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Frequently 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? 
The "best" 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:

1. Religious.

Based on Bible scriptures, with prayers and music from the religion of the deceased.

2. Spiritual.

This service draws from emotional and inspirational sources, but is not limited to the Bible.

3. Humanist.

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:

   A. Song   B. Prayer   C. Obituary   D. Reading of Scripture 
E. Song
   F. Eulogy   G. Song   H. Prayer

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.

                 Funerals 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 before hand.

Purpose 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


Sample Memorial Ceremony

We have gathered here today to honor the memory of [name].

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.

here 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 us.

      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 gain. “

       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.]

s 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 it’s been said:

      “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

(Click here to go to Funeral Readings and Poems)


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Given unto God
Given unto God

Use this checklist to keep track of information as you make funeral plans. (Just copy and paste on a Word document for printing)


Doctor or hospice nurse




Funeral home




Relatives and friends







Executor of will


Insurance company


Policy number


Bank account number(s)







Credit card account number(s)






Professional organizations


Veteran’s discharge or  claim number






Utility companies




Post Office


Social Security office


Social Security number



Funeral Decisions

Cemetery property


Gravestone inscription




Time and place of visitation


Time and place of funeral service


Casket or urn


Clothing for the deceased




Flowers and florist


Music and musicians


Readings and readers



Information for Obituary

Date of death


Date of birth




Marital status


Place of birth




Cause of death


Father’s name


Mother’s name


Spouse’s name


Children’s names


Other survivors





 Personal Funeral Service Layout

Personal Attention to Detail
Dignity and respect reflect your loved one's life


Unauthorized use of Content & Images is strictly Prohibited
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