Selecting funeral readings

Most funeral ceremonies include readings, and they provide a poignant opportunity to set the tone of the occasion. To help you come up with the perfect piece, we have shared a few questions for you to think about.

Secular or sacred?

If the funeral service is taking place in a church, or the ceremony will reflect the faith of the deceased, it’s appropriate to consider hymns, prayers, psalms, passages from the Bible or readings from other religious texts. However, a non-religious or humanist ceremony does not typically include religious readings. Your funeral director will be able to discuss potential religious and secular readings with you in more detail as you go about planning the ceremony.

What mood to you want to create?

When exploring potential readings, think about how they make you feel and the emotions they provoke. The reading you select will have a huge impact on the mood of the ceremony and, by including it in the order of service, you are giving attendees the opportunity to take it with them as an enduring memory of the day. Recite potential pieces out loud and consult family and friends. Ask yourself, will the reading:

Finding inspiration 

Did the deceased have a favourite author, poet or playwright? From famous soliloquies by William Shakespeare to Wendy Cope’s pragmatic take on death in her poem My Funeral, the works of literary greats are often a source of inspiration when selecting a funeral reading. An internet search can present you with thousands of options, but don’t be afraid to explore new possibilities. For example, you could consider speaking the lyrics of a favourite song. And while you might feel a much-loved quote is too short to include in the ceremony, you could include it in the order of service.

Personalised poems

For an even more unique reading, you or someone else close to the deceased might consider writing a tribute. It doesn’t have to be a work of literary genius, and it’s a great chance to really add a personal touch to the proceedings. You could share a few memories – perhaps a funny story that conveys the deceased’s personality – and talk about the things you will remember about them long into the future.

Delivering the reading

Give the person who will be doing the reading plenty of time to practice, the more they are familiar with the flow of the piece and any tricky pronunciations, the more confident they will feel when the moment arrives. If you are delivering the reading, take your time and remember that it’s ok to be emotional. If you feel upset, pause and take a deep breath before continuing. And, even if you think you know the reading back-to-front, it’s always advisable to have a written copy with you in case you need a prompt.

Your funeral director will be able to help talk through possible readings. We can help when it comes to finding, comparing and contacting funeral directors that are local to you – click here to enter your postcode and start your search 

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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family
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Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

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Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to [email protected] confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.

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