The ‘Corrie’ funeral – final thoughts

Feb 3, 2014

I actually watched Hayley’s humanist funeral on Friday. As you will know, I am not a soap fan, but I have to confess that it was extremely well done. The story was affecting, the acting good, and you were left really wanting to know what Roy was going to do next. (Find out tonight!)

I also looked at the episode through professional eyes. As a funeral celebrant myself, I was impressed by the service we saw and, indeed, by the actress playing the celebrant. I thought she did celebrants proud!

My one gripe (very minor) would be that Funeral Directors wouldn’t let family/friends carry the coffin without professionals also bearing the coffin – for obvious reasons, if you think about it.

A few personal observations about the funeral:

  • It is possible, as Hayley did, to put all your instructions in your will. There is, however, no guarantee that your wishes will be carried out, so it best to get your next-of-kin’s agreement. Some diplomacy may be in order!
  • You can certainly have a cardboard coffin – actually, there is quite a choice available
  • You can choose whatever music you want (enter to Queen, say, (as in the episode) or to Bach – whatever you choose
  • You can pre-select  the bearers of your coffin (but with my caveat above), and, indeed pre-select any or all participants
  • You can include beautiful and moving rituals like putting flowers on the coffin
  • You can include moving readings poems like Mary Frye’s “Do not Stand at my Grave and Weep”, that are not necessarily religious
  • You can request dress code – from sober to Arsenal t-shirts (I have seen this!!)

The point is that there is a good deal of personal choice available – not just what the deceased has decided on, by the way, but also what the next-of-kin immediately after the death plan – and nobody is forced to endure a service that is inappropriate to their or their family’s needs.

The “Coronation Street” storyline has done us a service (other meaning!) by showing people that there are other choices open to them for this so important life-cycle ceremony.

Not only can I help people plan the funeral during their life-time, but I can help them as  professional celebrant. I should be very glad to explain in more detail. I can be contacted at or on 020 8866 4326.