When can I have a funeral?

When can I have a funeral?

Funerals typically take place one to two weeks after death, with most funerals happening on a weekday. Funerals can take place much sooner than that, though. Many religions and cultures lay importance on burying loved ones quickly after they’ve died.

We know there’s usually never a great time for a funeral – these things are necessary, and never as feverishly anticipated as much as, say, barbeques during a British summer or the annual family gathering. It’s helpful, however, to know when funerals usually take place, what costs are involved with weekend funerals and what a ‘pre-funeral’ means.

How long after death does the funeral usually take place?

In most cases, the time between a death and a funeral is about one to two weeks. If you’re prepared, however, funerals can take place whenever you want them to, right after you’ve registered the death. 

Some religions ask for the body to be buried as soon as possible, so these funerals happen faster. Other cultures also enjoy a quick turnaround – funerals amongst Irish families are usually swift affairs.

Some deaths require further investigation from the coroner, which usually delays funeral plans by five to six days, but can take longer.

In any case, for each death you’re going to need a death certificate before you can get the arrangements sorted. Take a look at our quick article on what to do after someone dies.

Can I hold a funeral on the weekend or bank holiday?

Funerals on the weekend are typically £500-£1,000 more expensive than those during the week, as crematoriums and cemeteries charge extra for the weekend service.

Saturday mornings are the most common time for a weekend funeral, but many places will only take weekend booking by request. Get clear on the costs involved in a funeral here.

The person leading the service, be it a celebrant or minister, may charge a higher rate on weekends, too. Many will not provide weekend funeral services at all. We all need a break from death at some point.

It’s usual for churches to not allow any funerals to take place on Sundays.

Do funerals always take place in the morning?

It seems that death is for the early risers, with most funerals in the UK take place in the morning. Timings, though, are usually subject to how much a crematorium or church has got going on that day. On busier days, you’ll have a lot less say in when the funeral takes place.

Do I have to be dead in order to have a funeral?

“What is a living funeral?” we hear you scream. Otherwise known as a ‘pre-funeral’, we’d encourage you to attend your own funeral before the real thing.

Mostly, it can be a great way to celebrate a life whilst you’re still around.

Benefits include getting drinks bought for you when you’re actually around to drink them (if it’s the case you’re immune system is fit for alcohol!), walking around with the assurance that only great things are being whispered about you, and, finally, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that, whatever happens, at least your family have seen your best dance moves before you’re dead.

Find out more

What costs are involved when organising a funeral?

Take a look at where to start with funeral planning

Or some of our funeral inspiration pages

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