Compassionate & Meaningful



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The Rev. Dr. She` D`MONTFORD is available to officiate at Pagan funeral services. She` has several services that she uses that you can chose from or as is more common She` can write an individual one that includes a personal Pagan eulogy and Pagan chants. Dr. D`MONTFORD is not a funeral director, nor a mortician, however she is happy to use her experience to assist members of the Pagan community wherever possible with these arrangements. To which she has compiled the following information.



When you are in the throws of experiencing bereavement it is difficult to make decisions. Trying to organise a Pagan ceremony may appear more stressful but it does not need to be. Most funeral directors are supportive of Pagan services and are trained to be sensitive to your needs. Having a few facts at your fingertips may help to them help you through this emotional time.


Shambhallah Funeral

This fact sheet has been compiled to assist you and your funeral director in organising a Pagan funeral service that best suits your beliefs, needs and budget. It may be useful to print this sheet and give it to your Funeral director to read with you options and choices clearly highlighted.


What is a Pagan Funeral Service?

Here is a 10 min condensed clip of a pagan funeral service in a standard funeral home

Like any other funeral service, a Pagan funeral involves interring the body of the departed according to their and their family`s deeply held beliefs. Pagan services often, but not always, involve chanting, drumming, readings and ceremonies that reflect ideas about reincarnation, rebirth and regeneration. They are often hope filled and seldom morbid and do not involve any aspects of Satanism. Satanism is not Paganism. Satanism is in inverted form of Christianity. For more general information on Paganism being essentially a nature honouring religion please refer to the many articles on the internet or good books available.


Common Pagan funeral chant: -

We all come from the Mother

And to her we shall return

Like a drop of rain

Flowing to the ocean.

Sage and Crone, Sage and Crone,

Wisdom's gift shall be our own.

Crone and Sage, Crone and Sage,

Wisdom is the gift of age.

We all come from the Father

And to him we shall return

Like a spark of flame

Rising to the open sky

Hoof and horn, hoof and horn

All that dies shall be reborn

Corn and grain, corn and grain

All that falls shall rise again


Planing a Pagan Funeral.

    It always has less impact on the family if a funeral is planned whilst the person is still alive and can have some input. That way the individual can be interred according to their deepest held beliefs. Do not be afraid of discussing funeral arrangements with a person who knows they are dying, It is not morbid it is necessary. They are often stronger and more mentally prepared than those loving grieving relatives who survive them.

  •     The way you chose to be buried can be written down by you and be included as an addendum to your Last Will and Testament. It is something that I recommend that we all do no matter what our age of state of health.
  •     An unplanned funeral can often result in a tussle between family members who have differing deeply held beliefs , as many believe that how a person is sent to rest will affect their soul in the after life.
  •     Having your desires clearly written down for all to see may relieve any conflict.
  •     There is also the option of two having separate services if there is a lot of conflict.


Pre-arranged Funerals

    Pre-arranged funerals differ from pre-paid funerals in that no money is paid ahead of time. You discuss your preferences with a funeral director who can record your wishes for future use.

  •     It is the responsibility of your family or executor to ensure you receive your preferred funeral and pay for it.
  •     As no contract has been entered into the choice remains with the family or executor.


There Are 4 Main Types Of Pagan Funerals

  •    Earth - Burial or entombment of some form. An application for burial must be obtained from The Registry of births Deaths and Marriages. If you are not a funeral director and wish to register a death, please telephone the Registry on 1300 655 236 for a Death Registration Form. Bodies must be buried in Australia in approved cemetery sites. Home cemeteries are rarely permitted. If you wish to be buried on a rural homestead application and compliance can take years. Application will need to be made quickly to the appropriate local council for a reservation of a burial plot in the chosen cemetery where available. In city areas these can be expensive. These days rural cemeteries have become economically popular.
  •     Fire - Cremations in a government approved crematorium - open pyers are not permitted in Australia - An application for cremation must be obtained from The Registry of births Deaths and Marriages. If you are not a funeral director and wish to register a death, please telephone the Registry on 1300 655 236 for a Death Registration Form. Bodies according to law must be burnt at super temperatures in an oven at a licensed facility, to render the ashes sterile then you can keep or dispose of the ashes however you like.
  •     Water - Burial by Sea - Again there are strict laws associated with this type of burial. A Sydney (Sea Burials Australia Phone: (02)6495 1511 ) and a Melbourne company has been licensed to perform these just a few years ago . You may apply for a permit to perform this type of funeral (see link) then you must have charted a suitable vessel that will transport the body and the funeral party to the permitted destination. The body must be correctly weighted down and dropped over the continental shelf. (Click here to download a Burial by sea application.) A cheaper compromise is to scatter the cremated ashes at sea, rather than a sea burial, you may decide to scatter the ashes across the ocean from a boat or plane, from a cliff top or over a waterway.There are two options available: an un-witnessed scattering conducted by the Master of the Vessel, or where the scattering is conducted and witnessed by family and/or friends. Families typically want a special place to scatter cremated ashes and most families choosing to do the scattering themselves. There are not any government or health regulations covering the scattering of cremated remains, however, the scattering must not cause public nuisance. Scattering of ashes is not offensive or damaging to the environment. It is sanitized dust and disbursed harmlessly. Unlike land burials, a burial at sea or the scattering of cremated ashes at sea cannot be reversed nor can the body be relocated or exhumed for an autopsy. It also means a memorial cannot be erected at the burial location. Because of this, you may wish to consider a permanent memorial at another site so that in the future others have somewhere to visit to gain a sense of the person who has passed away.
  •     Air - Sky burial - placing the body up high close to heaven and letting it decay or chopping it up and letting the carrion birds take the pieces away This is considered the way to facilitate the fastest reincarnation and be carried closest to the heavens, but it is illegal in Australia. If you transport the body to Asia it is legal.


