What type of funeral can I have at a natural burial ground?

17th June 2021#funerals
What type of funeral can I have at a natural burial ground?

Sarah Wickham

Marketing Coordinator/Landowner

What type of funeral can I have at a Natural Burial Ground?’ This is one of the questions we have been asked in the past and wanted to answer for those who may have the same question.

What type of funeral can I arrange?

A funeral is a chance to celebrate a person’s life whilst also coming to terms with their departure. The great thing about a natural burial ground is that you can plan the type of funeral service you want.

This can be or religious (you can bless a plot) or non-religious. You can have a simple committal or a full service and choose an officiant that fits you as a family. You may wish to have a burial following a funeral service in a church, chapel, temple or mosque. However, a funeral service can take place anywhere. So, if you have chosen to have a celebrant you may wish to hold the funeral service at the family home or at a place special to you. You can also choose to have the whole event at the natural burial ground with a picnic wake and marquee following the funeral.

There are no rules – natural burial grounds offer a blank canvas. A place upon which you can design your own style of funeral. Whether this is a simple or direct burial, a close family gathering or a large intricate affair. This also extends to commemorative events like ashes interment and memorials. If you are planting a tree or placing a plaque you there is no reason you can’t add in a few special touches.

Make it personal

There are many ways you can personalise a funeral or celebration of life. These include songs poetry or bringing mementoes from a special hobby. Simple acts like asking people to wear bright colours or a favourite team’s strip can make all the difference. We always advise wellies or sturdy footwear and an umbrella just in case.

You can decorate the coffin yourselves; have an open-air picnic following the service. You may even want to bring the dogs, horse or motorbike. Others have chosen to include a special ceremony like releasing doves. You can let yourself be creative and individual and take as long as you need.

You don’t have to follow any set format. If you have a particular vision, for example, a New Orleans jazz band and everyone dressed in purple. A piper leading the procession or a pizza picnic in the meadow after the burial, we can make this happen.

Who can help to arrange the funeral?

Funeral directors and celebrants are very resourceful, they are there to help you arrange the funeral, as are our custodians. If you have a special idea these people should be able to help you arrange whatever you want at our burial grounds. If you are arranging a DIY funeral then contact us directly and we can work with you to arrange your ideal send-off.

Ministers, celebrants and humanists can provide a framework for the event. Having someone to lead the service and say the formal farewell can help make the day a bit easier. They can also offer support and give the ok to depart at the end of the burial, which is usually the hardest thing to do.

They are there to guide you, plan the ceremony, music and who will speak. Often they will share ideas you may not have considered. They can also identify opportunities where family, friends or children can be involved. You may even have a close family member or friend who would like to take the service. However, it’s important to note it can be overwhelming so make sure they are 100% confident they can do this on the day. Many celebrants will help to write a funeral with you and will stand in as a backup if needed, so this is another option.

Take inspiration from others

Sometimes, so much freedom can be daunting, especially at such a difficult time. It can be useful to hear ideas from others that have arranged a funeral or natural burial. This can include the personal touches that made the day. How they strayed from the ‘normal’ or ‘traditional’ ways of doing things to make it special for them.

To help we have a collection of inspiring stories from families who have done their own thing. These provide some great ideas. In addition to this, our custodians are also a wealth of information. They are always happy to offer advice so please don’t hesitate to give them a call.

We are here to answer your questions

If you have a question about natural burial you would like us to answer please get in touch.