On your initial contact with our office, we will ask whether your loved one is to be buried or cremated and also if you know if there is to be a religious or non-religious service. If there is no will, or you are unsure of your loved one’s wishes, it is often appropriate to base the decision on what kind of funerals other family members have had.
At the initial appointment, the funeral director will fill in all of the necessary paperwork with you for the crematorium or cemetery, take your instructions on all other aspects of the funeral and provide a detailed estimate of costs.
There are three crematoriums in Ayrshire – Holmsford Bridge Crematorium by Dreghorn, Masonhill Crematorium by Ayr and Clyde Coast & Garnock Valley Crematorium near Largs. We will be able to offer guidance if you are unsure about which crematorium to use and are able to arrange funerals at any crematorium in Scotland.
There are strict regulations for cremation and the funeral director will ask whether your loved one has a pacemaker, which we will attend to at no extra cost. We will also be able to advise on the suitability for cremation of any items of clothing or tributes that the family wish to have placed in the coffin.
When the cortege arrives at the crematorium, the funeral director will guide the family to their seats and then ask the mourners gathered outside to follow into the chapel. The funeral director and bearers will then bring the coffin into the chapel for the service to begin.
If your family already has a burial plot, there should be a Lair Certificate. However, if the Lair Certificate cannot be found, it would be useful to know the last time the lair was opened and the name and address of the lair owner, so that the details can be traced by the cemetery department. If there is no existing lair, an application can be made for a new lair during the initial appointment with the funeral director.
It is traditional in Scotland to have eight cords attached to the coffin, which are taken by family members and close friends to assist with the lowering of the coffin into the grave. The first cord is taken by the chief mourner, usually the next-of-kin or closest family member, and the funeral director will call forward the other seven gentlemen or ladies in numerical order and give them the necessary instructions.
Religious or non-religious service
The funeral service can be taken by the parish minister or priest, a humanist speaker or a civil celebrant. We will usually make the first contact with them and they will meet you to discuss the eulogy, music choices and all other aspects of the service. Alternatively, you may choose to have a family member or close friend conduct the service and we will be able to offer advice to help them prepare for the funeral.
Humanist speakers and civil celebrants charge a fee but there is no set fee for members of the clergy. However, most families choose to give a donation to the church in a card of thanks. Also, if there is a church service, there would usually be costs for the organist and church officer.
It is customary for the coffin to be taken into the church before the arrival of the mourners for a Church of Scotland service. For a R.C. Requiem Mass, the coffin would be received and blessed by the priest before the start of the service or received into the church the evening before the funeral. In either case, the family would arrive just before the service is due to start and they will be guided to their reserved seats.
Our Kilmarnock and Stewarton premises can be used for funeral services, prior to the committal at the cemetery. Our Kilmarnock service room can seat up to 40 people and our Stewarton service room can seat up to 20 people. We have music facilities at both of our premises.
Our brand new Mercedes-Benz fleet are chauffeur driven by our experienced staff and we pride ourselves on keeping our vehicles extremely well maintained. Our limousines will comfortably carry up to seven passengers and our saloon car can be used for up to four people.
Most families order at least one spray of flowers to be placed on top of the coffin. We can arrange this for you and will ask what colours or flowers you would like the florist to include. Other flower displays, such as wreaths or tribute names can also be ordered on your behalf.
Our recommended florist is Bizzie Lizzie’s Flowers, Kilmaurs – contact Hayley on 01563 531939
We can arrange for obituary notices to appear in the local and national newspapers and will offer to write this with you during the first appointment. We will also display window notices at our branches and can put notices in other local shops for you. Funeral notices can also be shared to social media from the ‘Funeral Notices’ page our website.
Music often plays an important part in the service and along with traditional hymns, you may want to choose suitable music for entry and retiral. If you are having a non-religious service you may also want to choose a piece of music for quiet reflection during the service. We will organise the music with the crematorium on your behalf.
Order of Service Sheets
Typically, the order of service would be printed for a religious service where hymns are being sung. However, increasingly, families who have non-religious services are choosing to have an order of service printed with family photographs, poetry or song lyrics as a keepsake for those who attend the service.
We offer an in-house print service and will design and print the order of service sheets to meet your requirements.
Donations to Charity
Charitable donations have become a popular alternative to the giving of flowers, especially for cremations. We will collect the money after the service and give it to you on the day of the funeral so that you can forward it on to the charity of your choice.
After the funeral service, the family would usually invite those who have attended to join them at a local hotel or social club for refreshments. We can advise on suitable local venues and arrange this on your behalf.