A very common question that comes up when people are organising a funeral is “Why can’t I have the funeral on a weekend?”. Some people believe it common sense to hold funerals when people aren’t at work. However, there are a number of reasons why funerals are traditionally held on a weekday rather than a weekend:
1) Ministers have traditionally been unavailable on weekends
The same ministers that officiate funerals during the week are often busy on the weekends officiating weddings and also attending to their own parishes. This was certainly the case historically when many people attended church every Sunday. So with Saturday seen more as a wedding day, and Sunday the day of worship, funerals have always been planned for a day during the week.
2) The Funeral Costs may be higher for a weekend service
Ministers, Funeral Directors and Cemetery staff may have to work additional hours to facilitate a weekend service, which could mean increased funeral costs, making it prohibitively expensive. Many chapels and locations to have your wake would also have higher fees on the weekend that during the week.
3) Funerals are generally held within 3-4 days of the person passing which gives a broad enough window to find a weekday
Whilst funeral etiquette varies greatly depending on your location and culture, in most cases a funeral will be held within 3-4 days of a person passing. Therefore regardless of which day of the week the person passes away, there is plenty of time to organise the funeral to be held on a weekday and avoid the extra costs associated with a weekend service.
4) Most Cemetery’s simply don’t offer weekend burials
If you are having a traditional service and burial at a cemetery then your options will probably be limited to weekdays only as most cemetery’s do not open on weekends at all.
5) People are accustomed to going to funerals on weekdays, and it is acceptable to take the day off work to attend
Many people actually prefer the option of leaving work to go and remember a loved one and spend some time reminiscing about them and their life, rather than trying to squeeze it in on a weekend already busy with family commitment and kids sport.
There are instances however where you may find a weekend funeral appropriate for you:
- If you are having a ceremony in a Funeral Chapel with a cremation to follow, your funeral home could hold your service on a weekend at your request. The cremation would not need to take place on the weekend and could be done on the first or second weekday back.
- If budget is not a concern and you really want to have your service on a weekend, then you will likely be able to organise it at extra cost.
- If you have family coming from interstate and you really need to hold the service on a weekend, your funeral home may be able to facilitate that, but again at potentially an extra cost and not if a burial is needed as well