What Are the Different Types of Funerals in Australia?

Although it can be stressful thinking of planning an event for someone you just lost, holding a funeral service remains the best way to honour their memory. Organising a funeral can be difficult, especially as it comes at a difficult time. And knowing the types of funerals available can be helpful.

Thankfully, your funeral director will assist you with most of the funeral arrangements leaving you to mourn their passing in your own way.

Whatever your preference, we will work with you to deliver a funeral service that reflects the deceased’s beliefs and personality. There are many types of funeral service options you can choose from. These include:

Traditional Funeral

A traditional funeral, also known as a full service funeral, begins with a funeral ceremony which is held at a church or chapel. This is followed by a cremation or burial at a prebooked cemetery plot.

In most cases, there is usually a viewing that can be held just before the funeral ceremony or a few days before. Traditional Australian services are conducted by a member of the church clergy or by a special celebrant. Whitsunday Funerals and Crematorium are comprised of experienced funeral directors that deliver professional, flawless service and make it easier to say goodbye.

Direct Burial

Direct burial or committal is a cheaper version of the traditional funeral offered by most funeral homes in the country and is one of the cheapest funeral arrangements possible. This involves a direct burial without a funeral service.

The deceased’s family and friends may not be present at the committal but can still organise a funeral service somewhere else. This way, you’ll only have to pay for transporting the body and burying or cremating it.


One of the most common ways to say goodbye is to hold a cremation service. A cremation is a funeral option where the deceased’s remains are disposed of by burning it to ashes. Cremation is increasing in popularity more and more.

Although the body is usually cremated after the funeral ceremony, the cremation process can also be made a part of the funeral service or a separate celebration altogether. A direct cremation can also be held without a funeral service.

‘We find that a lot of people opt for cremations because it is an easier process on the family. That, coupled with cost saving benefits, is why more and more people are turning to this type of service,’ says Jeff Boyle, Funeral Director and Owner.

Graveside Service

Although most types of funerals include a graveside service, some people choose to do a committal service solely. A graveside service is a brief committal service that takes place at the cemetery or crematorium immediately after the funeral service.

The significant advantage of a graveside service is that the event is conducted in its entirety at the graveside, making it perfect for those who wish for privacy. It’s also a more fitting option for some spiritual and religious beliefs and wishes. As well as lending itself to family tradition.


This type of funeral service is a popular way to celebrate the life and memory of your loved one. A memorial service can be held at any time before or after the burial or cremation but it often takes place directly after the funeral.

A memorial service is often hosted by the bereaved family or the community to acknowledge the death of someone special publicly. It’s a beautiful way to honour the contribution that a beloved person has made to the world around them. And a great opportunity to reminisce and rejoice in their personality and life.

The main difference between a memorial service and a funeral service is the lack of presence of the deceased’s body. Memorial services are also more informal and can be used in place of celebrations of life.

What Are the Green Options?

To minimise their carbon footprint as much as possible, most states have begun offering green or natural burial grounds. In this case, the body is draped in a shroud and buried in direct contact with the earth. And as technology develops, we will see more and more new options arise over time.

The aim is to promote the natural decomposition of the body by burying it without embalming chemicals and encasing caskets. Green burials can be cheaper as you don’t have to worry about having a coffin, headstone or cemetery upkeep.

Which Type of Funerals Are Right for You or Your Loved One?

There is no funeral solution that suits everybody in Australia. Especially as people’s needs and wants differ. However, it pays to understand your options.

 You can reach out to any of our funeral homes in Bowen, Proserpine and Mackay for assistance with your loved one’s funeral.