Funerals For All Cultures – Since 1883

No matter what your background or heritage may be, funerals are a part of life for all cultures. Since our beginnings in 1883, the Smith family have furnished the requirements of families from diverse cultural, religious and non-religious backgrounds. It continues to be our privilege to uphold your traditions old and new in our chapel or the venue of your choosing.

If you have any questions about your requirements please let us know.

Working With You

No matter what your religious and cultural requirements are for the funeral,  we are respectfully here to work with you to fulfil them.  Following are some of the special elements that may be needed:-

For some faiths the transfer of their loved one from the place of death into our care, can involve a ritual, ceremony, prayer or procession. For example, there are Aged Care facilities with religious affiliations that arrange their staff and residents to take part in a guard of honour, through which our funeral staff move the deceased, covered in a special ceremonial blanket, whilst a hymn is played on musical instruments.

Ceremonial dressing of a loved one involves family members and sometimes cultural or religious leaders, in the process of dressing their loved one. Sometimes the dressing will also include family placing the deceased into the coffin. We have a private room available for dressings.

Usually a vigil will take place at a church on an evening prior to the funeral service and is an occasion for devotional watching, or an observance, sometimes including prayers, candles and other rituals. Vigils can also take place in a family home.

Saying a Rosary for a loved one is a tradition for many Catholic families. Our Kate Mary Chapel has been the venue for many families to gather in the early evening, usually on the eve of the funeral, to say the Rosary in the presence of their loved one. On some occasions a priest or vocalist will lead the Rosary, otherwise a family member will take on this role.

Other religions will have a prayer evening/s prior to the funeral, during which ceremonial prayers and practices take place.

The Funeral Ceremony can include different elements for different cultures, including:-
– wearing of ceremonial dress
– placing of ceremonial seating, matting, drapery and symbols
– floral picture frames and other floral arrangements
– incense
– gifts
– singing
– dancing

For some cultures, witnessing the cremation is an important final part of the funeral ritual. This can also include a priest, monk or nun saying prayers.

Some cultures require the burial to take place in a certain time frame. Others have items they lay in the grave prior to the coffin being lowered. There are also occasions where family members will fill the grave in by hand.

Traditionally the wake involved family and friends gathering at home around the body of a loved one, often across a period of days. In modern times the wake has come to symbolise the gathering of mourners after the funeral service and committal are complete, for the purpose of refreshment, remembering and celebrating the person who has passed.