Home Funerals

Who Can Have a Home Funeral?

It is possible, and increasingly popular, for funerals services to take place at home. Holding a home (sometimes called a DIY) funeral can feel more personal and intimate than having the service elsewhere. Home funerals give the bereaved the opportunity to create a unique and more informal occasion that fully reflects the life and character of the person who has died, without the constraints of a traditional or religious service.

It can feel more relaxed to be in a familiar environment, perhaps in a place that holds strong memories of the person who had died. The occasion could be cheerful, loud, somber, colourful, quiet, big, small, with music, singing, dancing, quiet reflection… The choice is yours.

Benefits of a Home Funeral

Planning a DIY funeral can have several advantages for families who are looking for a more personalised and cost-effective way to say goodbye to their loved one.

  • Cost savings – one major benefit of planning a home funeral is the potential for significant cost savings. Taking on certain tasks themselves, making arrangements, organising the service, etc, can help families avoid costs typically associated with a professional funeral service.
  • Family-led – a home funeral provides the opportunity for family members to actively participate in all aspects of the entire funeral process.
  • Flexibility and customisation – with fewer formalities and external influences, family members can create a ceremony that is just right for them.

Types of Home Funeral

There are a number of options for the style and content of a home funeral.

  • Gathering after a committal elsewhere – a memorial service or ceremony of remembrance or a celebration of life after a committal elsewhere, either on the day or at a later date.
  • A service after a cremation – a ceremony after a cremation with the ashes present, which may or may not be scattered or buried in the grounds.
  • A ceremony with the body present – it might be a funeral service with the body present, followed by a burial in situ or elsewhere.

Home Funeral with a Burial on Private Land

If the home funeral includes a burial on private land, then there are a number of legal and statutory requirements that need to be met.

We provide more details about this in Burial on Private Land in the Burial or Cremation section of this website.

Home Funeral with the Interment of Ashes

If you wish, you can scatter or bury the ashes in a garden or on private land. You may wish to mark the resting place with some type of memorial, perhaps a shrub, tree, plaque or maybe a garden bench.

For more information, please see Finding a Final Resting Place for the Ashes.

How whiteballoon can help

You may find our Planning a Funeral checklist and Funeral Planning Information helpful, and there are some beautiful ideas for everything from readings and music to personal touches and catering in our Inspiration section. If you would like to link directly to local or national providers, please visit whiteballoon Providers.

Personalised Ideas Folder

Items and images from our Inspiration pages can be saved to a personalised Ideas Folder in our Planning Tools section. All our Planning Tools are free to use, but you will need to Register to securely save information to your folder.

This can be printed out and, if you wish, shared with family, friends or anyone else involved in organising the celebration.

Further Information

You might also find the following websites useful:

Home Funeral Network

The Natural Death Centre

Humanists UK

Institute of Civil Funerals

You may also be interested inReligious Funerals

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