Pre-Planning a Home Funeral Service

Home funerals are funeral services that take place at a family home, rather than at a funeral home, cemetery chapel, or religious place of worship. Many home funerals are followed by home burials, though home burial is not a requirement for a home funeral. If you’re interested in pre-planning a home funeral without a home burial, you will still want to engage the services of a funeral home.

Reasons for choosing a home funeral service

People may opt for home funerals during pre-planning because the are comforted by the idea of knowing that their life will be celebrated in the intimate, personal environment of their family's home. If you are interested in a home funeral, be sure to talk to your family to make sure that this is the kind of service they would like to participate in.

Features of a home funeral

The features of a home funeral depend on whether or not you want the home funeral to happen in conjunction with a home burial or not. If so, the common features of a home funeral are:

  • Preparing the body, including washing and clothing the body
  • Wrapping the body in a shroud or placing the body in a casket
  • Hosting the funeral service at the home
  • Transporting the body to the burial site, including acquiring the necessary transport permits
  • Preparing the burial site, including digging and perhaps lining the grave
  • Burying the body in the ground, including placing the body in the grave and filling the grave
  • Installing a headstone or grave marker, if desired

If you decide you'd like to have a home funeral service, you may still want to have a traditional cemetery burial or a traditional cremation. In that case, your family’s level of involvement is really up to them. The body may be prepared by your family members or by the funeral home staff. Your family may transport the body to the cemetery, or the funeral home may handle transportation. In any case, the family will plan a funeral service that will take place in the home.

Where to have a home funeral service

A home funeral may be held at your own home, a family member’s home, or a friend’s home. The place that the funeral is held should feel intimate and comfortable, and should be able to accommodate the number of people who will attend the service.

To learn about other types of services you can have, see our article Pre-Planning a Funeral Service, Graveside Service, or Memorial Service.

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