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How long after death does a funeral typically take place?


Organising a funeral

When a loved one passes away, deciding when to have a funeral can be quite difficult for some families. Giving yourself plenty of time to make a final decision will enable you to create a more personal send off and celebrate the deceased’s life in a meaningful and unique way.

Setting a date for your loved one’s funeral may depend on a number of factors, including funeral director and crematoria availability, religious beliefs and family circumstances.

When to have a funeral after the death of a loved one

A funeral is typically held around one or two weeks after the death, though it may be longer if the funeral director only has certain days available or if there is an inquest into the death. You may wish for your loved one to be buried as soon as possible, depending on their religious beliefs.

However, a recent report published by Dignity revealed there has been an elongation in the average time between death and a funeral: from under 10 days to over three weeks. The report found that changes to cremation regulations and movement to “by appointment” only for Coroners offices and Registrars are just a couple of factors causing this.

What are the most common days and times for a funeral?

Most funeral services take place either late in the morning or around midday, often during the week. This allows family or friends who are travelling a long distance to arrive in good time and it usually fits in well with the arrangements for the wake or funeral reception.

It’s important to remember that you don’t have to accept the first date and time which the funeral director offers. Be patient and consider what works best for you and your family.

Can you have a funeral on a Saturday or Sunday?

If you wish to arrange the funeral for a weekend it could prove to be more expensive, as most funeral directors, crematoria and cemeteries may charge extra. It isn’t uncommon to have a funeral on a Saturday or Sunday but many funeral directors will only take weekend bookings by request.

Things to consider when choosing a date

We’ve listed a few things you may wish to consider before choosing a date and time for you loved one’s funeral:

  • Whether you have any family or close friends who aren’t local and may need to travel a long distance to attend the funeral

  • If there is an upcoming event or occasion that you may wish to avoid, such as a family member’s birthday or anniversary

  • Ensure that family and close friends aren’t away on holiday before choosing a date

  • Arranging a funeral at very short notice may mean that everyone who would like to attend may not be able to rearrange work or other prior commitments

At Dignity, we understand there are a lot of things to consider when arranging a funeral for your loved one. Our caring and dedicated Funeral Directors will be on hand to accommodate a date and time which suits you.

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