FUNERAL SERVICE OPTIONS
Burial or Cremation | Service Venue | Officiant | Caskets | Newspaper Notices | Embalming | Clothes Dressing and Viewing | Flowers | Music | Catering | Pall Bearers | Family Transport | Ex Service Personnel | Orders of Service | Recording the Service | Video/DVD Tributes | Memorial Book and Attendance Pages | Compassionate Airfares | Bereavement Support | Death Certificate | Payment | Probate and Estate Matters | Bereavement and Thank you Cards |
A beautiful funeral is one that is reflective of the person who has died and acknowledges their significance in our lives. It starts the journey we now begin without them. It may be simple, it may be grand: whatever you want, we will work with you to ensure it is truly memorable.
Our experience tells us that a funeral that is relevant to the person who has died, that tells their story and leaves lasting positive memories, helps family and friends cope with their loss.
There are no real rules to funerals and only a few legal requirements, so the possibilities are endless: you are limited only by time and imagination.
Planning the funeral is just the beginning of many things you will have to deal with following a death. In the short space of time we spend with you making funeral arrangements, it is difficult to cover every option. It has also been our experience that, depending on how you feel at this time, you may not necessarily take in everything discussed with you. The following information will guide you through some of the available options for a funeral and answer some of the commonly asked questions.
Burial or Cremation
One of the first decisions we will ask you to make is whether the funeral is to be followed by burial or cremation. This is mainly because different documentation is required depending on the decision made.
While burial is the more traditional and is often chosen for cultural or religious reasons, cremation is the most popular option today.
Burial – Families may choose a burial plot. Most cemeteries have a variety of areas and memorial options, with varying prices. It is worth looking at all the options available to you before making a decision on a particular plot.
Cremation – When cremation is selected it is usually what is termed 'private cremation'. This is funeral director jargon meaning that we deliver the casket to the crematorium. In these instances, once the service has concluded, family and friends will say their goodbyes in the chapel or at the hearse, often by placing a flower on the casket. Once all goodbyes have been said the hearse will drive away or the casket will be delivered to the crematorium. With private cremation nobody goes to the crematorium.
The alternative to private cremation is to have a committal service or the full service at the crematorium chapel. A committal means that after the main service, which has been held at another location, the funeral then processes to the crematorium where a short ceremony and final goodbyes are held. This can be a nice option for families wanting a private time with the casket just prior to the cremation.
Committal services have become less common over recent years largely due to the additional time taken and the inconvenience that can occur with relocating to another venue and dealing with Auckland traffic.
The decision on where a funeral is to be held is yours.
Our North Harbour Chapel and Reception Lounge, in Schnapper Rock Road, Albany, is a perfect option for a beautiful funeral. Set in six and a half acres of peaceful park-like surrounds, this award-winning facility has every convenience for a modern funeral, including our stunning feature waterfall.
The main chapel seats to 140 in its normal configuration and we have the ability to move the walls to expand the seating capacity to over 200 with standing room for more when required. We also have a small chapel which provides an intimate experience for groups of up to 20.
Our Birkenhead Chapel located at 92 Hinemoa Street is a boutique venue providing seating for about 40. We also have a private viewing room and arrangement office.
Equally, we can arrange for the funeral to take place at your church, crematorium chapel, rest home, hospital chapel, family home, park, beach, a community hall, RSA or Sports Clubrooms, town hall, or stadium, depending on the size of the funeral. Some of these venues have costs associated with hiring them.
In most instances the decision of who should officiate at the funeral is between a Minister and Celebrant. Who is right for you depends on personal preference and the type of service you require. We can recommend people if you don’t have anyone in mind. Unlike weddings there are no legal requirements on who can conduct a funeral service.
The role of the officiant is to act as master of ceremonies at the funeral. They work closely with us to ensure that everything you request takes place. In order to do this they will more than likely need to meet with you a day or two prior to the service. At this meeting they will want to find out your wishes for the funeral ceremony e.g. who will speak, what music will be played, and what will take place. They will also want to get a feel for the person who has died so that the funeral is reflective of their life and values.
