In the unfortunate event that one of our loved ones passes away, there are many steps that we will have to take in order to “send-off” our loved ones on to their next stage of existence. After attending to the legal requirements, as discussed in the previous part of this series (click here to read more), the next step is to plan the funeral.
Planning a funeral can be complicated, due to the array of choices and options to choose from. You may find yourself overwhelmed and stressed out during this time, which is the last thing anyone needs during their time of grief. Let’s run through the general steps when it comes to planning and conducting a funeral, hopefully giving you a wider perspective of the situation. Potentially giving you a clearer mind, resulting in a smoother, stress-free planning process.
Start planning the funeral.
The first step is to engage a funeral planning service. These services will be there for you throughout the entire process, aiding you step by step through the entire process. You can think of a funeral planner as someone similar to a travel agent. They will customize your funeral experience by giving you a choice of locations for the ceremony, religious ritual and even food for guests - to suit any budget. A couple of such services available in Hong Kong can be provided by Kung Sau Funeral services or Universal Funeral Parlour. In general, most funeral services start with general advice, whereby they will answer funeral related queries, provide quotations and even assist in the handling of documents such as the death certificate and cremation/burial permit, if applicable. Due to the tightly packed schedules of crematoriums, you will be asked to choose the crematorium you would like and the date of cremation. However, through this, the date may not be confirmed. The cremation date could be the day after the funeral ceremony or a few days after. In certain situations, if the preferred cremation date cannot be acquired, the body may be held in the funeral parlour till the cremation date. This aside, it is just how the process works in Hong Kong, rather than worrying about the date of cremation you should go ahead with the funeral planning as the final cremation date is essentially out of your control. Leave it to the agent of your funeral service that you have engaged to arrange the dates.
The next step is funeral planning, where the funeral ceremony will be planned as per the wishes and religion of your lost loved one. At the same time, an obituary can be drafted, and relatives and friends should be informed of the loss and the upcoming funeral ceremony. From there, behind the scenes, the company will pick up the deceased from the mortuary and transport them to their parlour, where the corpse will be prepared for the funeral ceremony (cleaning, embalmment, make-up, etc.). Once all the planning and preparations are complete, the funeral ceremony is ready to proceed.
Flower wreaths are a common arrangement for funerals to show support.
Funerals are solemn events, where the bereaved can greave and send off their lost loved to their next stage of existence. Many families opt for the best options and try their best to provide the most elaborate and grand funeral ceremonies for the deceased. It is heart-warming to see people put in so much time and effort into planning a funeral to send off their loved ones from their last stop on this earth. After the funeral, the next step is burial. The burial option chosen can be everlasting and forms a place where families are able to commemorate the life the deceased and there are many options available. Click here to read about burial options and their associated costs in Hong Kong.
A typical hearse in Hong Kong