Funeral/Memorial ceremony format

Civil ceremonies are individually tailored to the needs and circumstances of the family and friends left behind

The format therefore is flexible, especially with Memorials - some aspects may be changed, deleted and additional aspects added.

  • It will all depend on where the ceremony is held, whether or not the body has been cremated/buried and how much family/friend involvement there is.

    The beauty of a Memorial as opposed to a funeral, is that there needs to be no formal order in which things happen. Celebrants plan for the unexpected. Most of the elements listed can be included, but not necessarily all of them or in that order. 

  • Just as in a wedding there are certain common elements  there will be common elements in a Funeral and or Memorial, but as a whole they can be as different and unique as the individuals themselves.

Having an independent person as a celebrant allows all mourners to honour their loss and participate in whatever way is meaningful for them.

This is certainly more obvious when it is the death of a baby or child, a death by suicide or tragic accident.

However, a skilled and competent civil celebrant can help to ensure that your ceremony is the most suitable and meaningful possible.

Generally the format of a Memorial or Funeral Ceremony includes:

  • Setting - Entrance

  • Reading or Music 

  • Welcome

  • Introduction

  • Reading - poetry/ prose/prayer or Music 

  • Eulogy

  • Tributes by family members and others

  • Audio-Visual tribute

  • Time for Reflection - Prayer

  • Symbolism
    eg. RSL tribute, placing flowers on the coffin or around a photograph.

  • Reading or Music

  • Announcements

  • Closing of Ceremony

  • Exit / Wake

Note: * Reading may be poetry/ prose/prayer or lyrics of a song.


Last modified on Friday, 22 September 2023 17:31