Scheduling a Funeral for your Deceased Loved One
Saying the final goodbye to a beloved is one of the most challenging things a person comes across in life. Amid the loss and pain, the responsibility of arranging your loved one's final affairs also falls on your shoulders. Scheduling a funeral is one of the decisions that might appear straightforward but can be more complicated than expected.
How Many Days After Passing is the Funeral Held?
The exact timeframe may change depending on the type of funeral service you choose for your beloved. Before the funeral happens, a doctor or another recognized authority must sign a death registration document for the deceased. A death certificate is an official statement that proves a person's passing.
The two primary final disposal options with funeral services include traditional burial and cremation.
A traditional burial service covers a viewing, a funeral ceremony, and the burial of the deceased's body.
A burial ceremony begins with a visitation ceremony that involves viewing the loved one at a chapel, church, or other event space. After the viewing, a funeral service takes place, and people pay their respects to the departed in the form of eulogies, prayers, and readings. After, the loved one is laid to rest in a grave.
Cremation with Services
Cremation is a final disposal method that turns the human body into ashes or cremains. A cremation with complete services includes a viewing ceremony and basic cremation.
After receiving the ashes, you may plan to hold a memorial ceremony to celebrate the life of your loved one without having to follow the strict timeline for laying a body to rest. Also, with cremation, you can have a traditional burial ceremony when it's possible for all your guests to attend it.
Major Factors that Restrict the Schedule of Holding a Funeral:
The time interval between passing away and a funeral varies depending on several factors.
Different Time Schedules
- Funeral Home Schedule: A critical concern regarding the planning of a funeral goes hand in hand with the scheduling restraints of your funeral home. Many funeral homes may be closed during the traditional holidays like Christmas and Easter (for Christians) and Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah (for Jewish).
- Traveling Schedules: For many families, the funeral's regular period of 3 to 7 days after a loved one's demise is enough to travel. However, the circumstances will be different for a family with relatives living far off or overseas. Depending on the situation, you may embalm the body to delay burial for a few days or hold a memorial service independent of the burial. These approaches will allow more mourners to attend the service who might not otherwise be able to gather during this critical time.
The Role of Religion
The deceased's religion is one main factor in determining how long after his/her passing, the relatives must arrange a funeral. Many faiths have strict regulations regarding how much time is allowed between the death and burial of the body.
A two-day duration is generally accepted in Catholicism, with the funeral and burial on the third day following death. Although once prohibited, cremation is now gaining acceptance by most Catholic parishes. A memorial ceremony is flexible in arranging and relieves the family from the stress of planning the service right away.
Prominent Christian sects, including Baptist, Methodist, and Nazarene, also observe the three-day rule but not as strictly as Catholics do, and holding a viewing service before burial is common. In addition, cremation is allowed, which offers the deceased's family more creative ways to honor their loved one.
In Jewish culture, delaying the burial is regarded as disrespect to the body. Therefore, after someone’s death, their funeral needs to be held as soon as possible. Although some days are considered "Holy," carrying out funeral services on these specific days is prohibited.
Today, nearly all religions show flexibility towards burial customs, enabling far-flung families to come together to attend services and share each other's grief.
Is it Possible to Delay the Funeral?
Since it's common to hold funerals in the first three weeks after a death, it's inadvisable to delay them for too long. However, the initial hurry to arrange a funeral shortly after death is required because the body starts to decompose. Also, the grieving family wants to make peace with their loved one's passing by saying the final goodbye as soon as possible.
But it is essential to recognize that sometimes it is hard to avoid delays. For example, people might need to delay their beloved's funeral if:
- Relatives or friends of the deceased live abroad and cannot travel for a while.
- The body is undergoing criminal investigation and preserved for collecting evidence.
- The departed is a missing person.
Though holding a memorial service later may help in any of these occurrences, be quick to make arrangements for the body's final disposition.
Is the Body Cremated Before or After the Funeral?
Cremation can happen both ways. Having your loved one cremated after the funeral means that you can still view their body at the funeral service. However, by having cremation first, you won't be restricted to holding a funeral in the first few days following death and will have the freedom to plan a service and make even out-of-town arrangements for it. Additionally, because the ashes do not decompose, you have flexibility in deciding the most appropriate way to honor your departed loved one.
Deciding on When to Hold a Funeral is a Unique Choice for Every Family!
Every family has a different way of dealing with situations. A Direct Cremation believes that planning and addressing the issue when your family members are not under the emotional influence of a recent death will help you select the best way to celebrate your beloved's life gloriously and positively.