Do-It-Yourself Funeral

    When a person dies, the death must be confirmed by a doctor who completes a medical certificate of cause of death. This has to be sent to the Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages so that a Death Certificate can be issued. There is legislation that individuals must comply with in order to arrange a funeral without the services of a funeral director. When a death occurs at home the funeral arrangements will need to be arranged through a funeral director (because they can correctly store and prepare the body to be placed in a coffin). When a death occurs in hospital, it may not be necessary to use a funeral director to make the necessary arrangements. If the hospital has a morgue (not just a holding room) they will prepare the body to be placed in a coffin (where possible) so relatives who provide a coffin can collect the body.  It is advisable to be aware of what must be done before the time the arrangements are required to be made, as the body must be removed from a hospital within 5 days of death.

  •     Whether an earth, water, or fire burial is arranged, individuals will need to purchase a compliant coffin made of natural materials, which can be sealed.
  •     The Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages must be notified of the death and forms will need to be completed. A Death Certificate is required when dealing with certain institutions and a fee applies for having it provided.
  •     An application for burial, cremation or burial-at-sea, must also be completed.
  •     All arrangements for the burial or cremation will need to be made directly with the cemetery. Pallbearers must be provided.
  •     Transportation of the deceased from the hospital to the cemetery must be dignified and with due reverence.


Funeral Costs

    The person responsible for organising the funeral (usually the next-of-kin or close friend) is also responsible for all funeral costs.  Funeral costs can vary considerably from one funeral director or cemetery to another. It pays to shop around and get three written quotes before making your decision.

  •     Ask for an itemised quote so each fee is clear to you. Do not feel pressured to purchase all the extras, such as large bouquets of flowers, coffin or casket trimmings or extravagant ceremonies. Funeral directors are operating a business just like any other and, while nice, these extras are not mandatory.
  •     Funeral directors tend to only display certain coffins and caskets. Always ask to see all they have and do not be pushed towards those at the upper spectrum of the market.
  •     Never sign anything until you have read it thoroughly and understand what is expected of you. If you are in grief or having trouble making sense of what you are reading , ask a close friend or relative to assist you.
  •     Never get carried away and spend more than you can afford.
  •     Average prices often quoted begin from $5000, however a `no-frills` cremation can cost as little as $2600. Burials are more expensive.


Pre-paid Funeral Plans

    A pre-paid funeral plan allows you to purchase your funeral in advance. Advantages are that you organise and pay for the type of funeral you want and thus relieve relatives of the financial burden. It is also possible to maximise your pension entitlement, as money paid into a funeral plan is not subject to Centrelink`s income or assets test or deemed earnings rule.

  •     It is important to carefully read the contract. As you are paying for a funeral in today`s prices, no additional costs should be borne when the funeral occurs unless specific terms of the contract require additional fees (e.g. some specify that if Government taxes are subsequently imposed or increased then these must be paid).
  •     Furthermore, depending on the individual contract, it is not always possible to cancel the contract. Some will allow cancellation within 14 days but this will incur a cancellation fee. Always read the terms and conditions of the contract before signing and be sure of your rights if it does not include terms of cancellation.
  •     The money you spend is invested with an independently managed funeral fund, such as a trustee company, and only released to the funeral director once your funeral has been conducted.
  •     Pre-paid funeral plans may be paid for in a lump sum or by instalments.
  •     Your funeral director will be able to advise you.
  •     If you die interstate or overseas, additional fees will be charged for the transportation of the body. If the death and the funeral occur overseas or interstate, the funeral plan funds will be paid to the estate.


