Fortunately, a funeral is not something that we have to arrange very often, and so it is understandable that you may have all sorts of questions. Here are some that come up regularly:
How long do we have in the chapel?
At Thanet crematorium each service begins 45 minutes after the last (at Barham and Charing it is 40 minutes) and we have 25 -30 minutes in the chapel. This gives plenty of time for those attending to enter and exit but, should you want a shorter service, we don't have to use the whole 25 minutes. Should you wish to have several speakers or pieces of music, then it is possible to book a double slot; your funeral director will discuss this with you. Usually at a burial there will be a short service in the chapel, followed by a graveside committal, or the whole service can be conducted at the graveside.
Is there a set programme to follow?
The broad answer is "No" - by using an independent celebrant you may have a choice of content that better fits you and your family circumstances; this will make the service for your loved one unique and memorable. Services don't have to be held at a crematorium or chapel; with permission, they can take place in a variety of locations, such as community centres and care homes, with a private committal afterwards at the crematorium or cemetery.
What about music?
Music can be to your taste - there are no rules; should you wish to sing along to a favourite song, listen to something that reminds you of happier times, choose a meaningful hymn or not have any music at all, that is entirely up to you. Some chapels have the Wesley music system, others require CDs.
Is it necessary to have readings, prayers and poems?
At such a sad time it can be difficult to put your feelings into words; poetry can help enormously and there are many resources available. I often find that a particular reading will "suggest itself" as we chat about your loved one in our initial meeting. If you would like a prayer or blessing we can discuss that too.
Useful sites are www.poemhunter.com, www.poetry.com, www.familyfriendpoems.com and www.funeralhelper.org