DIY funeral

Arranging a do-it-yourself funeral

Choosing to do a funeral yourself can be incredibly rewarding and provide family and friends of whatever religious or spiritual persuasion with a memorable, warm and personal experience.  Whilst there is a significant amount of co-ordination required for the relevant paperwork, coffin and funeral service, this can be reduced by dividing the work between family and friends.

Main considerations:

  • Legal paperwork
  • Death certificate
  • Medical certificate for cause of death signed by 2 doctors (for cremations only)
  • Release of body form (from Coroner’s office when necessary)
  • Booking and payment of burial or cremation and grave digging where required
  • Booking minister, celebrant or orator
  • Notifying other mourners of funeral – date, time and place
  • Ordering coffin
  • Collection and transport of deceased
  • Order of ceremony and music
  • Arrange – music, transport for mourners, flowers, orders of service, donations
  • Wake – venue and refreshments where required

Suggestion for Order of Ceremony

Every funeral is unique and can be arranged to suit you.   Below we suggest how a ceremony might be structured but this is open to your own personal choice:

  • Introductory music
  • Words of welcome
  • Thoughts on life and death from a religious, spiritual or non-religious perspective
  • The tribute – an outline of the life and personality of the person who has died
  • Music
  • Readings of poetry and prose
  • Reflection – a few moments for private thoughts about the person who has died, either in silence or accompanied by music
  • The committal – when the curtains are closed or coffin lowered
  • Closing words – including thanks on your behalf
  • Final music

Need a little help?

Some people want to do a DIY funeral but need help in some areas.  We are happy to help with any of the following and to quote a price depending on mileage etc:

  • Collection of the deceased from your home, a hospital, hospice or nursing home and subsequent care for them in our Resting Place.
  • Washing and dressing.
  • Viewings or vigils.
  • Purchase of a coffin from our range of environmentally-friendly coffins.
  • Transport of the deceased to the funeral in our Volvo estate.
  • Supply of orders of ceremony.

Useful information:

For further information we cannot recommend enough the Natural Death Centre and the Good Funeral Guide

Other useful information is to be found through the British Humanist Association, whilst music selections can be made easier by visiting Wesley Music at

There is a lot of further information which we hope to add as we develop the website.


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