How Long After a Death Should the Funeral Take Place?
We live in a world with many different religions, cultures and practices. These impact the way life pans out, even in death. Even when someone has been sick for a long time, their death comes as a shock. And then it’s the funeral. So how long after death must the funeral take place?
How Long After Death, Sooner or Later?
Many people would like the funeral to be the very next day so that they can get finality. In Islam, bury within 24 hours, bury the dead. A director of the Mid-America Muslim Cemetery says that this is a cultural practice to respect the body and to also avoid decay.
The traditional Jewish custom is to bury the deceased within 24 hours or if that isn’t possible, within 48 hours. It’s also because many cultures don’t believe in embalming. So if you can’t bury the body within 24 to 48 hours, they will preserve the body through embalming or refrigeration. Embalming doesn’t stop the decomposition process – it slows it down.
Sunday’s a Day of Rest – Long Term
Depending on the country you live in, you’ll find now that Sunday funeral services are catching one. So where burials were traditionally put on hold till the weekend was over, funeral services and burials are being performed on Sundays. Places such as Illinois and Chicago in the USA conduct burials on a Sunday now. But they charge far more than what they would cost for the week.
The Quicker the Better?
Waiting for 3 or 4 days for the funeral to take place can be unbearable. Prophets of old hold that putting off a burial unnecessarily puts the soul in turmoil and it can only be at peace when the body is buried.
Requirements for Protestant Christian burials aren’t set in stone. People tailor funerals to their liking, so while there is no time frame, most funerals take place within 3 or 4 days. For some people, these days just serve to prolong the agony of waiting for the burial so that life can continue.
Some people, on the other hand, want to visit the deceased at the mortuary. They want time to process things and value a few days before the funeral. The next of kin needs to make an appointment with the appropriate person to collect the medical- or death certificate with the cause of death written on it.
Register the Death First
It is a legal requirement to register all deaths within a few days. Sometimes special situations, such as a post mortem, will delay the funeral due to more paperwork.
In some traditions, burial is prompt while in others, they allow a few days for family and friends to make plans. It’s when refrigeration and embalming allow for days to elapse while they sort the plans. The usual funeral and burial take place within a week.
How Long After Death, What’s Ideal for You?
What’s your idea of the perfect time to bury or cremate the dead? Funeral directors do what they can to please, so find out what your specific funeral home says about the time between death and burial.
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