Burial and cremation information


When you're organising a funeral service, one of the first decisions will be whether you are organising a burial or a cremation. This choice will directly impact the type of funeral service you will have, and will include deciding which cemetery or memorial park that will be used.

Once these decisions have been made, you can be creative and add many unique, personal touches to the ceremony if you choose. Even a religious or traditional funeral service can still have a very personal touch.

Mackay Funerals can assist you in making arrangements to purchase a new gravesite or a memorial site, or alternatively to use an existing one at any cemetery or memorial park. We are experienced in assisting families who require an above ground burial, such as in a crypt, vault or mausoleum space. We are also experienced in assisting families who require special cremation arrangements to meet their cultural needs. 


A burial – or interment – is the human ritual of placing the dead into a burial plot in the ground, or into an above-ground burial such as a crypt, vault or mausoleum. The coffin or casket is lowered into a burial plot, and the gravesite is covered with soil once the funeral service is over. For a burial service you will need to decide on a coffin or casket, and the preferred location of the burial plot. Your Mackay funeral director can assist you in making the arrangements to purchase a new gravesite, unless a burial plot was purchased in advance in which case the burial will take place at the existing gravesite.


Many families choose to hold a graveside service as part of their farewell to a loved one.

A graveside service can be the sole venue for the entire funeral service, meaning the funeral service will be conducted at the actual site of the grave, or the graveside service may be one part of a traditional funeral service, taking place after a service at another venue.

A graveside service can be personalised to your values, culture and spiritual, emotional or personal preferences. As an example you can have special music played or add any other special touches you think appropriate.


Following the funeral service, the coffin or casket is moved to the chosen crematorium for cremation. Flowers cannot be cremated with the coffin, so families may choose to keep these following the funeral service. Please let your funeral director know if you would like to keep the flowers, or they will be carefully disposed of by the crematorium. Cremation will be carried out on the same day as the funeral service, or up to 48 hours later, in line with Australian legislation.

Does having a cremation mean there will be no funeral service?

Not at all. There can be a funeral service in exactly the same way as there is with a burial. The only difference is that at the end of the funeral service the remains are cremated rather than buried.


After a body is cremated the ashes are usually memorialised in a permanent memorial. Even when they are returned to the family for scattering it is common for a small amount to be permanently memorialised so that the family and future generations have somewhere they can visit.

Gathering your family members and friends of the deceased to witness the scattering of the ashes or the memorialisation of the ashes is growing in popularity

Mackay Funerals can assist you to arrange with your chosen cemetery a meaningful scattering or witnessing ceremony.


There are many ways to memorialise your loved ones ashes. At Mackay Funerals, we have helped families make arrangements to take the ashes home for display on a mantle, placed in a garden of remembrance, or in a family mausoleum among many choices. We can inform you of all the options available to you and help you make a decision that is in keeping with the values of your family.

Family gathering - the wake

A family gathering or ‘wake’ held after the funeral service can be an important time for friends and relatives to gather together. A wake is a time for family and friends to share memories, help each other deal with loss and to provide hospitality for those who may have travelled a great distance to be at the funeral service. You can choose one of the function rooms at our funeral homes, a hotel or club, or even your home.

Our funeral directors can help remove the stress of putting on a family gathering. We can help you with venues, catering and staff so that you and your family can concentrate on your guests.