What happens at a burial?

Written By

Paul Fisher

Using knowledge gained from over 15 years of direct experience from within the funeral industry and from his formative years watching and learning from his grandfather who was also a funeral director, Paul Fisher answers some of the most frequestly asked questions posed to him and the team. If you have a question you would like to ask you can contact us here, send us a tweet @_ivanfisher or call us direct.

Whether in a churchyard, cemetery or perhaps a woodland burial site, the grave will be prepared in advance.  Sometimes it is possible for the actual plot to be chosen, otherwise it will be allocated by the cemetery authority.

If the funeral is going to be religious the burial will probably be preceded by a service in a church, cemetery chapel or gathered at the graveside.  If a non religious funeral has been arranged the service will probably be held in the cemetery chapel or other secular venue.

At the conclusion of the service, those wishing to attend the burial will follow behind the coffin to the graveside.  Some mourners will choose not to attend the actual burial but once all those who wish to be present have gathered around the open grave, the words of committal will be said.

Finding out about funerals

During these brief but poignant words the coffin bearers will gently lower the coffin into the grave and often the funeral director will symbolically scatter some earth onto the coffin.  Ritual and tradition can often help in the expression of grief and you may wish to scatter some earth yourself or throw a rose or other flower into the grave.

At the conclusion of the service, the Pall Bearers will place the floral tributes near the grave for you to see; and you will be able to talk to, and draw support from the other mourners.

It may be that you would like the burial to be done privately after the funeral or perhaps for it to precede a thanksgiving service. The traditions can all be varied, if you wish to do things differently please ask us for advice.


As funeral directors, we are regulary asked lots of questions about our profession. We are very happy to answer any questions you might have and no matter how strange they may seem, it’s very likely that we’ve been asked it before! Fill in the form below with your question and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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