We offer a comprehensive range of caskets for families to choose from. Caskets come in a variety of different styles, materials and finishes. Today there are options available for personalising the casket. Personalisation could be in the colour chosen or by having pictures and graphics on the casket. It might also include what is placed on, in or around the casket. For example, a photo or personal item, such as a golf club or hat.
To view our range of caskets follow this link
Newspaper notices are a common way of letting extended family and friends know when and where the funeral will take place. We can insert these throughout New Zealand on your behalf. Options exist for photos and graphics to be included with the notice in some papers. Below is a basic format for a notice, but this can vary according to the situation:
SMITH John William. (Regtl No or ex RNZN).
On 3 March 2010, Peacefully at North Shore Hospice, in his 82nd year.
Dearly loved husband of
Loved and respected father and father in law of
Much loved Grandfather of
Loved Son and Son in Law of
Loved Brother and Brother in Law of
Loved Uncle of
Personal message from family e.g. forever in our hearts
A service will be held at the North Harbour Chapel of Dil’s Funeral Services, 185 Schnapper Rock Road, Albany, on Tuesday 6 June at 12:30 pm, followed by private cremation.
In lieu of flowers donations to XYZ Charity PO Box 22222 Auckland would be appreciated.
All communications to the Smith family C/- PO Box 302 524 North Harbour. (We recommend that for security reasons families use a post office box number for communications).
When one hears the word embalming it is easy to think of ancient Egypt and mummies. However, modern embalming has very little in common with Egyptian practices. Today it is a medical process whereby a dead human body is disinfected and preserved, thereby rendering the deceased safe for those coming into contact with it. Embalming allows viewing and the task of saying goodbye to occur without the unpleasant conditions that arise from decomposition.
We believe embalming is the best method of keeping the deceased in a presentable state from the time of death till burial or cremation.
Our primary goal in embalming is to present the deceased in the best way possible so that those who wish to view will have a positive experience.
At Dil’s, our embalming is carried out to the highest level of skill and professionalism. We keep up to date with advances in the art of embalming and ensure that our practice is current with the standards set by the New Zealand Embalmers Association (NZEA) and the Unit Standards of the National Diploma in Embalming. At all times we ensure that the deceased is treated with respect and dignity.
Embalming of the dead is a cultural practice in New Zealand and our assumption is embalming will occur with every funeral we conduct. However, we accept that there are some who choose not to have their loved one embalmed. In such situations we expect the family will communicate this desire to us so we can comply with their wishes.
Clothes, Dressing and Viewing
Before viewing can occur, we will require clothing to be given to us and a casket to be selected. You may select the clothing and it is possible to help dress and add personal touches if you wish.
If you are going to help dress we will make a time with you for this once embalming has taken place and we have completed our preparations.
Viewing is encouraged as a helpful step in coming to terms with your loss. This can take place at our premises or in your own home.
Viewing at our premises is available at anytime during office hours (8:30 am – 5:00 pm Monday to Friday). If you wish to view outside these hours please make an appointment by phoning us on (+649) 415 8720.
We can arrange all floral requirements. After the funeral flowers may be left with the casket, taken home, or given to a hospital or rest home. All cards are collected from the floral tributes for you.
We can arrange for special music to be played during the service. Options for music could include CDs, or live musicians which could include an organist or pianist or, if appropriate, a piper, bugler, string quartet, or small band. You might like a soloist to sing or even a choir. We have a small library of CDs for your use if required.
Over the years, we have had many different styles of music played at funerals including, classical, rock, pop, religious, jazz and country. It is important that the music selected is reflective of the person who has died as it has a powerful effect on the service.
Our Reception Lounge has different menus for you to choose from. For a current menu please follow this link.
Because we cater, you and your family will be free to mix with friends and guests without having to play host. Due to health requirements, only food supplied by us may be served on our premises. Alcohol is not permitted under any circumstances.
We can also arrange catering at another venue if you wish.
If you choose to use pall bearers the invitation is best extended by the family. Four or six people may participate. On the day we will guide them in their duties.
In most instances today, the family will make their own arrangements to get to the funeral. However, hire cars can be arranged if required.
Ex Service Personnel
For those who have been in the services there are special options you might like to consider. At the service a flag may be draped over the casket; the ‘Last Post’ sounded and an RSA representative will offer a tribute if invited.
