Search thousands of topics on CostHelper.com

BROWSE ALL TOPICS >> appliances babies & children  cars  consumer electronics health & personal care home & garden personal finance  pets  schools small business weddings
CostHelper > Personal Finance  > Funerals > Funeral Service

Funeral Service Cost


How Much Does a Funeral Service Cost?

 
low costGraveside Ceremony: $150-$850+average costService in Funeral Home or Mortuary: $250-$1,100+high costComplete Funeral Package: $850-$15,000+
post E-mail post Post  

A funeral or memorial service is an official ceremony honoring and remembering the dead person, and the service can be religious or secular in nature. The casketed body is present for a funeral (the casket may be open or closed), but for a memorial the body is generally not present, although an urn of cremated ashes might be on display during a memorial service. A funeral service is typically held in a church, synagogue, chapel, funeral home or mortuary, or at the gravesite. A memorial service might be held in any of those places or in a family home, a park, by the seashore or in any other meaningful spot.

Typical costs:

  • Most churches do not charge for the funeral service of an active member of their congregation, but it can be customary to give a donation of $50-$200 or more to the church. Non-members may be charged rental fees of $200-$500 or more, depending on the number and type of facilities, and the length of time they are needed. It's also customary to pay an honorarium of $50-$250 or more to each clergy member leading the service, the organist or other musicians, and anyone else performing during the ceremony (with the exception of family members or close friends). These fees are separate from the charges by a funeral home or mortuary for handling, preparing and transporting the body. See How Much Does a Funeral Cost.
  • A traditional Jewish funeral is simple, and not ostentatious. Costs can range from $500 to $10,000, but average $4,000 to $6,000 for all expenses. For details, see How Much Do Jewish Funerals Cost.
  • Charges to have a funeral home or mortuary coordinate a simple graveside funeral ceremony with only a few mourners start between $150 and $450 for a few chairs and casket-lowering equipment. A larger ceremony can cost $500-$850 or more depending on location and number of staff people needed on site.
  • Having a funeral director organize a funeral or memorial service in the funeral home or mortuary, or in a local church, synagogue, chapel or other venue can cost $250-$1,100 or more, depending on the size of the funeral and the number of staff people needed on site. (Often the charges are the same whether the service is held in the funeral home or at another location, because the main cost is staff time.)
  • These charges are for only the funeral ceremony and do not include the cost of the casket ($900-$10,000 and up) or gravesite ($250-$5,000), or fees for services such as embalming ($200-$700) or transporting the body ($125-$300 per trip), or the basic fee ($700-$2,000) that federal law allows funeral homes and mortuaries to charge anyone using their services. Complete funeral packages that cover most of these items can run $850-$2,500 for a direct-burial package with a simple graveside service or $6,000-$15,000 or more for a full traditional funeral with all the options. Midgley Gardenside Mortuary in California charges $275 for equipment and staff at a graveside funeral service, and $2,000 for an economy graveside package including casket. Most funeral packages do not include the gravesite, which can cost $200-$5,000 or more.
Related articles: Funeral Processions, Funeral Flowers, Casket, Jewish Funeral, Funeral

What should be included:
  • A funeral is traditionally held relatively soon after the death, while a memorial can be held immediately or several weeks or several months later. A coalition of funeral homes in Rochester, New York, provides an overview of funeral etiquette[1] for both guests and the bereaved.
  • The basic elements of a funeral or memorial service may include writings such as poems or essays of significance to the deceased; for a religious ceremony, prayers or a meditation and a sermon or homily; a eulogy, which is a short speech describing the deceased person's life; stories from friends and relatives recalling the deceased; and appropriate music. The Rochester funeral homes offer guidelines for writing a eulogy[2] ; the blog GodWeb.org provides suggested readings[3] for a Christian funeral or memorial; and Funeralwise.com[4] lists possible readings from a variety of sources, both religious and secular.
Additional costs:
  • Most funeral homes and mortuaries add a surcharge of $50-$450 for funeral or memorial services held in the evening or on weekends.
Discounts:
  • If the deceased qualified for Social Security benefits, a surviving spouse (or a dependent child if there is no surviving spouse) might be eligible for a special $255 death benefit from Social Security[5] .
Shopping for a funeral service:
  • Nonprofit local funeral or memorial societies[6] are often a good source of information about organizing a funeral or memorial service, and how to get the best rates.
  • Search for local funeral homes or mortuaries with the National Funeral Directors Association or the Selected Independent Funeral Homes[7] , or at TheFuneralSite.com. Check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau[8] .
post E-mail post Post  
CostHelper News


