When Are the Best Days to Schedule a Funeral or Memorial?
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Is there such a thing as the best day to schedule a funeral? Depending on your religious beliefs and personal preferences, the answer is yes. The Jewish faith, in particular, has strict requirements for the amount of time in which a person must be buried following their death. Three days is a good rule of thumb to follow for most families, although there will always be exceptions. The day of death, the length of time needed for the autopsy report, and the availability of the funeral directors are all factors that could impact the timing of a funeral. If your loved one passed away overseas or even just out-of-state, you’ll also need extra time to transport their body to a local funeral home. When handling funeral arrangements, you’ll also want to consider how many out-of-town friends and family members will be in attendance. John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, Inc. would be happy to assist you with these considerations and others when making funeral plans in the Middletown, NJ area. We do our best to accommodate every family’s wishes and would be glad to walk you through all your available options.
How Religion & the Type of Burial Affect a Funeral’s Timing
Some religions do not believe in embalming, which is usually necessary to preserve a body for an open-casket viewing and burial multiple days after the death. Because Muslims and Jews tend to have the strictest requirements, it’s not uncommon for a Jewish or Muslim burial to take place within 24 hours of death. Most conservative Jews and Muslims also do not believe in cremation. However, cremation gives families more leeway in scheduling a funeral or memorial service. While the cremation itself usually occurs within days of the death, the service doesn’t have to be held until the family is ready, emotionally and financially. There’s also more flexibility about where to hold the service if cremation is involved, as the family may decide to gather somewhere special to scatter their loved one’s ashes.
Weekdays vs. Weekends: Why the Funeral Day Matters
Have you ever wondered why funerals tend to take place on weekdays instead of weekends? If the funeral service involves a religious officiant, it stands to reason it would be held on a weekday because of their busy schedule. Sundays are usually for sermons, while Saturdays may be reserved for weddings. While you’ll want to consider the schedules of attendees, bear in mind that most people are willing to take time off from work to attend a funeral. Many even receive bereavement pay from their employer to do so. Scheduling a service on a Monday or a Friday tends to be the most popular, as it gives people the option of a three-day weekend with minimal disruption to their workweek. Another reason many people refrain from a weekend service is some funeral homes and cemeteries charge higher fees then.
Does the Time of Day Matter When Scheduling a Funeral?
Many funerals are scheduled for the afternoon to give mourners the chance to eat lunch, work a half-day, or make childcare arrangements before the service, although this is certainly not a hard-and-fast rule. The timing may depend on the family’s plans after the service, which may include a graveside service, reception, or gathering at a local restaurant or a family member’s home. Most cemeteries and mausoleums close before dusk for security reasons. The timing may also be dictated by the funeral home’s schedule, as multiple funerals are likely to be scheduled on the same day.
Most Funerals Take Place 3-7 Days After a Death in the U.S.
In the modern era, families tend to be spread everywhere. You’ll want to consider how many people will be traveling long-distance to attend the funeral, giving them adequate time to make travel plans. Most funerals in the United States occur within 3-7 days after a death, although this may be up to the family. You should also give careful consideration to the funeral date, avoiding holidays or significant days such as a birthday or anniversary that may make the date more painful than it needs to be. Whatever you decide, the most important thing is to notify everyone when the funeral or memorial is scheduled. An obituary, or death notice placed online and in your local newspaper, helps spread the word within the community. In addition to the details regarding the time, date, and location of the funeral, you may also include information about where to send flowers or donations for those unable to attend.
Get More Funeral Planning Tips from Our Funeral Home
Please contact John F. Pfleger Funeral Home, Inc. for additional funeral planning tips if you’re in the Middletown, NJ or surrounding Monmouth County area. Our all-faiths funeral home has provided funeral, burial, cremation, and pre-planning services since 1956. Whether you’re interested in a large public or an intimate private gathering, we’re here to help you plan a dignified, meaningful service to cherish your loved one’s memory. You’ll also find our funeral prices online for your convenience.