What is a Burial?

Understanding what happens before, during and after the burial will help give you peace of mind; we’re here to guide you through and clarify the process so you can make a decision that’s right for you.

A traditional burial?

A traditional burial is perhaps what we picture when we imagine a funeral; whilst cremation has become the more favoured option, many people still prefer the ceremony and solemnity of a traditional burial as their way to say a final goodbye.

Hindus do not permit burial, preferring cremation. All Christian denominations allow burial; the Roman Catholic Church strongly prefer burial to cremation, although they don’t forbid cremations. Orthodox Jews and Muslims only allow burial and do not allow cremations. Burial is not forbidden for people who identify as humanist, agnostic or atheist, but if they would prefer to be buried on unconsecrated ground, it might be useful to research Green and natural burials as these sites are unblessed (unless otherwise requested).

Burial plots

In cemeteries, plots are leased, usually for 75 years, and there is the option to extend them after this time.

In most churchyards, the church offers exclusive rights of burial subject to conditions.

The erection of memorial headstones requires permission and a fee to be paid.

What happens during a burial service?

The funeral service takes place first; this can be held at a place of worship, at the graveside or at another appropriate venue. This is the chance for friends and family to say some words and a final farewell to the person who had died.

The burial takes place after the funeral service in the cemetery or churchyard you choose. Pallbearers (close friends and family, or the funeral directors, who carry the coffin) will lower the coffin into the grave dug specifically for the day. After this, loved ones may wish to place flowers, petals or soil on top of the coffin as part of a final goodbye.

Any tributes left beside the grave by loved ones will be placed on top of the grave once it is complete, and usually left on display for up to three weeks.

Loved ones will be able to come to visit throughout the year. Some cemeteries are gated and access is restricted to daylight hours.

Local cemeteries

To help you during your research, we’ve collated a list of local cemeteries:


Planning the service

We’ve created a guide to the most important aspects of planning a service that you might need to consider, from venues and officiants to flowers, funeral transport and catering, and more.

Bereavement support

Grief is a natural reaction to loss and affects everyone differently. AB Walker understands this and offers aftercare support for those experiencing the loss of a loved one.

Other types of funeral

You can contact us 24/7

Email or call us with your questions, queries and requirements. For urgent assistance, call us on 0118 957 3650 24 hours a day, seven days a week.