The Funeral


The funeral directors most important role is to make all the relevant arrangements prior to directing the funeral on the day. The funeral director works with the minister or celebrant to ensure that all of the family’s special requests (regarding flowers, music, photos, candles) have been met by the time of the funeral service.

The funeral director will discuss with family members as to whether they would like an audiovisual presentation. The funeral director will also arrange for the collection of photos and the music to be used.

The minister or celebrant is ultimately responsible for what happens in the funeral ceremony itself.

This usually involves working with family members to:

  • Plan the format of the funeral service
  • Decide who will deliver the eulogy – family member(s) or a close personal friend
  • Select music; reading or poetry during the service
  • Decide on the use of other symbols such as candles, flowers and photos as required
  • Decide whether printed service booklets or bookmarks are required
  • Schedule the audio-visual presentation (if any) in the service
Funeral Timing

When to hold the funeral is entirely up to you. Given the many matters to consider in arranging a modern funeral, it is not uncommon for a funeral to be held five to seven days after death. If necessary it can be held still later to allow people who reside overseas or interstate time to travel should they wish to attend.

We can assure you it is far better not to rush the planning of a funeral. Allowing more time allows you to make clearer decisions. When people are rushed they may forget or overlook matters, leading to regrets afterwards.

Cultural Awareness

The Wodonga/ Albury region is home to many cultures and religions. Radcliffe funeral services continue to build our relationships with a wide range of community groups, so you can be assured that we will do everything we can to accommodate your own community practices and protocols.

Given that many of these community groups are small, we have often become good friends as well as trusted funeral directors within them.

Clergy or Celebrant

If you are a member of a religious denomination, your priest or minister is likely to be the obvious person to conduct the funeral service. You may wish to inform the priest or minister that a death has occurred. The funeral director usually makes contact with them to confirm the date and time of the funeral.

Funeral celebrants (male and female) are also available to conduct funeral services. Celebrants can provide a service that is appropriate to the needs and cultural beliefs of the family. The funeral director has a list of celebrants from which the family may choose. We are willing to recommend someone we feel is suitable for your circumstances if required.

Coffin Bearers

If you are using coffin bearers, it is best that you approach these people prior to the funeral service. Many family and friends will be honoured to assist you by carrying the coffin or casket at the funeral. Asking for this kind of assistance may also be a useful way to incorporate service clubs that the person was a member of, or to involve cousins, nephews and nieces.