The Funeral Service

A funeral ceremony helps to publicly acknowledge the reality of the death, and when shared with friends and family it encourages the expression of grief.

Preparing for the service

Spending Time With Your Loved One

Prior to the funeral service, some family members often find it helps to spend time with their loved one and like to bring small gifts or a photograph to put on or in the coffin or casket. It’s a personal choice and we can talk about this and guide you through the steps.

Phone Call Prior To Service

Our funeral staff will contact you the day prior to service to confirm details and key timings. This communication is essential and aims to provide you with the reassurance that we have catered for and provide you with an opportunity to deliver any final instructions.

On The Day

With all the preparation and hard work that goes in to planning a funeral, many people find that they are emotionally drained and exhausted by the time the day of the actual service takes place. By knowing what’s expected of you and how you can equip yourself to get through it, you can take more time to grieve and take part in the proceedings.

Look to Your Funeral Director

Your need to rely on a funeral director is the number one reason why it’s a good idea to choose a funeral service provider, like Gateway Grant Funerals, to ease the burden and uncertainty surrounding funeral arrangements.

Come Prepared

Bring tissues, extra water, snacks, and anything else that might help you keep up your strength for the day ahead.

When to Arrive

Depending on whether you are having a viewing, visitors may begin arriving 30 minutes before the service starts. You are welcome to arrive before visitors if you would like to join our staff in greeting attendees.

Where to Sit

Family members typically sit in a reserved area during a funeral service, often in the front rows of the available seating. Visitors arriving, who may need assistance, will be directed to appropriate seats by our staff.


If your service includes a burial at a cemetery, you will need to take some transportation from the service venue to the cemetery. If you’ve arranged transport with your funeral director, they will guide you to your vehicle after the service. If you are travelling in a cortege following the hearse, your funeral director will update you on how best to travel to the cemetery.

At the Cemetery

When you arrive at the cemetery, everything is typically set up for you. Again, seating is generally reserved for family and the elderly.

Once the funeral is completed, you may leave the cemetery in your own time and depending on your plans, you may go from the cemetery to an after-funeral gathering or wake.

Public Speaking

For some people, it can be even more intimidating to deliver the eulogy than to write it. Public speaking, especially under such emotional circumstances, is a common fear and feeling nervous before delivering your eulogy is natural. Being chosen to eulogize the recently departed is a great honour for which you should be proud. That being said, there are a few tips to follow that will help you get through the delivery of your eulogy:

  • Memorise and practice as much as you can in the days prior to the service
  • Choose some people in the audience and make eye contact with them during the eulogy – this not only makes them feel included, but helps you to gather yourself
  • Take deep breaths and speak slowly
  • Have access to both tissues and water
  • If the emotion becomes too much, stop. Take a breath and try to regain your composure. If you are unable to continue, defer to your back-up person

Writing a Eulogy

Funerals serve to gather family and friends to celebrate a person’s life and while a eulogy is often seen as one of, if not the most important part of the service, they can be intimidating to write.

The most important thing to remember when writing a eulogy is that you should always be honest and authentic about the person. You can approach the eulogy in a purely chronological way, that is a recounting of the life of the person from birth to death, however many people prefer to deliver a characterisation of the person, or an overall picture using anecdotes or stories about fond moments.

Eulogies are different for everyone, but here are some points to keep in mind when writing one:

  • How did you first meet and become close? Think of their achievements and their community involvements.
  • What did you love and admire about the person?
  • What did they do that made you smile – did they have a good sense of humour?
  • Did they travel or love being in nature? Maybe they disliked both.
  • Think of their family, work colleagues and friends. What did they like or dislike?
  • What was their favourite time of day or TV show?
  • How will this person be remembered?
  • What will you miss most?