Funeral Bonds

    These are similar to life insurance policies in that you accumulate funds to be used to pay for your funeral. They are only payable upon death and must be used for funeral expenses. It is the family or executor`s responsibility to organise and pay any additional costs towards your funeral. Funeral bonds up to $5000 are exempt from Centrelink`s assets test.


Payment Options

    More often than not the costs of a funeral are payable on or before the day of the funeral.

  • Payment in instalments may sometimes be allowed but this must be negotiated with individual funeral directors or cemeteries.
  •     Banks and credit unions will usually release funds from the deceased person's account to pay for a funeral. Contact the bank for verification.
  •     `Pauper`s funerals`, now known as Destitute Funerals are generally available for people with no known family or assets. If the death occurs at home or in a nursing home (and is not a coroner`s case) the funeral is arranged by the Police. If the death occurs in a hospital (and is not a coroner`s case), it is arranged by the hospital.


Financial Assistance

  •     Centrelink has a number of options if you require financial assistance. Please contact Centrelink for further information.
  •     Private health insurance may be payable upon death. Check the deceased person`s records to see if a policy exists.
  •     The Department of Veterans` Affairs may be able to provide bereavement payments, funeral benefits and/or commemorative plaques for deceased eligible veterans. Contact the Department of Veterans` Affairs for further information.
  •     Some social clubs, such as RSL Masions and Rotary, will donate an amount towards the cost of the deceased member`s funeral. For more information, contact the relevant club.


The Wake

After the funeral service, many people hold a "Wake" to remember and generally relieve the tension caused by the recent events. It can be a simple family matter or something arranged by the funeral director. Wakes can often be large affairs after Pagan funerals. Some of the options are:

  •     Cup of tea and a biscuit at a family home
  •     Cup of tea, sandwiches and some alcohol at a family home
  •     Refreshments at a local club or function room, alcohol provided or people buy their own
  •     A memorial service at a public venue - Most often these are organised by associations to which the deceased was a member. The family should never be put under an obligation to pay for a large memorial service organised by an association. The family can organise it own large scale memorial service if it so desires. Private memorials are often arranged a few days after the official funeral or in a location different to the funeral for for extended family, friends, workmates or media, who could not travel to the service.

Whatever you do make sure you are comfortable with and can afford  the arrangements.



  •     Centrelink - Phone 131 021 (or 131 202 for interpreter service). Financial Information Service: Phone 132 300. Visit the website at
  •     Department of Veteran`s Affairs - Phone 133 254 or toll free 1800 555 254. Visit the website at
  •     Office of Fair Trading - Consumer Protection Agency - Phone: 133 220 or TTY (02) 9338 4943. Visit the website at
  •     Parliamentary Council`s Office - For information on Australian state legislation, such as Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000, Public Health (Disposal of Bodies) Regulation 2002, Local Government Act 1993 and Public Health Act 1991 phone (02) 9228 7139. Visit the website at


Some of these facts contained in this fact sheet were compiled by the COMBINED PENSIONERS AND SUPERANNUANT ASSOCIATION OF NEW SOUTH WALES INC. and was last updated January 2005.

A Pagan Funeral (Passing Over)





    Hi She!

     Hopefully you remember me!  My name is Sam, and you married me and my husband Steve on June 28th 2008. I just wanted to say thanks. After 1 year of marriage, everything is going well.  In fact, I recall you saying at our rehearsal (after you saw the koala in the park) that it was a good sign. Well, I'm happy to say that in the year since the wedding, Steve has managed to get a job (not 3 months after the wedding!), we've moved into a really nice house, and I am currently 17 weeks pregnant!  All is going well, and we're really hoping to have a girl.  We'll find out in a few weeks. Do you do naming days at all? (I SURE DO!)

     Well, I hope all is well with you and yours.


     Sam and Steve


    Hi She

    It's Tracey and Garth here. we just wanted to thank you so much for performing our wedding in May. I was a little shy and nervous that day, I didn't get a chance to ask you to stay and thank you for a great ceremony. Our guest enjoyed themselves totally. I am very great full and blessed to marry a great guy and have our wedding how we wanted, so thank you so much. I attached a two pics of ceremony     Click Here 1 & 2,  to see the picture that Tracey and Garth have shared

    Blessed be

    Tracey & Garth


"..... When Shé called in spirit on our day, everyone could feel it, sense it and even photograph it. The air was electric, the rain stopped and the world stood quietly to attention. We know spirit was there as a witness to our vows as well as all of our loved ones. It was truly magic. There is no one else to recommend as a celebrant.... ."

Robyn and Rodger  9.11.2001


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