Can You Hold Two Funerals? Should You?


The funeral is a chance for loved ones to say a final goodbye and mourn their loss. But is it ever appropriate to have more than one funeral? The answer is yes. 

Each situation is unique, but there are some common reasons to hold multiple services. There are also good alternatives to consider. Here's what your family should know. 

Why Hold Two Funerals? 

Families are more spread out than they often were in past generations. This means your family and friends may come from across the state, the country, or the world. Rushing to a funeral right after a death is expensive and sometimes not feasible. In this case, some families hold a second funeral at a slightly later date to accommodate everyone. 

Two separate services also allow family members to mourn in private. This is often done when the deceased had a high profile in the community (or beyond). The family might arrange for a small, private funeral and a second, larger one for those less closely associated to pay their respects. 

Finally, two funerals can help certain families in difficult situations. For instance, if one side of the deceased's family simply cannot get along with the other, it may be wise to provide two separate — but equal — funerals. The same is also the case if the family is too large for one managed event. 

Are There Other Choices?

Of course, two funerals can be too much for some families. Along with the additional expense, you'll have to plan two events. It could also prolong the grieving process.  

If you worry about these factors, consider if you can simply wait to hold the funeral until more people can be there. Modern techniques have made it possible to prepare the body for a longer waiting period. This is an excellent option unless there are religious timing considerations. 

Alternatively, you might plan a funeral and a later memorial. The remains are not present at memorials, so they can be held wherever, whenever, and however you wish. 

Finally, remember that there are different services involved in some funerals. Aside from the actual funeral, you can host a visitation or viewing, wake, celebration of life, graveside service, or reception. Any of these may be able to take the place of a second funeral. 

Where Should You Start?

It may seem strange to plan two funerals, but there are good reasons to do so. Whether you can replace one funeral with another type of gathering or not, the best place to begin planning is by meeting with an experienced funeral home in your area today. 

Contact a local funeral home to learn more. 


13 February 2023

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