Planning a funeral service
The funeral of a loved one should be a unique event, which is why Alfred James’s well-trained and experienced funeral directors are on hand to help with all of the aspects of a funeral. We are also here to provide you with ideas and information that will enable you to create a ceremony that will have special meaning to family and friends.
Choosing a venue
Funerals can be conducted in many different places throughout South Australia. Many families will have a funeral in a traditional venue such as a church, chapel or one of our seven funeral homes located in Unley, Prospect, Lockleys, Alberton, South Plympton, Morphett Vale and Holden Hill.
There are many other options available including:
- Family homes
- Race courses
- Golf courses
- Sporting clubs
Your Alfred James funeral director can make all the arrangements for your venue.
When booking a funeral venue or location it’s important to think about the number of people who will be attending.
The number of guests
It can be difficult to determine how many people will be able to attend the funeral. The following considerations can influence the number of people likely to attend:
- Age of the deceased (the younger the more people)
- Size of the family
- Number of friends
- Deceased’s membership of clubs and organisations
- Employment history
- Day and time of the funeral
Writing a eulogy
Writing a eulogy, and then delivering the eulogy, can be difficult and stressful, and it can be a challenge to express in words what your loved one meant to you and others.
Many of the mourners will know only part of your loved one’s life. The eulogy tells the story of the deceased’s life, outlining the important milestones and providing a reflective observation of their personality and character. One person may deliver the eulogy or you may want to divide up aspects amongst a number of speakers.
It is important that speakers do not repeat each other’s stories and are mindful of any time constraints. We recommend that eulogies be rehearsed out-loud to give confidence during the funeral. But always remember that bringing your own style and personality to your eulogy is just fine.
Click here to download a form to provide you with some prompts to help compose the eulogy.
Selecting a coffin
Alfred James offers a wide range of coffins for families to choose from. This includes a full range of traditional caskets as well as coffins with art or customised images.
The order of service, content, music, and style can be tailored to suit the family’s wishes. We can guide you through the process and provide an extensive range of options for you to consider.
We partner with The Flower Room florists, and can help you to organise floral arrangements.
We have access to a range of celebrants and clergy, or you may prefer to nominate a family member or friend to conduct the service. Be mindful that this person should be experienced in public speaking and also be able to manage their emotions.
On the day
The timing of the funeral will depend on availability of venues and when family members can be present. It can be held any time of the day and on almost all days of the year including public holidays.
Our well-trained and experienced Funeral Directors will take care of the funeral arrangements on the day. We will coordinate the funeral as planned, enabling you to be with family and friends during the funeral.
After the service
It is usual for mourners to want to congregate after the funeral service to share stories and support one another. Refreshments can be provided in the Alfred James Funeral Homes – including tea, coffee, cordial, water and biscuits or additional food and beverages. Light refreshments are also available at a Crematorium chapel. Catering will depend on available facilities if the service is held in a church.
The flowers can remain with the coffin or be given to the family. You may request that we leave them with the church as decoration. Some families request that they be broken up to give to mourners as they leave the service. The choice is entirely yours.
Many organisations will need to be advised of the death and the will of the deceased person will need to be executed.
We’ve created a helpful checklist of people and organisations you may need to contact following the death. Click here to download.
After the funeral
Coping with the loss of a loved one can be one of the hardest challenges many of us face.
There are many trusted organisations that can help you and your family including:
- National Health Services Directory is a Government website that lists many services available across South Australia including access to grief support
- Lifeline Australia offers an information and counseling service
- GriefLink is a South Australian association with useful information about death-related grief
- HealthDirect is a government site with advice on dealing with loss
- Palliative Care SA provides support to families who have been in end of life care
- SANDS (Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Support Group) supports parents
- Solace Association is an organisation that provides support for those grieving the loss of their partner.