Do funerals happen on bank holidays in the UK? The short answer is yes, they can. While most funerals in this country take place during the working week, it’s possible to arrange a funeral on a bank holiday if you need to. Though keep in mind that it does depend on the availability of your chosen funeral director, as well as the burial ground or crematorium you choose and the budget you have available.
Is it common to hold funerals on bank holiday Monday?
With 8 bank holidays falling on weekdays during each year, it’s not unusual for us to be asked questions about funerals on bank holidays. Although not all bank holidays fall on a Monday, many tend to, as this often acts as a ‘substitute’ day for a public or religious holiday that fell on a Saturday or Sunday.
While it’s not common for funeral services to be held on bank holidays, there are some reasons you may consider it. If, for example, you have family or friends who live overseas and would like to return for the funeral, a long weekend may allow them to do so. Likewise, people who find it difficult to take time away from work may also find it easier to attend a funeral happening on a weekend or bank holiday.
Do crematoriums and burial grounds support funerals on bank holidays?
Many crematoriums and burial grounds are open on a bank holiday, even if it is for shorter hours, or with slightly reduced staff. Because of this, you may find that if you want to hold a funeral on a bank holiday, you’ll have less choice about the time of the service. It can also depend on the availability of the person you’ve chosen to lead the ceremony or service for you.
Sometimes it’s necessary to hold a funeral quickly for religious reasons – perhaps if your loved one was a member of the Jewish or Muslim faith, where tradition dictates that a funeral should take place within 24-72 hours of the person dying. Most funeral directors and burial grounds will understand the importance of this and be able to accommodate your needs. The most important thing is to get in contact with them as soon as possible.
Your funeral director will be able to talk you through the options that are available to you in your local area.
Is it more expensive to hold a funeral on a bank holiday?
Yes, it usually costs more to arrange a funeral for a bank holiday, just as you would pay more to hold the funeral on a Saturday or Sunday. This is because the people involved – funeral directors, crematorium staff etc. – tend to charge more for their time at weekends.
You may also find it more difficult, or expensive, to secure your preferred venue if you choose to hold a wake after a funeral on a bank holiday.
Can funerals happen on bank holidays over the Christmas period?
Funerals can happen at any time over the Christmas period, yes. Although it’s unlikely that a funeral director would agree to arrange a funeral on Christmas Day or Boxing Day due to a lack of staff. Crematoriums tend to shut on Christmas Day and as this is an extremely busy time of the year for the Christian faith, if you need a vicar or priest to oversee a burial or service it may be more difficult to arrange one.
It may also be tricky to find a suitable wake venue over the Christmas period, as many places that are able to hold large groups of people are likely to be busy with Christmas parties and other festivities.
The best thing to do is contact a funeral director as soon as possible to talk about your options.
Getting the bank holiday funeral planning support you need
If a loved one dies when there is a bank holiday coming up, rest assured you’ll still be able to get the support you need. Funeral directors should be available 24/7, no matter whether it’s a weekend, bank holiday or even Christmas Day. They will be able to answer any questions you might have and arrange a private ambulance to collect the person who has died if necessary.
If you’re unsure about how to begin to plan the funeral of a loved one, we’re here to help. You can search for funeral directors in your local area using our free funeral director comparison tool.