Planning the Funeral Service

The Tribute

At the funeral service, a tribute will be given by the minister on behalf of the family. The minister or officiate will make contact with you to arrange a time and place to meet with you, where he will be able to plan with you the content of the funeral service and especially to gather details about the deceased for the “tribute”. You can write the full tribute yourself or you may wish the minister to do that for you. The funeral service will include the tribute (eulogy), prayers, Bible readings and hymns. Here you will find some helpful information when collecting details for “The Tribute”.

The following details will be needed by the minister or by any other officiate to write “The Tribute” or you can write the full tribute yourself and the officiate can read it on your behalf  or, you or someone else can read it, if you want too. It is always a good idea to sit down with all the family and get all your thoughts together on paper before the minister/officiate comes to visit you and then you do not forget to pass on any important information:

Name of deceased or name liked to be known by.

Date of birth.

Birth place.

How many brothers & sisters (if any).

Did deceased serve in Armed Forces or do National Service.

Where met partner & date of marriage.

Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren.

About work during his/her life.

Likes and dislikes.

Hobbies/interests/favourite pastime activities/

Sports – Music – Television Programmes.

Qualities – Was he or she kind, loving, caring, generous, strong willed, independent, a private person who kept themselves



Not sure what hymns to choose for the funeral service? Here you will find a helpful selection of appropriate hymns:


The Lord’s my Shepherd

I to the hills

God is our refuge

How lovely is thy dwelling-place


Amazing Grace

Be still, my soul,

Great is thy faithfulness

How great thou art

O love that wilt not let me go

Safe in the arms of Jesus

The King of love

The old rugged cross

What a friend we have in Jesus

When I survey

When peace like a river

Will your anchor hold

Please don’t worry if you are not too sure of the hymns. The minister and funeral director will be delighted to give advice

What To Do At Time Of Death

When death takes place at home there is usually a kind friend, neighbour or relative that you may be able to call upon to help you.

It is also important to inform the doctor as soon as possible that the death has occurred. He/she may write out the Medical Certificate of Death when he/she visits the house, or may request you attend the surgery for this purpose.

When the death has occurred in the hospital the procedure is very similar. Apply to the hospital for the Medical Certificate of Death and not your family doctor.

In some instances the issue of a medical certificate of cause of death may not be straightforward. It may be that the Procurator Fiscal is involved, particularly in the cases of sudden or unexpected death. In such instances it is important that contact be made with your local funeral undertaker in order that assistance may be given to the bereaved family in the time leading up to the issue of death certificate. During this time, provisional arrangements may be made which can be put in to effect at short notice when the necessary clearance is granted.

Registration of a Death

Who May Give Particulars to a Registrar All deaths occurring in Scotland must be registered by a Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages within 7 days of their occurrence.

The duty to provide the particulars for registration rests principally with a relative of the deceased, but if no such relative is available the duty may be performed by any person present at the death, or the deceased’s executor or other legal representative, or the occupier of the premises where the death took place.

Place of Registration.

Registration must be made in the office of the Registrar for the registration district in which the death took place, unless the deceased’s home address was in a different registration district in Scotland. In that case, registration

Particulars Required The particulars required for registration purposes include the following:


  1. The full name, occupation, and postal address of the deceased person, and his or her date and country of birth;


  1. If deceased was a married man or a widower or divorced, the full name of his wife or former wife. If deceased was a married woman, a widow or divorced, the full name and occupation of her husband or former husband will be required. If the deceased had been married more than once, particulars of previous spouses are also required;


  1. If deceased was married at the date of death, the date of birth of the surviving widow or widower will be asked for.


  1. The full name and occupation of the deceased person’s father, and full name and maiden surname of the deceased’s mother.


  1. The name and address of the deceased’s own doctor.


Documents Required In addition, the following documents should be taken to the Registrar’s office:

(a) The medical certificate of cause of death (normally given by the deceased person’s doctor, or by the hospital in which the death occurred);

(b) The deceased’s National Health Service medical card, if available;

(c) The deceased’s birth certificate, if available.