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How Much Time Normally Passes Between Death and Funeral Services?

  How long does it take generally once someone has died before the visitation and then the funeral? Aday? Two-four days? And does it depend on the time of day when the death occured? Finally I am curious as to whether or Sunday funerals are preformed?

The length of time before a visitation and or a funeral service can take place depends upon the family's wishes.

NO, it does not depend upon the time of day that the death occurs to set up the type of service a family may wish. The funeral director or his staff will go out to the place of death at anytime of the day or night to pick up the remains. Most funeral homes are on call 24 -
7 - 365. (24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year).

There are basically two ways of maintaining the remains. One is with embalming and the other with refrigeration.

When a body is embalmed the length of time between the initial contact with the family can be lengthened. Some families need a day to get everyone notified, while others need at least a week to get all of the family back home from whereever they may be.

Embalming does not stop the decomposition process; but rather slows it down to accommodate the holding time necessary for the family to gather. Embalming is
used more than refrigeration because not all funeral homes have refrigeration equipment.

Refrigeration is used in lieu of embalming. This is used when the length of time is one day or two before an immediate burial or direct cremation can be performed. Refrigeration is not recommended for long term holding of the remains.

Depending upon the area of the country, Sunday funeral services can be performed. Here in Illinois, we have performed funeral services on Sunday evening and then gone to the cemetery the following day with just the immediate family. Most cemeteries are not open for burial on Sundays; therefore most services have traditionally been on Mondays.

We do know of a few cemeteries in the Chicago area that are open on Sundays and holidays for interments, however they charge approximately 3 times what it would cost on a week day - this is due to union contracts and the payment of time and a half/overtime to their employees. -- Stephen Dawson

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