How Long Is a Funeral? Length of Different Types

Published July 31, 2020
Mourners at a graveside funeral

How long a funeral lasts is determined by the type of funeral. It's easy to assess how long a funeral will last once you understand the type of funeral you'll be attending.

How Long Does a Typical Funeral Last?

You can expect a typical funeral to last about 40 to 60 minutes. Some funeral services may only last around 30 minutes, sometimes less. Where the service is held and whether it is a religious service can affect how long the service lasts.

How Long Is a Funeral Service in Church?

There are several types of Christian churches and each has its own type of worship service as well as funeral service. The average church funeral service lasts around 40 minutes. A breakdown by religion can help you plan your time.

How Long Is a Catholic Funeral Mass?

The time required for a Catholic funeral mass is around 40 minutes. However, the funeral service will be much longer if it includes a Requiem Mass. When a Requiem Mass is part of the funeral service, Holy Communion is included. The time will expand proportionately depending on how many people partake of the Holy Communion.

Catholic church funeral with coffin

Length of Other Christian Church Funeral Services

Other Christian church funeral services have variances in their services. The majority of Christian funeral services will last between 40 minutes to an hour. Some may offer communion as part of their funeral services, so you'll need to allow more time for this inclusion in a funeral, depending on how many attendees participate in Holy Communion.

How Long Is a Funeral Home Service?

If the service held in a funeral home chapel is non-religious, it may only last 15 to 20 minutes. If it is a religious service, the time can fluctuate depending on the religion and funeral rites required. A religious service may require 30 minutes to an hour.

How Long Is a Graveside Funeral Service?

A graveside funeral service can be conducted as the sole funeral service, or it can be part of a larger service. A graveside funeral service may be part of a church funeral that concludes with the interment. It may be the conclusion of a funeral home service. It may be a standalone funeral service. A typical graveside service lasts around 15 to 20 minutes. It is often followed by attendees paying respects to the family, so the entire attendance time can be much longer depending on the number of people in attendance.

How Long Does a Cremation Funeral Service Last?

A funeral home or church cremation funeral service is usually conducted the same as a casket funeral service. The main difference is the interment might be in a church garden, memorial garden or memorial wall. Some church cemeteries allow the scattering of ashes in a specific area. In most instances, the timeframe is the same as a casket funeral that includes a graveside service. This can mean the overall funeral service last anywhere from one hour to over 90 minutes.

Funeral Service Option for Cremation

There are many funeral service options for cremation. The time for each type of funeral service varies since these are often customized and highly personalized funeral services.

Interment Options for Cremation

The interment may be held at a church cemetery or public cemetery. This might be a mausoleum niche area where urns are placed. It may be a cemetery with a scattering garden that accommodates services for scattering the ashes of the deceased. This type of interment funeral services can last 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the type of funeral rites practiced.

How Long Does a Jewish Funeral Last?

A Jewish funeral can take between 15 to 60 minutes. It may be held in a funeral home, synagogue or graveside. Some modern Jewish sects accept cremation, so this type of funeral may be in the mix. When the funeral is held at the funeral home or synagogue, the internment is at the cemetery where a graveside service concludes the burial rites.

Rabbi in synagogue officiating funeral

How Long Does a Buddhist Funeral Last?

A Buddhist funeral is held in a Buddhist temple, funeral home or family home. It lasts around 30 to 60 minutes. With no formal ceremony guidelines, prayers are offered, along with a possible eulogy and/or sermon. The traditional practice is for the body to be cremated after the funeral service. However, modern Buddhists have broken with this tradition by having the cremation after a wake. The ashes are typically scattered in moving water, such as a river or ocean, although some families use an urn niche for interment.

How Long Does a Muslim Funeral Last?

A Muslim funeral can take 30 to 60 minutes. Cremation is forbidden. After the funeral prayers are completed, the funeral party proceeds to the cemetery for interment.

Type of Funeral and How Long a Funeral Lasts

There are many factors that go into determining how long a funeral service lasts. If you know in advance, you can make better plans. You might also find it helpful to learn about the average time between a death and a funeral to guide you while making arrangements.

How Long Is a Funeral? Length of Different Types