How Long After Death Does a Funeral Take Place?

28 June 2020 • Funeral Planning

How Long After Death Does a Funeral Take Place?

A funeral is usually held one to two weeks after the passing of your loved one. However, it may be longer than two weeks if the funeral home you chose only has certain days available, or if an autopsy (called inquest in the UK) is conducted after the death. It's important to communicate with the funeral director to get a better estimate. On the other hand, you may wish for your dearly departed to be buried as soon as possible, such as for religious or cultural reasons. 

When know how difficult and stressful it can be for families in deciding when to conduct a funeral. We recommend you give your family a generous amount of time before making a final decision. This will allow you to create a more personal farewell for your loved one. Remember, a funeral is not just an ending but also a celebration of their life in a meaningful way. 

Having said that, setting a date for your dearly departed's funeral may depend on various factors, including the decisions and capabilities of your chosen funeral home or crematorium's availability. Other factors include religious customs, cultural practices, and family circumstances. 

How long after death does a funeral typically take place?

Common Days and Times for a Funeral

It is typical for funeral services to be held around midday, or sometime late in the morning. The reasoning behind this is because these time periods will make it easier to accommodate attendees, especially if the funeral will take place on a busy weekday. This will also allow loved ones, friends, and colleagues who might be traveling from far away to arrive in good time. Another reason for these time periods is that they usually fit in well with any arrangements for a wake, viewing, or funeral reception. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that you shouldn't be pressured to accept the date and time which the funeral director initially offers. Although the funeral home might be busy at certain times, they will be more than happy to coordinate with you on a date and time your family prefers. What's important is that you consider what works best for you and your family.

It's also important to note that holding a funeral during the weekend (Saturday and Sunday) will likely be more expensive. Talk to your funeral director and/or crematory manager about your desire to hold the funeral or cremation process on a weekend. They will let you know your options and current rates. It has increasingly become more common for funerals to take place on the weekend due to work schedules, but keep in mind that most funeral directors will only accommodate such bookings by request. 

Other Considerations When Choosing a Date

Make sure that family, friends, colleagues ,and close acquaintances of your loved one are informed well ahead in advance about the date and time of the funeral. This will especially be helpful for attendees who live in other states, or even in another country. Give them enough time to reserve the date on their schedule and prepare travel arrangements. That way everyone will be able to honor and bid farewell to the dearly departed. 

Another thing to consider are any special events that might coincide with the funeral date, such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and even other funerals. You want to make sure that family, friends, and other loved ones won't feel conflicted about having to choose which event to attend. You should also consider if family and close friends are on vacation, out of town, or are overseas during the week you initially plan to hold the funeral service. Again, you want to make sure everyone has the chance to attend the funeral.

What's important is that you don't arrange the funeral service on short notice, if you can help it. There will be some occasions when this can't be avoided, but please try your best to give prospective attendees time to request a day off from work, school, and other prior engagements. 

For more information on funeral planning and arrangements, read our comprehensive guide HERE

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