Using carefully chosen symbols in a funeral service can enhance the significant aspects of a person’s life, and help create a very personal atmosphere for the service.
Photos and flowers add to the ambience as well.
You may wish to consider the following as possible symbols to include in the funeral service.
Candles are generally recognised as a universal symbol of love, light and hope. Candle lighting during the service is always a poignant ritual.
A flag draped over a casket, playing of The Last Post, and red poppies used in the RSA tribute speak to us of a person’s contribution to his or her country.
A flag symbolic of the deceased’s country of birth may also be another option.
Academic, sporting or community achievement awards tell us of other achievements in a person’s life.
Art, craft, other artefacts and hobbies show additional dimensions of the person whose life is being honoured.
Music speaks to our hearts, especially in a funeral service.
The music selected and the way it is used usually set the emotional tone of the service.
Music can be played from a CD or iPod, or by engaging musicians to play an instrument such as the organ, guitar, keyboard, bagpipes or bugle.
Choirs, singers and soloists can also be arranged for a service if you wish.
You can usually choose a favourite flower or combination of flowers and colours for a casket spray. Single flowers or a bunch of flowers tied with ribbon are other options. Some people have used baskets of vegetables, sports equipment and other goods to personalise the floral tribute.
Although the tradition has been for friends to send flowers, some families prefer to invite them to make a donation to a particular charity or community service in memory of the person who has died.