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How Long After a Death Does a Funeral Take Place?

In the UK, it is common for funerals to take place within a fortnight of the death of a family member. That said, if you are arranging the funeral of a loved one following their passing, it is important to remember that some funerals take place within a few hours while others are not staged until much later. Therefore, this is only a guide and not some imaginary deadline that you should feel under pressure to meet. At Newrest Funerals, we work with you to arrange the sort of funeral service you would truly like on a schedule that suits you.

This may mean having to wait for a suitable appointment time at a preferred funeral home or crematorium, for example. There again, if you would like a horse-drawn hearse and you don’t live in a location where such a service can be easily procured, it may take a little longer to sort out. There again, some people would prefer a popular Saturday afternoon service which may mean the local cemetery or church – or other place of worship – is already booked. Nevertheless, our experienced funeral professionals will do everything in their power to ensure the funeral takes place in a timely manner given the various priorities you may have.

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Religious Beliefs and Funeral Schedules

Under the Islamic tradition, there should be no undue delay with funerals. Burials are expected to take place within three days of the death of the deceased but within 24 hours if this is at all practical. This may not always be possible but our caring team will work hard to ensure that it does in the case of Muslim funerals. In some Orthodox Christian churches, it is traditional to have the funeral staged eight days following the death. Again, this may not always be practical if that day coincides with a public holiday, for instance, but we will work with you to find the best solution possible if that were to be the case.

What Might Cause a Delay to a Funeral?

There are certain reasons why it may not be possible to stage a funeral within the usual 14 to 16 days after death that is common in the UK. Typically, this will be because:

  • There is a police investigation into the death which means the deceased body hasn’t yet been released.
  • The coroner’s office has decided that a full post mortem report is needed. This might occur if the death was unexpected and occurred for unknown reasons.
  • A request to repatriate the body to another country has yet to be processed by the overseeing authorities.

Equally, some people like to delay funerals of their own accord. This may mean embalming the body of the deceased so that it can be preserved until the funeral takes place. Sometimes this is because people will need to travel a long way to attend the service or because the family has a personal preference for a particular date that is coming up. There again, some people delay funerals on the basis that the weather may improve. All are perfectly sound reasons and something that we can help you with, if wanted.