if you do not wish or are not able to come to our chapels, we will place the item in the coffin for you.

What happens to the flowers after the funeral?

When a burial takes place, the flowers come to the cemetery or churchyard on the hearse. They are normally removed from the hearse and placed somewhere near the grave for the family and other mourners to look at following the service. When the grave is completed, they will be moved onto the grave and will remain there for a time. Each cemetery and churchyard will have different rules on how long floral tributes may remain, and you should enquire direct with them to establish this.

When a cremation takes place, the flowers will normally travel to the crematorium on the hearse. During the service, they will be taken on to the flower terrace, where they can be viewed following the service. Usually they will remain in place for a day or two until they are removed by the crematorium staff.

Your funeral director will normally offer you some options regarding flowers following the service. The options will differ depending on where the funeral has taken place.

Does the coffin get cremated?

Yes. Whatever type of coffin you choose, it is cremated. Crematorium rules are very strict on this, and it is why the contents of the coffin are important. Once on the catafalque at the front of the chapel, the coffin is not opened or changed in any way. Normally any floral tribute is removed from the top of the coffin prior to cremation, but the coffin itself is not tampered with. The handles are made of a combustible material (metal handles are not allowed for cremation), and these remain in place.

What happens to the cremated remains after a cremation?

The ashes are placed in a temporary storage container (a ‘polytainer’ or cardboard container depending on the crematorium) immediately following the cremation. Depending on what you have instructed at the time of arranging the funeral, they will either remain at the crematorium on temporary deposit for a short time, or be returned to our offices. You can also collect them yourself directly from the crematorium. We can place the ashes into a casket, urn or keepsake in preparation for them to be collected from us by you, or for interment at a cemetery or churchyard. Alternatively the ashes can be scattered in the garden of remembrance at the crematorium.

Why can we not put shoes/other items in the coffin?

Certain materials, such as rubber, vinyl or latex, can emit toxic chemicals when cremated. Modern crematoria are fitted with filters to minimise the risk to the environment, but they cannot completely remove all harmful chemicals. For this reason, anything which may be toxic when cremated is barred from being placed in the coffin. As most shoes have rubber soles, or are made in such as way that it is not possible to identify every material involved in the construction, we do not allow them into the coffin.

These restrictions do not apply to burials, although we suggest that items that are not biodegradable may not be appropriate to be placed in the coffin.

Do I get my loved one’s cremated remains back following the funeral?

Yes. There are very strict laws and regulations governing crematoria, which include the fact that all cremations must be separate (there are one or two exceptional circumstances where an exception can be made to this rule, which you would be made aware of at the time of arranging the funeral). Each coffin is cremated exactly as it is received at the crematorium and when the cremation is complete, the ashes are raked into a single container ready for collection or scattering. At this point, the metals are removed and recycled.