When Is the Best Time to Hold a Funeral Service?

When a loved one passes away, one of the most common questions that comes up is when is the best time to hold funeral services for them. The answer will of course depend on a variety of different factors depending on the family’s religious affiliations, the wishes of the decedent, the availability of your funeral director as well as other family circumstances.

According to sources, the average duration of time between death and funeral is from under 10 days to over three weeks. However, funeral services can even take place as quickly as the same day of death or next day. It is important that you and your family choose the best time to arrange a funeral service for your loved one that best aligns with you and your family’s needs to enable you to create a meaningful memorialization experience that honors the memory and life of your loved one. We understand this is a sensitive topic so we wanted to address this question to help families navigate this delicate and difficult time.

Religious Considerations

Certain religions abide by specific guidelines in regards to holding funeral services for their deceased loved ones. For instance in the Jewish religion, it is believed that the deceased should be buried within 1 day of their death. Muslims also believe that burial should be done quickly and for this reason, they do not embalm the deceased. If the family of the deceased observes a specific religion, they may take that into consideration when planning the funeral service to be in accordance with their beliefs surrounding death, burial, funerals and memorialization services.

When Are the Most Common Days and Times to Hold a Funeral?

Funeral services are typically held late in the morning, mid afternoon and are commonly held during the week. These times of day help accommodate those who are travelling lost distance to attend the funeral and they also cater well with funeral services that include a wake and funeral reception.

Are Funerals Held on the Weekend?

Yes, funerals can be arranged on the weekend but it is typically more expensive to hold a funeral service on a Saturday or Sunday and the funeral directors, as well as crematoriums and cemeteries may even charge extra for the accommodations.

Things to Keep in Mind When Planning a Funeral Service for Your Loved One

Do you have family or friends travelling a long distance to attend the funeral. If so, you will have to consider the time it will take them to get the location where the service is being held. You may also need to consider that long-distance travelers will need time to notify their employers, book airfare, hotel rooms and arrange for their children and/or pets to be attended to, etc.
It is recommended to stick to Monday through Friday to accommodate out-of-town guests.
Consider any holidays that may conflict with the funeral service, as well as special occasions of families and close friends who will be in attendance. Avoid holding a funeral service on days that conflict with guests’ birthdays or anniversaries and avoid holidays as well if you can. Also consider other occasions or important appointments they may have coming up such as weddings, trips or perhaps they have a medical procedure scheduled around that time that would conflict.It can be challenging for attendees to be present for a somber occasion for a funeral service when they have other special occasions or other important appointments that conflict and may take precedents.
Consider the preferences and wishes of your loved one who passed away. What day and time would they have preferred for you to hold their funeral service? Perhaps, they expressed their wishes to you prior to their passing. Scheduling their services in accordance with their wishes will help elevate the sentiment of the memorial as well as pay tribute to their life and memory in a meaningful way.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong time to hold a funeral service. If you can take your time to consider this delicate question and avoid rushing into a decision to only regret it later on. Remember, if you are not comfortable with a day and time a funeral director tells you in regards to availability, you do not have to take their first offer. Consider your family’s circumstances, the wishes of the decedent, and the days and times that will be comfortable for those in attendance to determine the best day and time that works for you and your family

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