The Funeral

The Funeral Service

Over time customs and rituals have evolved. Those that remain with us today are the ones that have proven to offer the most comfort and support. The funeral is a final opportunity for family and friends to publicly express their love and respect for the person who has died. If it is arranged carefully and sensitively so that it reflects the feelings and fulfils the needs of everyone attending, then it can be enormously beneficial in helping people come to terms with their loss.

The funeral represents the first and most important step towards working through one’s grief and readjusting to life. Its significant therapeutic value is widely recognised.

From a practical point of view, the funeral ensures the legal, reverent and dignified burial or cremation of the person who has died.

The funeral director’s most important role is to make all the necessary arrangements prior to conducting the funeral on the day.

The funeral director works with the minister or celebrant to ensure that any of the family’s special requests (eg regarding music, flowers, photos, candles) have been met by the time of the funeral service.

The funeral director will discuss with family members about whether they would like an audio visual presentation. The funeral director will also arrange for the collection of photos and the music to be used.

The minister or celebrant is ultimately responsible for what happens in the funeral ceremony itself. This usually involves working with family members to:

  • plan the format of the funeral service;
  • decide who will deliver the eulogy - family member(s) or a close personal friend;
  • select music, readings or poetry for during the service;
  • decide on the use of other symbols such as candles, flowers, and photos as required;
  • discuss the content of the printed service sheets; and
  • schedule the audio visual presentation (if any) in the service.

Our Vehicles

We arrange transport from all over North Otago back to our premises, and then to the venue for the funeral. A dignified drive to the Westview Crematorium or a local cemetery. Our beautiful Bunce Holden Hearse portrays an element of tradition with a modern vehicle. Alternatively you may find our Ford Falcon Hearse more suitable.

Ex Service Personnel

The local RSA is happy to attend and conduct a Returned Services tribute for any service person who has died. We will play the Last Post if you would like these traditions to be part of the ceremony. A flag may be draped over the casket and medals may be displayed on a cushion. In addition, poppies can be supplied to those wishing to come forward and place them on top of the casket during this ceremony.

Service personnel and their spouses are entitled to be buried in a subsidised plot in most cemeteries. The plaque or headstone on these graves is also subsidised by the New Zealand Government. If you do not know the service details of the person who has died, we are able to obtain these details from Personnel Archives at the Department of Veterans Affairs on behalf of the family.

Dsc09800 Cropped

Design and Printing


Service sheets (orders of service) may be printed for handing out at the funeral service. Families are encouraged to be involved in setting out and designing the personalised service sheets for the funeral. We can produce quality colour service sheets and photo enlargements. We will advise you as to how soon we need the details so that everything is ready in time for the funeral.

Visual Presentations

Whitestone Funerals offers a range of audio visual services both for making presentations as part of the funeral service and recording the service as a permanent record.



If you would like to know who has attended the funeral, you may find it useful to have a memorial book for people to sign. We do our best to ensure that everyone signs the book either as they arrive for the funeral service or before they leave. Whitestone Funerals has a specially designed Tribute Book, a unique lasting memento that is presented to you afterwards, as a gift. Additional copies can be provided on request.