Planning the Service

​When considering the Funeral Service, we are here to guide and assist you.

The funeral service is important for two reasons. Firstly, it gives people a chance to share their feelings while being surrounded by the support of family, friends and others in the community who have also come to mourn.

It is also an opportunity to celebrate the deceased’s life - to nostalgically share memories: the good times, the funny or sentimental moments, favourite music, unique contributions they made, and to hear tributes and stories from people of all ages.

In addition to choosing the venue, here are some of the most common questions and considerations that we discuss:

Who can lead a Funeral Service?

The short answer is “anybody”, but people usually choose someone who has experience in leading a service of this kind. The role of the person leading the service is to guide and manage, ensuring all requirements fall into place at the right time.

If you have religious connections you will often choose a minister or priest to take the service. Alternatively you may choose a funeral celebrant.

Many celebrants now take funeral services and at Legacy Funerals we can help you choose the person with whom you feel most comfortable. All our celebrants are compassionate and experienced and will spend the time required in the days before the funeral getting to know you as a family, and working through the particular wishes you have for the service. They will then lead and facilitate the service.


Music is usually an important part of a Funeral Service. Options are varied, including: hymns; modern music (it pays to check the lyrics are appropriate); genre-specific music (for example opera or country); music from the deceased’s country of origin. From ACDC to Anne Murray - Legacy Funerals can assist with whatever you choose.


Flowers are a traditional symbol used at funerals and most often include a casket spray and a floral tribute(s) placed around the venue. Legacy Funerals can arrange your floral requirements. You will be given the opportunity to specify your favourite flowers (or combination of flowers), the size of arrangements and colours for the floral casket spray and tributes.

Mourners often send flowers. However, in lieu of flowers, some families may suggest a donation to a nominated charity or community service in memory of the person who has died. We can include this in the newspaper notice so that donations can be sent directly.


You may wish to incorporate, into the funeral service, symbols that bring meaning or a sense of what was important to the person who died. You may even wish to lay your loved one to rest surrounded by these. These symbols may be flowers from their garden, candles, shells, photographs, artworks or sports trophies for example.  You may wish to incorporate symbolic actions into the service and burial, such as the releasing of balloons or scattering of flowers or soil on the casket as it is lowered.

​Private or Memorial Service

This is normally a service restricted to solely family, or one where the body or casket is not present. Sometimes families choose a private burial or cremation and a public memorial service later. If choosing a private service, it is important to remember that close friends may feel excluded from supporting you or grieving themselves - we can discuss this with you and help support you to make the decision that is right for you.

Timing of Services

Again, this is your choice. As we have our own facilities, timing of the service is not restricted. We can conduct services from early morning to late evening.

​Catering Services

The opportunity to share refreshments after a funeral service provides families and friends with the chance to reflect, share stories and recall in greater detail the life of the deceased person. Legacy Funerals can help you make decisions regarding catering choices. We offer a wide range of options to suit your service from morning/afternoon tea to breakfast or dinner. We have full kitchen facilities at our venues (Tauranga Park, Woodhill and Legacy Gardens, Papamoa) and also dedicated indoor and outdoor areas to chat and reminisce.