The most emotionally charged part of any cremation service is when families say their final goodbyes to a loved one. We have been complimented many times at Mount Jerome by families over the years as to how we handle this, the most sensitive part of a funeral.
Crematoria employ various methods for the final act of saying goodbye (please refer to question 1 in Frequently Asked Questions page). At Mount Jerome, we use a variant of the curtain method. In our chapels we use net curtains that take 90 seconds to close during which the lights will dim over the coffin and in the chapels. Please note that at all times the coffin of a loved one does not move during the 90 second process. It is left stationary, resting on a raised coffin bier throughout the entire cremation service.
Because you can see through our net curtains, families are afforded the gentle and gradual fading of their loved one's coffin from view as the curtains double over and the lights above the coffin slowly dim to nothing. The rest of the lights in our chapels are dimmed to 30% power at the same time. Because this whole slow process takes 2 minutes, families have sufficient time to come to terms with actually saying a final goodbye (like they have with a burial). If a family have chosen a piece of music for the curtain closure, this whole experience is enhanced and becomes very personal.
When complimenting us, families have said that we have managed to blend the old with the new. In that they mean that while the final act of saying goodbye in a cremation service is a relatively new experience for most Irish people, it occurs in the familiar setting of a chapel. Families have told us that our chapels are "cosy" and inviting. That our curtain closure is slow and gentle. That our piped music fills the chapels. That they have time to come to terms with saying goodbye.