A day in the life of a Funeral Arranger

Institute of Civil FuneralsCharlotte Graham, Funeral ArrangerEvery day is different, sometimes it can be very busy and then other days it’s very quiet.  I get to meet all sorts of people, doctors, registrars, ministers and I talk to a lot of different people on the telephone, anyone from the Coroners office to the local florist. 

I usually get a message to say that a family will be coming in to see me to arrange a funeral and then sometimes I get the first call from a family who have just suffered a loss.

When the family comes in to see me it takes between an hour and two hours to arrange a funeral.  There are lots of things to think about and the families usually need helping out quite a bit.

When a death occurs a Doctor must issue a Death Certificate.  This is then taken to the registrar where you will register the death.  The registrar will then give you a Certificate for Burial or Cremation (also known as the Green Form).  It is better if a family come in to me with the green form but a funeral can be arranged without one.

As a Funeral Arranger it is my job to guide the family through the process of organising a funeral.

  • Burial or cremation. 
  • What kind of coffin is required,
  • How do they want their loved one dressed
  • Do they want to visit in the chapel of rest
  • How many cars they will need
  • Ordering flowers
  • Writing the floral tribute cards
  • Donations
  • Placing notices in the local and or national newspapers. 
  • Who should officiate? Religious, Humanist or Civil Minister.
  • Listing of mourners in the chapel
  • Order of service
  • Will they require a head stone or a plaque

There is quite a lot of organisation that goes into making the funeral go smoothly.  A lot of dedicated people are involved in the process of laying your loved one to rest. 

I spend my day making phone calls to book ministers, meeting with families, sending faxes and generally bringing everything together.  I can be looking after several families at the same time and so it is critical to dot all the ‘i’s and cross all the ‘t’s  Families come in to visit their loved ones in the chapel of rest, to make arrangements, to pay their bills and sometimes they just come in to have a chat. 

The bearers come in before a ceremony and it is always nice to have the kettle on. 

It is a very rewarding job and the day always seems to go very quickly.

The most satisfying thing is when I get a card from a family or a box of chocolates as a thank you.

Then you know that you have done a good job. 

Charlotte Graham – Funeral Arranger- Nottinghamshire
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