Cremation and funerals

Registering the death is regarded as the beginning of making the funeral arrangements. If the death has been registered, the Council may not be able to help in further arrangements, or make any payments. 

You can find information about registering a death on the Lincolnshire County Council website. You cannot finalise the date for a funeral until you have registered the death. The date may also be affected if the death has to be reported to the coroner.

Once the registration service has received the medical cause of death certificate from the hospital or GP surgery, a registrar will call the next of kin to gather the relevant information from the informant.  Following the registration the death certificate(s) and other information will be sent by post. By law, this should still happen within five days of the death occurring.  However, there may be some unforeseen delays, especially when a Coroner is involved.

Normally, relatives of the deceased will appoint a funeral director to organise the funeral. Their duties may include the moving of the body, arranging viewing of the deceased, and providing a coffin and hearse, among other things.

The most common types of funeral services fall under these four basic categories:

  • Traditional Full Service Burial
  • Direct Burial
  • Full Service Cremation
  • Direct Cremation
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Traditional full service burial

A traditional funeral service includes a viewing or visitation, a funeral ceremony, and burial at the gravesite. Also known as a “full service” funeral, traditional funerals tend to be the main package offered by most funeral homes. It starts off with a viewing/visitation, where attendees can view the body and pay their respects to the family. Embalming is usually recommended for viewings, although the casket can remain closed per the family’s wishes.

A funeral service follows the viewing/visitation and is held at a funeral home, church, or other event space. Traditional funerals usually include elements such as prayers, eulogies, readings, and music. Afterwards, the body is transported by procession to the cemetery/burial location and interred in the grave. There may also be a funeral reception or repast for family and friends of the deceased to come together after the burial.

Direct burial

A direct burial, sometimes called an affordable burial or immediate burial, happens when the deceased is buried shortly after death without any funeral service or other formal ceremony. The funeral home obtains the death certificate and required permits, prepares the body, and arranges transportation to the cemetery for burial.

Direct burial tends to be an affordable funeral option as embalming of the body isn’t necessary and a simple box can be used for burial instead of an expensive casket. The lack of ceremonial services also cuts down on overall funeral costs, but the cost of the cemetery plot should be taken into account when figuring total expenses. Cemetery grave plots can be pricey depending on the location.

Full service cremation

A full service cremation includes a viewing or visitation, a funeral service and basic cremation services.  Because there is a viewing, typically the body will be embalmed. The cremated ashes are placed in an urn which can be buried below or above ground, scattered, or kept by the family.

Direct cremation

A direct cremation happens when the deceased is cremated shortly after death without any funeral service or other formal ceremony. Embalming is unnecessary as there is no viewing/visitation, and a cardboard container can be used for the cremation process. Direct cremation is an inexpensive funeral option and is rapidly growing in popularity with price-conscious consumers.

What is a graveside service?

A graveside service (also known as committal service) can be held for individuals that are either buried or cremated and occurs when the funeral service takes place at the cemetery or burial site. Funeral attendees gather at the grave site for a ceremony led by a chosen officiant and as with traditional funeral services, there may be eulogy readings, prayers, and music (although a graveside service tends to be a shorter affair).

After the service the body is lowered into the grave or placed in a mausoleum or crypt. If the deceased was cremated, the urn holding the ashes can either be buried, scattered, or placed in a columbarium niche.

What is a memorial service?

A memorial service differs from a funeral service in that the body is not present. A memorial service is usually held after the deceased is buried and there is no viewing or visitation. However if cremation was the method of disposition, the urn containing the cremated ashes can be present during the memorial service.

Some families hold memorial services as a way to memorialize their loved ones, while others view memorial services as celebration of life events where family and friends of the deceased can gather in remembrance, share memories, and support each other in grief.