Where are funerals and memorials held?

The location of a “typical” funeral has changed considerably over our history.  Not long ago, one visited the deceased laid out in their own home, then attended a funeral at the local church.  Now, visitations are usually held at a funeral home and services may be performed anywhere you choose.

If the deceased’s body is present, funerals are usually held in a church (a personalized ceremony is possible before or after) or a funeral home.  Memorial services (without the body present) are unconstrained by time or place.  You decide when to hold it, where, and what it includes.

Many families select a location meaningful to the deceased.  This could be anything from the family home to a public garden or a favorite vacation spot. Restaurants and banquet halls can provide larger spaces and make it easy to serve food.  A setting that reflects the deceased’s work, hobbies/interests (such as a golf course), or a special charity organization (a museum, for instance) would also be appropriate.

Following the ceremony, most families hold a reception where people can eat and speak informally.  This may be held at the same location as the service or, if that’s not feasible, at an entirely different site.  (Keep travel time in mind.)

Another trend is hosting a remembrance with several distinct parts… or one lasting a full day, a weekend, or longer.  The extended event may highlight different facets of the deceased’s life, or simply give the surviving family and friends more time together.  The possibilities for contemporary and personal tributes are limitless.