If a Service Persons’ tribute is to be given, rather than using a recording of the Last Post and Reveille you might like to consider a live bugler.
There are Service Persons’ burial and ash plots in some cemeteries for eligible personnel. Veterans’ Affairs New Zealand subsidise the cost of these plots and memorial plaques. Please contact us for assistance with this.
Orders of Service
Orders of Service or Service Sheets can be arranged to include a photo or photos in colour, or black and white. We require the original photos at least 24 hours before the funeral. Bereavement or Thank You Cards which have the photo from the Service Sheet on them can also be arranged on request. Ask us for commonly used examples.
Recording the Service
An audio or DVD recording of the service can be made at your request.
Advances in technology have led to DVD or Video Tributes being a regular part of contemporary funerals. A DVD Tribute consists of a series of photos which are set to music and burnt onto a DVD. The Tribute can then be played during the reflection time of the service. This is a powerful way to capture and present different aspects of someone’s life, and it becomes a valued keepsake after the funeral as the DVD can be viewed again whenever you feel like.
We can arrange for the compilation of a DVD Tribute. Just select the photos (about 30-40) you wish to be included and give them to us at least 48 hours before the service. They are often best presented in chronological order. You can also select the piece of music you would like to go with the photos.
Our North Harbour Chapel has been equipped with Audio Visual equipment for presenting such tributes.
If you are going to create you own ‘Photo Tribute’ we require the final copy at least 24 hours before the service so that it can be tested on our system.
Memorial Book and Attendance Pages
As a matter of course we provide a simple memorial book to help mark the funeral. Attendance pages may be included in the memorial book where you wish to have a record of those present at the service. You are welcome to provide your own if you prefer.
Most airlines offer compassionate fares for immediate family members needing to travel by air to attend the funeral. In order to qualify for these fares, it is usually required that a letter or fax is provided by us confirming the death, stating the relationship of the person travelling and giving the details of the funeral. Please ask if you wish us to provide you with this letter.
We have for many years offered a Bereavement Support Service. This service is in the form of after funeral care and support. It is designed to provide you with assistance in resolving any problems or challenges you face in returning to daily life after the funeral. And is an opportunity to talk about your feelings in a safe and relaxed environment. It is available to any members of the family who may benefit and is completely optional.
We register the death, and order a death certificate from the Registrar General’s Office in Lower Hutt. We will post this to you or your solicitor if you prefer. Extra copies can be ordered if required. Certificates are usually available about ten working days after the funeral.
The information required to register the death is collected from you in the course of arranging the funeral. This information, along with other documentation supplied by the certifying doctor or Coroner is used to register the death.
On the day of the funeral, we will give you a copy of the form used to register the death so that you can check the details for accuracy. Please contact us the day following the funeral if any of the information on the form needs to be changed.
If the death is referred to the Coroner, it is usual for the death certificate to show “Subject to Coroner’s Findings” as the cause of death. This means that the official cause of death was not available at the time of issuing the certificate. Once the Coroner has issued the findings, it is possible to swap your certificate for one that shows the official cause of death.
The account is issued within ten days of the death to the person who authorised the arrangement and is due for payment within five weeks from the date of death. Copies of the account can be sent to solicitors or other persons upon request.
The funeral account includes our fee for professional services, casket, other charges and all disbursements we pay on your behalf. A rebate of the Account Service Fee is allowed if the account is paid by the due date.
It is our expectation that the funeral account will be paid on time. If payment is a problem, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can suggest ways to help. If required, extended credit can be arranged through a specialised finance company. An estimate of funeral expenses should be left with you at the arrangement interview.
We accept payment by cash, cheque, direct credit, and credit card for your convenience.
Financial assistance may be available in some situations through agencies such as WINZ or ACC. For more information or assistance please contact us.
Probate and Estate Matters
For advice on estate matters we suggest that you contact your solicitor or an organisation such as Public Trust.
Bereavement and Thank you Cards
A Bereavement Card is one way of saying thank you to those who have expressed their sympathy, love and support. We can take care of all of your requirements in this regard. We produce many cards “in house”, often using the photo from the Service Sheet. We also have verses available for you to select from or you can supply us with your own if you prefer. For a brochure or more information please contact us.