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Where to Hold the Funeral

The most common places for holding a funeral are at ethnic places of worship and the ceremonial halls of crematoriums and cemeteries. Religious buildings are especially evocative places, each one unique in its architecture and decoration. They are places of quiet and calm, offering respite from the bind of life, and it’s no wonder that they are popular with even those who don’t regularly attend them. Although traditional venues are usually the first choice for many families when planning a funeral, there are options that can be equally suitable for saying goodbye to our loved ones.

Crematorium Halls

Non-denominational in nature, the ceremony halls at crematoriums are most often used specifically for funeral services. There are exceptions however, and more and more they are being designed to accommodate other functions. Customarily they are designed much like the interiors of modern churches, and add little in the way of atmosphere due to their need to be ethnically neutral. Their sterile façade is often criticized, yet they are still frequently used.

Other Venues

With the changing times and their accompanying social values and attitudes, the choice of locations in or at which to hold a funeral service has broadened. Many people are religiously neutral or have no faith at all, and so look for alternative settings to say goodbye to their loved ones. In most countries there are no legal restrictions as to where funerals are held, but before you choose an alternative site, it is best to check with your local authorities.

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There is a wide choice of places at which to conduct funeral services, more so than weddings. There is normally no license needed, and as long as the venue owners agree, the coffin may be displayed. When debating as to where to have the funeral you may like to consider:

  • A village or local town hall
  • A function room in a hotel
  • A boat
  • The register office (secular only)
  • At home
  • In a park or woodland area
  • By the sea

If you would like to have the funeral service and the burial to take place together, try leasing a plot on private land. If you’re not a member of a local church, but have one in your area that you’d like the funeral to take place at, it is worth approaching them to ask if it is possible to hold it there.

When Choosing a Place

If you have decided to have the funeral at an alternative locale, it is important that you ask the owner for their permission. Death is an emotive subject, and it is not unusual for requests to be denied.

If it’s in a public place, consider the privacy issues, you won’t want the public ogling over displays of grief. Make sure also that the venue has adequate access for displaying and carrying the coffin in and out, especially beware of stairs. You’ll also want to make sure there is adequate parking and seating for all who are attending, and provide safe access for any disabled or the elderly guests.

Outdoor Ceremonies

Outdoor areas such as woodlands, or parks and other areas near the seaside are popular choices for many, especially if the deceased was a lover of nature or a mariner. These settings can be quite special places to hold a funeral; the quiet solitude of a natural environment does something to sooth the soul and present death as something a little less fearful. It can be a very spiritual happening, even for those with little spirituality. Hearing the birds chirping, or the calming sounds of the wind and sea somehow help to symbolize the evolution of body to spirit.

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