Faith · family

Planning a Funeral


I never thought about planning a funeral…until  I had to.  Really, who wants to think about that?  I always thought that you just call up the funeral home and they take care of the rest.  Right?  Wrong.  I hope you take a few moments to read this post.  It might be helpful to you in the future…

Your loved one passed away…now what?

I expected someone to tell me what I needed to do.  Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.  There is one thing that you need to do immediately after someone dies-chose the funeral home.  In addition to other things, the funeral home will be in charge of the body.  Once that is done, you can take a little more time for the rest.

Planning a funeral is not easy.  You’re still coping with the death of your loved one.  You don’t want to deal with the logistics of planning a funeral, but you have to.  So, here are the things you need to consider:

  • Pastor or Funeral Officiant:  You will need someone to conduct the funeral service.  Typically, there is some type of music as well.  For my mom’s funeral, we had the service at a church and had an organist.  Check with your funeral director or pastor to determine what is typical payment/donation for these services.
  • Cemetery:  Ground burial plot or burial vault, there are all kinds of costs associated with each of these.  Headstones, casket, urn, flower holder (not included in the purchase of burial vault-in our case this was an extra $200), etc.  This is the one part that I would highly suggest taking care of in advance.  No one wants to think about this stuff, but you will remove a huge burden for your loved ones when the time comes.
  • Obituary & Prayer Cards:  The funeral home will help you with this.  The obituary we wrote was short, approximately one paragraph long, and cost close to $400.  This is dependent on the newspaper, so it could be a lot more or less depending on the paper and how much you want to put in the obituary.
  • Guest Book:  The funeral home offers these for purchase for around $40.  We found one at the Hallmark store for $5.
  • Flowers:  We had the funeral within a few days after my mom passed away.  The flowers were ordered on a Saturday for the funeral on Monday.  So, we had to settle for what the florist had on hand.  Again, these are not cheap.
  • Luncheon:  The family typically plans and pays for a meal after the funeral.  Many family restaurants will have a menu specifically for funeral luncheons.  Ask your pastor or funeral director for recommendations.

There are many items that I may be missing or might be different where you live, but this should give you some idea of what to plan for or use as a rough guideline for things to think about.

Two random items that I wanted to mention:

  1.  Call the police department regarding funeral and let them know the home will be empty that day.
  2. Most hotels will give you a bereavement rate-ask for this rate when you check in (or out)

Please, take some time to discuss your funeral arrangements with your family or at least write them down.  Bonus points if you actually meet with a funeral home & cemetary and make/pay for these arrangements.  It will be a huge help during a very difficult time.

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11 thoughts on “Planning a Funeral

  1. I think the article made a good point when it said that you don’t really want to deal with the logistics of planning a funeral after a loved one has died. I have heard that it could be beneficial to have many of the plans made and finalized in advance so as to relieve some of the stress associated with planning for a funeral. I think one thing that can be done in advance is to research and select a funeral home that fits your needs and your budget.


  2. I think everyone should make a wish list / last will list (incl. login codes). It just makes everything a lot easier for the family.


  3. A close family member of mine just recently passed away and my siblings and I are currently doing everything we can to plan a good funeral. Before reading this I hadn’t thought about coordinating the plans and arrangments with the whole family, but this definitely seems like a way you can ensure the funeral goes smoothly. Even though this is a very difficult time, it seems like planning this event is going to be manageable. Thank you for the information.


  4. This article was really helpful for me to plan a funeral. I am writing a will and I don’t want my family to have to do anything so I am trying to put the instructions in my will. My favorite part that you mention is looking for someone to officiate. I never would have thought to ask who I want to speak at my funeral. Thanks for the tips, now I need to find a funeral home.


  5. Thanks for explaining some things to consider when planning a funeral. I actually didn’t know that the funeral home can help with the obituary & prayer cards. It’s good to know that you can rely on someone during this process, and that you can let some of the work be done by someone else.


  6. I like that you provided some tips on how to plan or arrange a funeral service for a loved one such as planning which cemetery your loved one would be interred. It is important to consider factors related to this such as whether you would be choosing ground burial plot or burial vault, the type of headstone, and casket. Consulting with other family members is recommended to make sure that everyone agrees to the arrangement. I would make sure to keep this in mind if we ever have to arrange a funeral service for a loved one. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My mom recently passed away after having been battling cancer for the past few years. She told us all that she was really keen on having her funeral be more of a celebration than a sad thing. I like how you pointed out that there is usually music at them, so I’ll have to make sure we get someone who can play all of her favorite songs. Your article should really help me find the right funeral home to go through to figure out the service.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A friend of mine recently passed away, so I’ve been trying to help the family prepare for the funeral. I’m glad that you mentioned how the funeral home you chose was able to write the obituary for you. I wasn’t sure who was going to do this, so we’ll definitely look for a funeral director who is willing to help. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I appreciate some of the tips you shared regarding the planning of a funeral. I like your tip about finding someone to conduct the service and playing the music. I would assume that speaking with someone at a funeral home could be a big help as well. I’m sure funeral directors deal with this all the time and having them help might relieve some stress during a very difficult time.


  10. Thanks for these tips for planning a funeral. I’m glad you mentioned that a funeral home can help write and obituary. This seems very helpful if you are at a lost of words for what to write in the obituary.


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