Arranging a Funeral

Funerals can be a celebration of a life lived and an opportunity for people to gather together and comfort one another.

The type of funeral service or style chosen can reflect the wishes of the deceased as well as reflecting the needs of the family left behind. Different kinds of death will dictate different styles of funeral. A funeral for an elderly and much loved grandparent will be very different from the funeral for a young person who has died in a car accident.


When you are planning the funeral, think about the person who has died and what aspects of their life you wish to celebrate. Think also about yourself and your family and make the funeral a time to remember as well as a time to provide comfort and strength.

One of the first decisions to be made is whether to choose a burial or cremation.

If it is to be a burial, where will this be? If cremation is chosen there are a number of options to consider regarding the ashes – interment, scattering, or placing in a urn. There is plenty of time to decide on this and can wait until after the funeral if you prefer.

Decisions on the type of casket also need to be made.

Your NZIFH funeral home will have available a range of caskets, from the very simple through to the most elaborate. Do you like the idea of a wood finish, or brightly coloured or photo finish veneer? Some families choose to decorate the casket and for others the use of a eco-friendly casket is important. Your funeral director will talk through the options with you.

You may have thoughts about venues, music and readings, whether you wish to have a religious component, a large gathering or a private family farewell. Do you want to gather for refreshments after the service, or to support each other for a traditional wake at another venue?

You may have family members, friends or colleagues who wish to give a eulogy or tribute, to sing, play an instrument, read a poem, or to light a candle of remembrance.

Many funeral homes make use of technology to provide enhancements to the service such as photo shows, recording of the service and streaming over the internet. The use of skype for real-time partcipation is also becoming more common.

If you are a member of a parish, you may wish to have the minister, pastor or priest take the service. Other families choose to have a celebrant, family member or friend. There are no legal requirements that dictate the choice of officiant.

Remember, your chosen NZIFH funeral director is there to assist you with as many of the arrangements as you need help with and to take as much pressure off you as possible. They can help you with writing the funeral notice and advise on the options available for caring for your loved one. If you wish to view, they will discuss the arrangments with you and answer any questions you may have.

We suggest that you search the Membership Directory for your local NZIFH funeral home. They will be able to advise you on the options available in your area, and to help you work through all the steps necessary in the arrangement of the funeral.

Contact your local NZIFH Member


For more info on arranging a funeral, click here to search for a local NZIFH member