Each grave is prepared with clean artificial grass mats for the graveside service. The grave will be dug to the correct dimensions as stated on the interment form and depth. Each grave will be shored as required and there will be a platform around the top of the grave to enable the bearers to safely access the grave. For new graves there will be a temporary plot marker made so that it will identify that grave after the burial until a permanent memorial is placed on the grave.
The funeral cortège will be met at the cemetery by a cemetery official who is there to check the right coffin is buried, ensure that the paperwork is in order and that everything runs smoothly. He/she will liaise with the funeral director and minister for the proceedings. Once the family is ready, the procession led by the minister and cemetery official will walk to the grave. The bearers will place the coffin on timber struts (putlogs) over the grave and thread the ropes through the handles. Any floral tributes on the coffin will be placed on the grass matting.
On the minister's instruction during the service the coffin is lowered and the bearers will leave the immediate grave vicinity. It is strongly advised that the funeral directors rather than family and friends lower the coffin as they are practised in it and are not affected by the emotion on the day. Soil will be scattered on the coffin as the ministers says “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes and dust to dust” unless you have instructed your funeral director that this is not required. In the case of Roman Catholics holy water is sprinkled on the coffin. At the end of the service the mourners will be offered soil in which to scatter on the coffin. The funeral director will place all the floral tributes on the grass nearby for you to view.
The family and friends usually like to back fill the graves themselves. The cemetery will provide the spades. The cemetery staff will be on hand to remove the shoring as the grave is being back filled and boards, matting etc. This is a health and safety requirement.
Once the mourners have left the graveside, the cemetery staff back fill the grave and the floral tributes will be placed on top of the grave with the plot marker if applicable. The flowers will remain there for not less than 14 days. If the family has not already moved them the cemetery staff will dispose of the floral tributes.