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Religious Funeral Services

Sydney’s Family Funeral Services can help to organise religious funeral services across Sydney with ceremonies tailored to the customs and beliefs of your religious practice.

As leading Sydney funeral directors we specialise in organising ceremonies catering for religions including:

  • Christian
  • Catholic
  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Orthodox
  • Sikh
  • Islamic
  • And others

We recognise that each religion has different and precise customs to be followed, and this is often in addition to the deceased’s family’s requests. Sydney’s Family Funeral Services is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist with service arrangements and we make sure all your requests are carried out.

Burial or Cremation

Burial or cremation will depend on the type of religious service. Our Sydney funeral directors can arrange either at your request. In general, Orthodox and Muslim religions forbid cremation while most Christian denominations allow it; and it is the usual choice of Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs.

The law requires that a coffin is always used, except for members of the Muslim religion. Muslims have a special dispensation to be buried in certain cemeteries in a shroud (according to their religious practices and beliefs).

Our Sydney funeral directors can provide more information about religious funeral services across Sydney, burial options as well as available service arrangements and costs.

Christian Services

A typical Christian service may include elements such as:

  • The Bidding – A welcome, those attending are invited to remember the deceased, give thanks for their life and grieve the loss.
  • The Word – What the Bible and church says about death, expressed in prayers, readings and hymns. This also includes a summary of the life, work and personality of the deceased.
  • Prayer – All are invited to recall their relationship with the deceased and review their own lives in relationship to God.
  • The Commendation and Farewell – Wishes for the soul of the deceased to find rest, peace and a life hereafter. This also provides an opportunity for the bereaved to say their last goodbyes.
  • The Committal – This is when the coffin is lowered into the earth for burial, or moved behind a curtain at the crematorium.

Family Funeral Services provides professional services for all families regardless of religion. With our years of experience, we have worked with most major religions, and will strictly adhere to all the appropriate customs and traditions. We will be with you through every step of this difficult process.

Catholic Funeral Services

There are three main stages to a traditional Catholic funeral.

  • Reception of the body. Also known as the Prayer Vigil, this usually happens on the eve of the actual funeral. The coffin is taken into the church where family and friends gather to pray. This stage is also an ideal time for loved ones to spend some quiet time with the coffin to prepare themselves for the funeral.
  • The funeral service. The Catholic Church recommends having a mass with the service. This step is not required, however. Family Funeral Services are flexible and will arrange the service according to your requirements.
  • The committal. If the person is to be buried, the guests will follow the coffin outside to the gravesite and perform prayers before the burial.

Buddhist Funeral

  • The funeral service. The funeral process itself will be presided over by monks who then perform Buddhist rites. Others may conduct this service if monks are not available. During the ritual, the guests may offer appropriate prayers, burn incense, and ring gong bells depending on the denomination.
  • The cremation or burial. After the sermon and rites, the body may be buried or cremated, the latter of which is more traditional.

Hindu Funerals

  • Wake. There is usually a brief wake held in a Hindu funeral. This is a time when families and loved ones can view and pay respects to the body. During this stage, the guests will gather around the body, recite appropriate hymns and perform rituals.
  • Cremation. Traditionally, most Hindus are cremated. Although it is acceptable to transport the casket by car, it is also more traditional to carry the casket to the cremation site. The designated relative will perform the necessary rituals before the body is cremated.
  • Post funeral reception. After the cremation, the family may invite a priest back to their homes to purify it with incense.

Sikh Funerals

A Sikh funeral can vary in the amount of stages involved. At times there is a service before the cremation, and then another at the Gurdwara after the cremation. These services are, however, not required – and some families may prefer to just have a cremation and prayers. Whichever procedure is decided upon, Family Funeral Services will arrange all that is required to have the funeral run smoothly and respectfully.

  • Cremation. The most important aspect of the Sikh funeral is the cremation process. At the site of the cremation, hymns are sung and speeches are made about the deceased.

Orthodox Funerals

  • Funeral Service. The priest will conduct the service in church shortly after the wake is over. The priest will lead the service by singing the hymn of Trisagion. Once this is complete, the casket is opened and the deceased is placed on display for the remaining portion of the funeral. Traditional rituals are then performed before going into prayers.
  • Burial. Cremation is forbidden in an Orthodox Funeral. The families and friends will approach the casket for final goodbyes. After the priest performs more rituals, the body is then buried.

Islamic Funerals

When a Muslim dies, the body is to be buried as soon as possible; there is no viewing or wake.

  • Funeral Service. Funeral prayers are to be performed by all members of the community inside the designated area. This could be the prayer room, study room, or mosque courtyard, but not inside the mosque itself.
  • Burial: After the prayers are said, the body is transported to the cemetery for burial. There are traditional guidelines that need to be followed, and Family Funeral Services will follow the appropriate specifications while providing room for adjustments where requested.

Personalise Your Service

Our Sydney funeral directors can help you personalise Sydney-based religious funeral services and offer suggestions for elements to include so that the service is a true reflection of your loved one. You may wish to consider:

  • Memorial books and cards
  • Pipers and music
  • Floral arrangements and tributes
  • Candles and other ornaments

We can also arrange a professional celebrant to officiate at non-religious services.

Create a Memorable Tribute

Contact Family Funeral Services in Sydney to arrange a religious remembrance ceremony or memorial as unique as your loved one. Telephone (02) 9672 6188 or send an online enquiry today.

Family Funeral Services is part of Heaven Address, an online community where families can share precious memories of loved ones.