When we carry out a funeral our ‘funeral director’ or conductor will ensure that everything runs as smoothly and reverently as possible. He will walk the hearse to and from the family home if required. But have you ever wondered why this happens? Well, one theory is that the answer to this harks back to when funerals were horse drawn. When a funeral took place the cortege would be walked away from the house and there would be funeral staff, ‘known as pages’ walking either side of the horse drawn hearse. Mourners would have their floral tributes placed on their garden gates and the conductor would indicate to the pages to collect any floral tributes and place them on the hearse walking slowly so as not to miss any of the tributes. This tradition is still carried on today however the ‘pages’ are generally now more for show and the walk in front of the hearse is more one of respect rather than a practical task.
For the first time in 70 years, Queen Elizabeth 11 will not be bringing us a message of hope and good cheer on Christmas Day. That has been a tradition for many and I for one will miss it, and her. I’m sure King Charles will eloquently continue the custom, but somehow it just won’t be the same.
As a funeral director, it's important to be aware of the challenges that people who have lost a loved one may face during the festive season. For many, Christmas is a time of joy and celebration, but for those who are grieving, it can be a difficult and painful time.
Words can fail us sometimes, when the magnitude of a situation is so sad like losing a loved one. Our thoughts and prayers from everyone at Viner & Sons are with the Royal family at this time, but also with anyone else who has lost someone close to them and is having to plan a funeral.