3 Ways to Have the Government Pay You Back for Your Energy Efficient Upgrades
Any renovations or upgrades made to your home this year that included energy-efficient appliances could be eligible for some federal energy tax credits. But it's not just appliances. || Posted December 9 2013


7 Lesser-Known Discounts for the 50+ Crowd
As they age, members of the Baby Boomer generation don't like to admit that they're senior citizens, but they love getting discounts. It's kind of a quandary, because some of the best deals available are reduced prices for older folks. || Posted October 21 2013

‣ All CostHelper Blog Posts


What People Are Paying - Recent Comments


 

Comment On Your Experience With a Funeral Service
 
Subject:  *
Amount Spent:  *
Included in Service: Funeral Home/Mortuary: 
Comments: 
Purchased:  Year: 
City:  * State:  *
 
Information about you:
Email:  * Email addresses are not displayed.
Name:  This is the name we'll display with your post.
me on this computer
*=required field.
 



External Resources:
  1.  www.rochesterfuneralhomes.com/Resource_Guides/Funeral_Etiquette.html
  2.  www.rochesterfuneralhomes.com/Resource_Guides/Writing_a_eulogy.html
  3.  www.godweb.org/funeralreadings.htm
  4.  www.funeralwise.com/plan/ceremony/read
  5.  www.ssa.gov/survivorplan/ifyou7.htm
  6.  www.funerals.org/affiliates-directory
  7.  www.selectedfuneralhomes.org/
  8.  www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews/
More Personal Finance Topics
Check Out All Costs for Personal Finance How Much Do Tax Returns Cost? How Much Does Closing a Home Cost? How Much Does a Traffic Ticket Attorney Cost?

Search Thousands of Topics on CostHelper.com



Today's Featured Cost Articles

About CostHelper
CostHelper is based in Silicon Valley and provides consumers with unbiased price information about thousands of goods and services. Our writers are experienced journalists who adhere to our strict editorial ethics policy.

CostHelper Community
COST OF EXAM, EUTHANASIA & GROUP CREMATION
Paid: 160.00
Exam $48, Euthanasia of our Cat Grasshopper $84, Aftercare group cremation $28, total of $160. Location Southern California / San Diego County on 8/28/2014. Tried to take her to our Vet of 15 years and they could not see her for a week... [more]
-Crisy
Pet Euthanasia Cost
Yearly trust payment
Paid: 12000.00
I pay about $12,000 a year to my trustee's New Mexico office, However I've often wondered if I was being excessively charged... [more]
-paying more then earning
Trust Cost
ER w/belly ache
Paid: 9988.00
Went in & 2 other cases came in later but had 2 be served 1st. Gave me a pain killer & never saw a doctor. Each thing they did was hurry up & wait... [more]
-charles pace
Emergency Room Visit Cost
Bone graft injection
Paid: 7700.00
The dentist said I needed 7cc's of bone @ $1100 per cc. Is this a reasonable amount? This was to secure an implant the was infected... [more]
-Gala Dali
Dental Bone Graft Cost
wheel balance (front tires)
Paid: 38.00
They busted 1 of my wheel studs, didn't tell me, and replaced it with a really crappy looking lugnut. Oh, and the ride quality is worse. I paid them to do this... [more]
-Hue Janus
Wheel Balancing Cost
Deep cleaning and extractions
Paid: 90.00
When we got our 4-year baby from someone she had horrible breath and our vet recommended a deep cleaning for $175. I checked around and the SOHFGA did the same procedure for $80. So I had them do it at the same time we had her spayed... [more]
-Cocoa's Mom - Phyllis Rios
Dog Teeth Cleaning Cost