Customising the Funeral Service

A funeral service is a special celebration of someone’s life, and can be personalised to reflect the wishes and personality of your loved one. Resthaven Funerals can guide you through the various options to create a meaningful remembrance.

Whether you’d like a grand or simple funeral, a simple cremation service, or have cultural or religious requirements, we’ll create it for you. After all, the funeral service is an important way for friends and family to come together. Not only to share their sorrow, but also to remember the good times, the humorous moments, hear their favourite music, and hear tributes and stories from people of all ages.

Arranging A Funeral
Arranging A Funeral

Here are some considerations for customising your loved one’s funeral service:

    Pacific Island and Maori funerals

    Many Maori and Pacific Island families choose to have the deceased at home or on a marae, and we can arrange that for you.

    Religious and cultural choices

    Resthaven Funerals can arrange any type of funeral: religious funerals, non-religious funerals, agnostic funerals, atheist funerals, spiritual funerals, Chinese funerals, Muslim funerals, Jewish funerals, Indian funeral, Christian burials and funerals, Asian funerals, natural burials… whatever you have in mind, contact us and we can make it happen.

    Burial or cremation

    Your loved one may have made their wishes known ahead of time, whether they would prefer to be buried or cremated. If not, it is up to the family to choose, and Resthaven Funerals can guide you through the process and make arrangements for you.

    There are four options:

    • Burial: This involves buying a burial plot, paying an interment fee (to cover the cost of digging and maintaining the grave), and buying a monument or headstone.
    • Cremation: Ashes may be interred in a cemetery, scattered in a special place, or at sea. Many people choose to split the ashes between different places, and a memorial or plaque is often chosen to provide a place for the family to visit.
    • Burial at sea: There are strict guidelines around this, and Resthaven Funerals can help. It requires a special casket, which we can provide, and there are specially designated areas off the New Zealand coastline for burial at sea. We can make all the arrangements for you.
    • Donating a body or organs to medical science: If this option is of interest, the decision and arrangements need to be made prior to death. Resthaven Funeral services can guide you through this process.


    If family and friends are travelling from overseas to attend the funeral service, it may be necessary to delay it, in which case embalming will be required. This disinfects and preserves your loved one during the funeral period, and also creates a more natural appearance.

    Coffins and Urns

    There are many choices when it comes to selecting a coffin (casket) and/or urn. Read more about our range of coffins and urns.

    Funeral ceremony

    Some of the important elements to consider for the funeral ceremony are:

    • Venue: Resthaven Funerals has two Auckland funeral homes – one in Howick; the other in Manurewa. We can also provide our funeral services at churches, mosques, temples, other places of worship, marae, and other locations.
    • Movement: You will need to consider how the casket will be brought in and taken out of the memorial service; who will carry it; and whether you want special music, movement, dancing, or a guard of honour.
    • Symbols: Adding items that were meaningful to your loved one creates a special touch. This could be flowers from their garden, books and poems, candles, shells, photographs, and videos, for example.
    • Music: During the funeral service, you can play the music they liked most, whether it’s classical, rock, country, opera, hymns, or pop music.

    Funeral service programme

    The funeral service programme is a beautiful printed memento of your loved one’s life during, and can include photos, poems, stories, tributes, or anything else you wish.

    Resthaven Funerals creates professionally designed funeral service programmes that you will cherish. Here are some examples of our work:

    Photo slideshow

    Photo slideshows and PowerPoint presentations are a wonderful way of sharing photos and videos of your loved one during the funeral service, with the option to add music as well. You’re welcome to provide your own presentation, or we can create it for you when you supply us with photos and any other materials you’d like included.

    Eulogy writing

    The funeral service is a wonderful opportunity to share your loved one’s life story, and to remember who they were. A eulogy is a summary that covers important or interesting aspects of the deceased’s life.

    If you’re wondering how to write a eulogy and what to include, here are some pointers:

    • Important milestones: birthplace, early childhood, marriages, family life, significant moves, and changes of career.
    • Educational, sporting, and career achievements.
    • Hobbies, club memberships, and charity involvement.
    • Preferences in music, literature, theatre, and so on.
    • Characteristic words and sayings.
    • Personal qualities.

    Anecdotes and stories are a wonderful way to make a eulogy memorable and personal. As this is a celebration of your loved one’s life, you make it as amusing and irreverent as you wish!

    When you’re writing a eulogy, consider that immediate family members may have important things to say too, but feel unable to speak publicly themselves. If that’s the case, ask them if they would like to include a few words or a special memory in the eulogy.

    The eulogy can be as long or as short as you wish, but normally 10 minutes (a couple of typed A4 pages) is appropriate.

    Funeral flowers

    Flowers are often what family and friends remember most about a funeral service – and these can be as lavish or budget friendly as you wish.

    As well as flower arrangements for the funeral service, also consider casket flowers for on top of the coffin.

    Resthaven Funerals can arrange all your funeral flower needs; just contact us.

    Arrange a memorable farewell for your loved one

    You can customise every aspect of the funeral service to create a fitting farewell. We understand that coping with grief and making important decisions may be challenging, and we are here to guide you every step of the way.

    Phone Howick 09 533 7493 or Manurewa 09 267 2530.

    Funeral Pre Planning Meeting
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