Gift of Grace Funerals are able to accommodate funeral arrangements for people from all walks of life. We are able to personalise your funeral plans no matter what your background, family situation, religious belief or financial situation.
The funeral service is held in a church or cemetery chapel and is followed by a cremation or burial at a cemetery of your choice with the deceased in a closed coffin or casket.
Traditional services often include:
- One or more viewings immediately before the ceremony or in the days leading up to it where the mourners gather to express their condolences before the ceremony.
- A procession to the cemetery known as a “cortege” led by a hearse and fleet of cars.
- A religious service conducted by the clergy of the church or a civil service conducted by a funeral celebrant.
This is a burial service held at the graveside in a cemetery of your choice. The service is conducted in its entirety at the graveside
The casket is sealed in an above ground crypt in a mausoleum. Embalming of the deceased body is a requirement.
This is an option for families (friends and communities) who wish to be actively involved in the care of the deceased at home or in a private setting and take control of the funeral arrangements. It’s perfectly legal to keep the body of deceased at home for a short period (up to 3 days after the time of death). The condition of the body at the time of death will determine if this is an option or not.
It offers a caring and healing experience for loved ones in the comfort of familiar surroundings. It can also be a very daunting experience – there’s a lot to do in a short space of time. It is important to have a very open discussion with family members to consider the practicalities and their willingness to participate in the funeral arrangements and body care when choosing this option. That’s where Gift of Grace can help. We are very willing to guide and support families with as much or as little advice and practical assistance as needed.
Natural burial is an environmentally conscious choice enabling the body to return to the soil as quickly as would naturally occur. For this reason embalming of the body is not permitted and the burial is at a shallow depth. The body must be conveyed in a biodegradable coffin or casket such as pine, wicker, pandanas leaves, wool or recycled cardboard. The body of the deceased must be wrapped in a shroud or clothing made of natural fibres.
No headstone, marker, stone, vase or tribute may be placed or erected at the gravesite. Only natural flowers are permitted at the time of the funeral and they must not be bound by any unnatural products such as cellophane, wire, and foam blocks. Similarly, other tributes, such as balloon releases, are discouraged. Each grave is mapped and surveyed to ensure the ability of current and future generations to locate graves of loved ones. Most natural burial sites offer a commemorative feature where families wishing to place a simple memorial plaque can do so at a specially designated area within the site.
In WA, bushland sites at Fremantle Cemetery and Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park have been reserved for natural burial. Regional natural burial areas are located in the Albany, Mt Barker and Bunbury cemeteries.
A direct or unattended funeral means that the body of the person who has died is cremated or buried without a service. A memorial service may be held at an appointed time after the disposal, or in the case of cremations, when the ashes are interred or scattered.
Because of its simplicity, direct cremation is “a no fuss, no frills” option and is the cheapest way of disposing of a dead person. It may be an attractive option for people who cannot afford a traditional funeral, or for people wanting to take the person who has died overseas to their home country; it saves the considerable costs of embalming and air freight.
We understand a day funeral might not be what you are wanting and we’re willing to provide out of hour services for your convenience. A burial or cremation can take place during the next business day. Similarly, a dawn service can also be an option.
Memorial services commemorate the life of the deceased without the body present, usually following burial or direct cremation, or if the body has not been recovered. The service can be held in any location. Some families may choose to inter or scatter ashes at a memorial service.
The concluding rite of a funeral service is the committal where family and friends pay their last respects before the lowering of the coffin or casket graveside for burial, or in the case of cremation, the lowering of the catafalque on which the coffin or casket is placed in a cemetery chapel. Families may opt for a private committal service for immediate family members, closest friends and relatives only.
From our experience, most families like to personalise the service and choose a combination of the types of services available. Examples:
- A family led funeral with body care and viewing at home combined with a traditional service at a cemetery chapel
- A family led funeral combined with a natural burial service
- A traditional funeral service at a church followed by a private committal for cremation at the cemetery chapel
Some people wish to spare their family the hassle and expense of a funeral service and simply request not to have one. What is often overlooked is the importance of the ritual around this rite of passage and the closure needed by those left behind at the end of one’s life. By choosing not to have a funeral service, the bereaved may be left with no acknowledgement of this major change in their life. It is important to have a very open discussion with family members to consider their needs when choosing this option.
Living wakes are emerging as a new and extraordinary ritual in the increasingly secular approach to funerals. Living wakes can be an option for people who have life-limiting illness and know their time is short, who wish to celebrate their lives with the people they love while they are still living.
For people in their ‘dying time’, a living wake gives them the opportunity to be at their own funeral; a living funeral. The experience can be transformative and deeply healing or the person who is dying and for the people they love. Gift of Grace will be honoured to work with you, your family and friends, to create what it considers to be the ultimate ‘gift of grace’. It is a remarkable parting gift that will leave an everlasting memory in hearts and the minds of your loved ones.