Most Frequently Asked Question.
So firstly the photo I have used is not quite accurate as I never, ever, consider myself to be an expert. However, as a Celebrant who not only completed a very intensive training course, but is also very interested in every aspect of their role, then I know quite a bit more than most of my family and friends about funerals.
This certainly makes for some interesting conversations, and one I am happy to have at any time with anyone. (I now make a great dinner party guest)!
The most commonly asked question is probably the easiest one to answer "Does the coffin get burnt?" I can categorically state that yes, it does. I've been behind the scenes for myself and seen exactly what happens. Oh and no, they don't remove the handles either!
I do wonder where this thought comes from though, how people imagine the body is moved without the coffin, and where they think the coffin goes.
Of course this question raises further discussion. Do you have to have a coffin? for example. No you don't. In fact isn't it a waste of money having that big box that just gets burnt or rots away? The body can be swaddled instead.
Answering another, follow on question, yes, of course the ashes from the coffin are mixed in with those of the body, it would be impossible to separate them, but at the high temperature there aren't that many coffin ashes. (The ashes you receive back are heavy though, heavier than people expect, roughly your birth weight).
If the body is being cremated then once the coffin is placed on the catafalque it is never lifted again, and no, it doesn't go straight into the fire. You really can't see flames through the hole in the wall as most children imagine!
The Crematorium staff use trollies to move the coffin, once the ceremony has ended, and the coffin rolls into the furness from the trolley. It is all done calmly and with dignity.
I am always happy to answer any questions, and if I don't know then I will find out. Please feel free to ask. Alternatively I am happy to pop along to a meeting, or AGM, as a speaker, and share some of my knowledge and the odd funny story or two.