Asked Questions about Funeral Services
Do you have to be a member of a Church to have a funeral service?
No. Rev. Daniel Brits is a non-denominational Minister.
His services are available to anyone.
How does he view a funeral service?
As a celebration of the life of the deceased and
the beginning of a new journey.
Are services personalized?
Yes. It is his policy to meet with the family before the service. His goal
is to learn all he can about the deceased so that the service can be centred on the meaning and memory of his/her life.
Are services always religious in nature?
No. every service is tailored to meet families’ needs.
What is the best way to have a service?
is what fits the deceased’s life, the surviving family second, and friends, third. No two services are the same.
In general, there are three types of services:
Based on Bible scriptures, with prayers and music from the religion of the deceased.
This service draws from emotional and inspirational sources, but is not limited to the Bible.
Not a religious service. Material is used that is appropriate to the life of the deceased.
How much is the honorarium?
The amount depends on the distance travelled by the Minister to and
from the venue.
Guide To The Funeral Service And Its Terminology
Order of Service
Words apply to the funeral service and the order in which parts of the funeral service are arranged. A service can
be done in any order with many different add-ons depending on the family’s requirements.
Religious services often follow an arrangement
such as this:
Song B. Prayer C.
Obituary D. Reading
Song F. Eulogy G. Song
Humanist or Spiritual services normally have poems and other readings but these can be substitute for songs, prayers
and Scripture readings. It all depends on what the family feels is appropriate.
Here a brief; historical accounting of the deceased’s life are given as received by the family.
The Obituary read at the service is usually more comprehensive than the one used for funeral notices in the newspaper. It
can be written by a family member or the Minister.
A formal speech in praise of the deceased. Often written by a family member (or family members)
and read by one of them, or the Minister, at the service.
The service at the grave
side after the funeral service. It is usually brief and often includes the reading of appropriate scriptures or poems and
a prayer. Sometimes a song is included. There is usually no committal service for cremation services.
A term sometimes referring to the funeral service. More often it applies specifically to rituals to be conducted
at the funeral service and/or at the committal service, by organizations such as the Masons, African Cultures, Eastern Star,
military organizations, fraternal organizations, and others. The minister needs to know if any of these are participating
in the service so he can coordinate it with his service.
Soloist, Violist or Organist
Musicians are most of the time volunteering
or are hired to perform music at the service. Recorded music is often used either alone, or in conjunction with soloists,
at funeral services.
Some traditions use a pall, which is a cloth used to cover or drape the
casket. In the case of military veterans, the national flag is often draped as a pall over the casket.
Planning the Funeral Service
The Minister will work closely with those who wish to be involved in the service. Ideally, he will meet with you and anyone
you wish to be present to understand your needs to create the service and get to know about the person who has died. This
ensures the ceremony will have a really emotional status or personal flavour and be an appropriate remembrance for all.
If you are holding the ceremony at a Cemetery or Crematorium
chapel: Make sure your Minister is available. It is a good idea to let the Funeral
Director know that you wish to use a particular Ministers services before you book a time and date for the service.
Ceremonies do not have to be in a Church or Chapel, other locations
can be found. There are no rules about this in South Africa, as long as you have
permission from the owners of the land or building to be there.
and memorial ceremonies can be held anywhere, in your own home, garden, club, burial sites, golf courses or mountainside.
Some sites requires permission from the local authority under whose controls such site might be. Please obtain it in writing
of the Funeral Service
· To join family and friends together for mutual support.
To cope with grief.
· To provide opportunity to say goodbye.
· To provide recognition of the pain that death brings.
· To provide time and place to share memories of the deceased.
· To affirm the value of the person who died.
· To try to make some sense out of the loss of life.
· To find comfort in religious and other affirmations of hope.
· To hear the proper words said.
· To publicly acknowledge that death has occurred
and that it is final
We have gathered here today to honor the memory
Although [he/she] is no longer with us, [he/she] lives on in our thoughts and in our hearts. Each of us—whether
a member of [his/her] family or a friend—has been touched by our experiences with [him/her] and each of us has come
today to honor those moments.
There comes a time for each of us—the
final break when the voice we loved and appreciated never speaks again and there is no response from a source that failed
We recognize today that though the physical
presence is gone, the relationship does not end. [name]’s death ends [his/her] physical presence among us, but not our
relationship with [him/her]. And so, today, we have come together to celebrate the life of [name].
It has been said:
“When the beloved is no
longer present, the work we do upon the image of him/her is not to cease… we are to review the whole existence of him/her
as we have probably never done while he/she was with us. We are to get the total perspective of his/her life, to see the fine
qualities standing out more distinctly; to seize the net result of his/her existence… thus what he/she was is our permanent
In this spirit, we will now share some
of our memories of [name]:
[The family members, friends, and the congregation as a whole shares memories and readings.]
As we leave here today, let us hold within each of us the many
fine qualities and experiences of [name] that have been shared today, using them in our lives to build a better world for
ourselves and others.
“For death does not end life but
is part of it, one of nature’s transformations as we work our way through its cycles. Death informs life. It is not
simply the mother of beauty; it is the mother of life itself, for how could we conceive of life if there were no death? And
it is only because we conceive of life that we know we must taste it lingeringly, try every flavour and nuance, and drink
in experience while we can. Death and life are dependent upon each other, like order and chaos, neither concept being possible
without the other. So there should be no fear of death, which is omnipresent, part of life. Welcome it into your arms, for
it is but rest; for you lie in nature like a heartbeat.”
The family and I appreciate you being here today to honor [name], whose memory will
live on through each and every one of us. Amen
FUNERAL READINGS AND POEMS
(Click here to go to Funeral Readings and Poems)