What is a burial service?
This step-by-step guide provides an overview of what happens before, during and after a burial funeral, ensuring you’re fully prepared for the ceremony.
Read on to find out:
- What paperwork do I need for a burial?
- What happens at a burial service?
- Burial plots
- How much is a burial?
- What to wear to a burial
When arranging a burial service, you should check you have everything you need to start the process. Before a burial funeral can take place, you will need to provide the following paperwork; our caring professionals will make sure these are completed and submitted.
A burial certificate
Also known as the green form, you should obtain this when you register the death of a loved one.
Burial plot application form
If you wish to purchase a new grave or re-open an existing burial plot, you will need to sign an application form which is often issued by your local council or cemetery.
The exclusive right of burial is typically purchased for a period of 75 years and the burial plot will have certain conditions attached to it depending on the type of grave.
If your family already own the Exclusive Rights of Burial for a grave, and you can produce either the Deed of Exclusive Rights of Burial or evidence that you are the proper person to have the Burial Rights, then arrangements can be made for an interment to take place.
If a coroner or procurator fiscal is involved
If a coroner holds an inquest, an order for burial (form 101) will be issued in place of the green form.
In Scotland, if a post-mortem is held, the death certificate will be issued by the pathologist. The funeral can take place after the death certificate is issued. A copy of the post-mortem examination report, which usually gives the cause of death, can also be requested.
What happens before a burial?
Before the burial takes place, the hearse will take the coffin or casket to the cemetery or churchyard and limousines carrying chief mourners will follow in the funeral procession.
Depending on the beliefs of you and your loved one, a burial service can be religious or non-religious. Some burials begin with a separate funeral service, which can be held in a place of worship or other venue separate from the cemetery.
Whether the burial is in a churchyard, cemetery or woodland burial site, we prepare the burial plot in advance, ensuring it is the correct size and in the right place ready for when the service is held.
A burial ceremony is usually a short service held after the main funeral service as the coffin is lowered into the ground. Mourners are often invited to attend the burial, which may include short readings and prayers, depending on religious beliefs.
It is common tradition to scatter soil onto the coffin after it has been lowered, while other people may choose to throw funeral flowers into the grave. When the ceremony concludes, family and friends place floral tributes near the grave.
Our professional and understanding Funeral Directors will be on hand to help you check local regulations and availability when choosing a grave or burial plot, also known as a 'cemetery plot', for your loved one.
You may already have a family burial plot which we can arrange to be reopened before burial. If this is the case, we will require the deeds and relevant paperwork. Please do not worry if this paperwork isn’t available, as we will be able to help locate these for you.
If you would like your family to be buried close to each other, you can inquire about purchasing or reserving multiple plots. If this is the case, please speak to the local authorities about their specific burial plot rules and regulations.
Burial costs vary significantly across the UK and are beyond our control. Our funeral professionals will be on hand to co-ordinate these third party costs.
Have you ever wondered how much a burial going to cost you? When you’re planning a burial service for your loved one, it’s important to keep costs in mind. Let’s break down some of the important burial expenses so you can budget accordingly:
- The exclusive right of burial (EROB) – this is the physical space itself, often known as the burial plot
- The interment – this fee is for the preparation of the burial plot or grave
- Reopening an existing burial plot
- Removal and replacement of existing memorials
- Purchasing a new memorial or headstone
- The coffin or casket for your loved one
Discover more about the cost of a burial funeral.
It’s important to take your loved one’s wishes into account when deciding on how to plan a burial service. Please remember that if the deceased was not a resident of the area you wish to bury them in, unfortunately the cost may be significantly more. Our Funeral Directors will be able to advise you on costs and local charges.
What to wear to a burial depends entirely if you are planning a traditional burial and personal preference. Burial traditions vary through religion, beliefs and culture. Some people may make their wishes clear in their funeral planning, by specifying a dress code.
Many people wear black to burial services, but more and more, it is requested that the attendees wear bright colours. If you are unsure, we recommend checking with the immediate family beforehand. For more advice, read our guide on what to wear to a funeral.
Talk to your local Funeral Director about arranging a burial funeral
Your local Dignity Funeral Director will be able to guide you through the whole process of arranging a burial funeral for your loved one.
Search for your local Funeral Director