What happens at a cremation service?

Your loved one is transported in a coffin to a Crematorium, often in a hearse.

They are safely carried in (by either family bearers or the team of bearers provided by the funeral director) and placed on a raised platform at the front, called a catafalque, within a room with chairs in, like a hall.

The venue is often plain, so that it can be personalised. Some crematoriums have screens where a photo of your loved one can be projected, and their favourite colour could be chosen for the ceiling lights.

Family and friends then follow your loved one into the venue  with family seated at the front. A Service Booklet may be on the seats which provides you with an Order of Service.

The service content can incorporate many things such as talks, songs, photographs, videos, contributions which all then lead to a ‘committal moment’ all chosen by the family.

During the committal, I will ask the room to stand for a few final words of farewell. Sometimes a curtain is closed, or the coffin is lowered out of sight to indicate the end of the service. This is the family’s choice, and I can support you in finding what feels most comfortable in helping you to eventually walk out.

You could do something visually different instead. For example:

  • Putting a lens cap on a camera.
  • Lowering a photograph
  • Blowing out a candle
  • Closing a music book on a stand.
  • Children and loved ones can also press the curtain button themselves
  • A final item placed upon the coffin, like a stemmed flower

When the service has finished, everyone will then leave the space.

The coffin will then be safely, and respectfully moved and taken to another room to start the cremation process.

Hi Jen,

On behalf of our family I would like to thank you for everything you did today.

From the lovely personal gesture of wearing walking boots to the way you delivered my nephew’s story with such feeling.

I can’t imagine anyone could have done a better job.

We are so fortunate that the Funeral Director introduced you to us.

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Xxxx

What is the cremation process?

Cremation is a simple process that transforms the remains of a person who has died into ashes using intense heat, and once the cremation is complete, they are returned to the deceased’s family.

The ashes are tiny bone fragments, typically light grey or white in colour and the texture is relatively uniform, but coarse – and a little heavier than you expect!

The machine used to cremate bodies is called a cremator, and the building where the cremation takes place is called a crematorium.

Families have many options of what they can then do with their loved one’s ashes. Some choose to:

  • Bury them into the ground (Interment)
  • Scatter them
  • Use the ashes within jewellery
  • Create keepsakes such as teddies
  • Within ink for a tattoo!
  • Made into art, placed within a firework – even sent into space!

How long does a cremation service last?

All crematoriums have an alloted time for a cremation service of roughly 20- 35 minutes, depending on the location.

Longer ‘double slot’ services can be arranged, but you will need to organise it through your Funeral Director and crematorium at an additional cost.

Thank you so much Jen for your lovely handling of the occasion.

Your warmth, humour, sensitivity, and positivity!

Everyone came away uplifted and reinvigorated, and a lot of that was due to the gentle way you handled the service.

Ideas to personalise your loved one’s service

  • Place a framed photo of the person who has died at the front of the service
  • A side table set up with lots of their personal things
  • Play music that was enjoyed by the deceased at the start, middle and end
  • Read poems or excerpts from a favourite book or verse
  • Walk out with something special like a daffodil bulb, favourite sweet, seeds etc
  • Create a slideshow of photographs that is accompanied to their favourite song
  • Have a live stream webcast for those who can’t physically attend

What happens after the cremation service?

The close family will often leave the crematorium first. Family members may line up outside the door to greet people as they leave the service.

There might be a wake or social gathering planned for after the cremation service – these further plans will be up to the family to decide.

If the family chose to use limousines, the funeral director can take them to the wake, or back to their home.

Afterwards, with your consent, I creatively represent your loved one’s service on my social media (without breaking their confidentiality) with a unique post for you to see.

Facebook: Jen Watson, Funeral Celebrant. JW Celebrancy 

(The social media post does not contain personal details, names or their coffin. It is a visual representation of your loved one’s funeral.)

How I support you

There are 3 main stages for every funeral service:

  • I meet with you, the family
  • Prepaing the service. Lots of typing, phone calls and emails with you to create a bespoke and personal funeral service for your loved one
  • I deliver your loved one’s service
  • 1 Precious Keepsake


Funeral Services

From £230 - £400

Under 18yrs

I charge a 50% fee to cover my expenses, but donate my time and specialism.

Local Crematoriums

Faversham & Mid Kent
(Memoria) Crematorium

Barham (Westerleigh) Crematorium

Charing (Westerleigh) Crematorium

Herne Bay, (Westerleigh) Crematorium

Herne Bay crem has 2 curtains.
Below: 'Closed Voil Curtain' option

(This gives families the ability to 'close the curtains' but still see their loved one.)