Irish funerals present an opportunity for family and friends to celebrate the life of a loved one. From lively wakes to religious rituals, there are a variety of customs that make Irish funerals unique. In this blog, we’ll delve deeper into exactly what an Irish funeral is like, including everything from the flowers to the songs.
Traditionally, an Irish wake is held in the home of the deceased loved one. The body of the deceased will be placed in a room close to an open window, as it’s believed that this allows their spirit to leave. In most cases, the wake will last for at least one night, but some can go on to last for three nights.
During the wake, family and friends will be able to sit with the deceased and say a prayer. Once the visitor has left the waking room, they will be offered food and drink and will be encouraged to share stories and memories with the other visitors.
Once the wake has come to an end, the coffin will be carried to the place of worship, traditionally by the men of the family. The rest of the family and friends will walk behind the hearse or follow in cars.
Whilst Irish funerals are a time to grieve, they are also a time to celebrate and honour the life of someone who has passed. It’s common to see people smiling and laughing as they engage in conversation and recall happy memories.
There are a number of popular Irish songs that are often sung at funerals. Songs are a special way to express emotions and create a sense of togetherness with everyone singing in unison.
Below are some of the most popular Irish funeral songs:
Reciting a poem can be a touching tribute for a loved one who has passed. If you’re looking for a popular Irish poem for a funeral, there are plenty to choose from.
You could opt for a religious poem, sombre poem or even an uplifting poem. It all depends on the emotions you wish to express.
Below are some of the most popular Irish poems for funerals:
Beautiful flower arrangements are a common sight at most Irish funerals. The type of flower, the colours and the arrangements all have distinct meanings behind them and can be used to represent the life of a loved one.
The most well known Irish plant is, of course, the shamrock. This three-leafed clover is an iconic symbol of Irish culture which is believed to have mystical properties and bring good luck. Both shamrocks and shamrock-shaped arrangements are popular for Irish funerals. You’ll often see green chrysanthemums, double white chrysanthemums and orange-dyed chrysanths in the shape of a shamrock.
White flowers, such as roses, are another popular flower for funerals. White roses are believed to represent peace, new beginnings and love, making a fitting tribute for loved ones.
Take a read of our definitive guide to funeral flowers for more information on what each flower represents.
Irish funerals have plenty of unique customs and traditions. If you’re interested in bespoke memorials that represent a loved one’s Irish connections, please get in touch with our team who would be happy to help.
After the funeral, family and friends will normally take the flowers home or return to collect them the next day. The flowers will usually last for a couple of weeks after the funeral, comforting those who are mourning.
Memorials of Distinction believe that purchasing a memorial headstone is such an important decision that it is not suited to an on-line ‘add to my basket’ type of purchase. There are also many variables in the process which will affect your order, for example what is allowed by your particular cemetery and whether your inscription will fit on the memorial you have chosen.
It is possible to order over the phone or by email using the details on our Contact Page where our staff will be able to help and advise you.
We also offer a home visit service which is completely free of charge and obligation. One of our knowledgeable staff will visit you in the comfort and privacy of your home to help you to choose a design, decide on an appropriate wording and answer any other questions you may have.
Any administration or correspondence with local authorities, cemeteries or church authorities is dealt with by Memorials of Distinction on your behalf – you will not have to worry about this aspect of the process.
The ground requires time to settle after a burial so it is important to wait before installing your memorial. A headstone can usually be erected on a grave six months after the last burial has taken place but a period of 1 year is most common. If cremated remains are interred in a grave, a headstone may be fixed after 3-6 months, as the ground requires less settling time but this can vary. If you tell us which cemetery/crematorium your memorial will be installed in, we can find out the specific rules for you and advise accordingly.
We can not recommend Memorials of Distinction highly enough. As a family we wanted to order two memorials for two cemetery family plots, this could have been very stressful. From the moment of making the initial phone call to book an appointment at the Dunstable branch to completion of the memorials, the staff were very polite, friendly and helpful with a good knowledge to advise on how the end product would look. This was all during the COVID pandemic and although there was a delay at the docks on the material being delivered we were constantly kept updated with the progress. Now the memorials have been placed we could not be more pleased with the quality of the workmanship and without doubt would certainly recommend this company. Many thanks to all staff involved.
Jennifer & Lorraine T. Google Review: 17/03/2021
Memorials of Distinction was the best choice I made to have a headstone made for my dear grandmother. I appreciated their professionalism, their patience when left to make decisions, their advice when it came to wording and layout and their care during such a difficult time. They are always available for any questions asked and always give a prompt reply. They really made the process very easy, even providing a picture when the headstone was installed. My family and I could not recommend Memorials of Distinction enough and appreciate everything they have done especially during a pandemic. Thank you so much Memorials of Distinction.
Channy Google Review: 07/07/2021
What a lovely service they provide. Friendly staff on the phone and the stone was perfect. Thank you so much.
I cannot recommend them enough.
Josephine P. Google Review: 05/11/2020
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