The Funeral

From the big ideas, to the smallest details. Waterson’s will arrange everything you need, read on to see our range of services

A Funeral Directors Role

The funeral director’s most important role is to make all the relevant arrangements prior to conducting the funeral on the day. The funeral director works with the minister or celebrant to ensure that any of the family’s special requests (e.g. regarding music, flowers, photos, candles) have been met by the time of the funeral service.

The funeral director will discuss with family members about whether they would like an audiovisual presentation. The funeral director will also arrange for the collection of photos and the music to be used.

The minister or celebrant is ultimately responsible for what happens in the funeral ceremony itself.

This usually involves working with family members to:

  • plan the format of the funeral service;
  • decide who will deliver the eulogy – family member(s) or a close personal friend
  • select music, reading or poetry during the service
  • decide on the use of other symbols such as candles, flowers and photos as required
  • discuss whether printed service sheets are required
  • schedule the audio-visual presentation (if any) in the service

Use of the Waterson’s Chapel

Waterson’s Funeral Services offers the use of their chapel for quiet reflection time. Alternatively for those who wish to do so, they also facilitate families taking their loved ones home, to a marae, or other venue in the days leading up to the funeral.

This time together can assist in the grieving process as it allows people to begin to accept the reality of the death of the person. It can be a time to place mementos such as cards, letters, small gifts, photos, flowers and other significant objects in the casket with the person.

Flowers, Music, and Symbols


We can arrange flowers for the funeral on your behalf from a professional florist. You can usually choose a favourite flower or combination of flowers and colours for a casket spray. Single flowers, or a bunch of flowers tied with ribbon are other options. Some people have used baskets of vegetables, sports equipment and other goods to personalise the floral tribute. Families are welcome to use a florist  of their choice or provide flowers from their own garden. You can usually choose a favourite flower or combination of flowers and colours for a casket spray, single flowers, or a bunch of flowers tied with ribbon. Some people have used baskets of vegetables, sports equipment or other goods to personalise the floral tribute.


Music speaks to our hearts – especially in a funeral service. The music selected and the way it is used usually set the emotional tone of the service. Music can be played from a CD or other media you supply, or from our extensive music collection. Other wishes can also be arranged such as a piper or bugler.


Waterson’s Funeral Services can arrange any symbols you may wish to include in the funeral service.

  • Candles are generally recognised as a universal symbol of love, light, and hope, making candle lighting during a service a very moving ritual.
  • Flags draped over a coffin, the playing of the last post, and the red poppies used in the returned services tribute speak to us of a person’s contribution to his or her country. A flag may also be symbolic of the person’s country of birth or other service to mankind.
  • Academic, sporting or community achievement awards tell us of other achievements in a person’s life.
  • Artifacts relating to art, craft or other hobbies  such as  gradeners tools for example show additional dimensions of the person whoe life is being honoured.

Service Sheets

Service sheets (or orders of service) may be printed for handing out at the funeral service. Families are encouraged to be involved in setting out and designing the personalised service sheets for the funeral. We can produce quality colour service sheets and photo enlargements. We will advise you as to how soon we need the details so that everything is ready in time for the funeral.

Service sheets are an important part of the funeral process, as they offer a very special keepsake to every person attending the service with a photo of the deceased on the cover page. Although it does not have to be a step by step guide of what will occur at the funeral, it is more a memorial of that day.  Names of those providing eulogies and tributes, as well as pallbearers will be listed, perhaps the music or the hymns to be sung on the day may be itemized as this was special to the deceased, there may also be a collage of photographs showing the deceased’s life.

Slideshows and Photo Presentations

We can also create a slideshow on a DVD or USB memory stick to be played through TV screens or projectors. A slideshow of photos to reflect the life of your loved one shares those most precious memories to reflect on between family and friends. A presentation can be a meaningful way to share more memories and highlights of a life. It can be shown before or during the funeral, accompanied by your own special music. If you simply provide us with your photos, we will create a slideshow for the funeral whether it is in our chapel or at another venue.

Video Recording and Online Streaming

Recording the funeral allows loved ones to be a part of the funeral from the other side of the world. We can arrange for the service to be recorded for the family to reflect on at a later time or to provide copies to friends and family that are unable to attend. We can also arrange for the service to be Live Streamed and the service recording to be accessible by invitation only via a youtube link for a period of one week.

Waterson’s Funeral Services can make the recording of the funeral available on their website following the service. Online video links are available for a set period and can be accessed directly from the Funeral Recordings page. Click the link below to see the funeral recordings we currently have available.


Offering refreshments after a funeral is an important aspect of the funeral service. This is a time for meeting up with family members and friends, sharing stories, and recalling in greater detail the life of the person who has died. It can also provide an opportunity for a family reunion.

We can provide the Waterson Lounge at our Matamata premises or arrange any suitable venue that the family wishes to provide a relaxing environment. Please note, due to health requirements, only food supplied by us may be served on our premises, and alcohol is not permitted as we are not licensed.

BDM Registry Form

The BDM Registry form collects infomation about your loved one and their life. Waterson’s Funeral Services staff will submit this data for the registration of their death as required by the Registrar-General of births, deaths and Marriages (BDM).