Are Funerals Held On Sundays?

At first glance, that may seem an odd question to be asking. After all, why would funerals ever be held on a Sunday? Well, it turns out the answer is yes they are, but not very often.

Funerals are often held on Sundays. Saturdays are also common days for funerals. These two are the more popular funeral days. this holds true throughout the world and across religious factions. The placement of funerals on these days is to ensure the maximum number of guests will attend.

The vast majority of funerals are held on Saturdays or Fridays. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, only about two percent of funerals in the United States are held on Sundays. This trend can probably be attributed to the fact that most people have either Saturday off work or Friday.

Many families take advantage of these days when they can come together to honor their loved one’s passing by holding a funeral service for them. Another factor that has led to this tradition is because many Christian denominations believe if a person dies on the weekend, like Friday or Saturday, they go to Heaven immediately.

The second most popular day of the week for funeral services is Tuesday, followed closely by Monday. Given the fact that many people are at work during this time frame, fewer business owners would want to schedule their services on these days.

However, with about 24 percent of Americans identifying as non-religious and Christianity being seen as old fashioned more and more in some circles, has led to a rise in funerals being held on Tuesdays and Mondays. In addition, when you think about it from a business standpoint, if you have a location open only two days a week, then why not make them your busiest days? Tuesday and Monday most certainly qualify, and you might be able to attract more business.

Do funerals happen on a Sunday?

Funerals can and do happen on Sunday, but it is not very common. While about two percent of funerals are scheduled for a group, such as when many family members or friends pass away at the same time, they will be scheduled accordingly, often leading to a Sunday funeral.

According to this chart from investment company JP Morgan Chase & Co., Sundays were among the slowest day for church attendance back in 2002. According to their report, 67 percent of Americans attend church at least once a month, while only nine percent did so every week during that year.

In addition, there are other factors to consider about funerals being held on Sundays. For example, if you look at John F Kennedy’s Funeral Program, which was held on a Thursday, you will see it included three distinct masses. For Catholics, the first mass is considered to be both a requiem and an absolution service. If one is practicing the Catholic faith, the services include bible readings, communion, and ritual prayers for five decades of the rosary.

Three separate masses are also part of Methodist funerals. Though they might not follow the same protocol as Catholics or Jews do when they hold their funeral services, they tend to be heavily religious, similar to what Presbyterians also practice at their funerals. In addition, many mainstream Protestant beliefs mirror these two faiths despite not being direct branches from Catholicism or Judaism.

All major religions believe in some form of afterlife, which is what funeral services often revolve around. The idea that when someone dies, they enter into another realm where they can be at peace, an idea that much like heaven or nirvana, appeals to the masses yearning for a greater meaning after this life has ended.

What day of the week are funerals usually held?

Funerals are often held on Tuesdays or Mondays, depending on each person’s religious background. Christians typically hold funerals on Sundays, while Jewish people tend to use Saturdays for theirs. Muslims also use Fridays as their day of rest, and many Buddhist traditions focus on Saturday as their day to pray for deceased relatives, known as Ancestor Worship.

Another factor to consider is that some religions choose not to hold funerals at the exact locations where they bury their dead. Though this list might be incomplete, it could be possible to extrapolate other potential days of the week funeral services may be held by looking at Sunday through Thursday practices that mirror other faiths in response to this article should it gain enough traction online.

If you look at how Episcopalians (who use the Book of Common Prayer for their funeral services) and Italian Catholics (who also follow this tradition) hold their services you will see they both tend to choose Saturdays as their prime day for funerals.

Even though many Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus might disagree on many things regarding religion, they all do seem to share a common thread regarding holding them on days that don’t include Monday through Friday.

Many humanist groups who have written off the idea of being referred to as an atheist or agnostic group often express some form of reverence towards life which is why so many of these organizations tend to bury their dead on Thursdays. Whether those funerals are held at the same location where their bodies were laid to rest or not is often up to the family, but for some it does seem to be a day they want to honor their life.

Are funerals ever on Monday?

As stated above Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday are the most common days of the week for funerals. Some religions also choose Saturdays while others have a more flexible schedule that can allow their funeral services to be held on both Friday and Saturday. Mondays only account for about five percent of all funeral ceremonies in North America according to research completed by The Atlantic back at the start of 2013.

One luxury Swiss company called Dignitas once claimed back in 2007 it would offer its clients Monday burials for an extra fee. Yet, it drew a lot of criticism from an international humanist group when it did so due to how the price list was only made available in German when this article became widespread.

Though most Catholics and Protestants use their funeral services based on the traditions they have been practicing for centuries to show a sense of community that can help them cope with loss through a series of prayers, some religions don’t believe in holding formal funerals at any date or time. This is especially true if someone dies in a war where they might be buried directly on the battlefield instead of getting sent home for burial.


Though this article is meant to provide a background of sorts for individuals who want to understand more about what they may experience when attending the funerals of others it’s also something that can help many people better understand their own religious and cultural backgrounds. This is mainly because everyone tends to connect with family and friends in some way after someone has died, whether they’re aware of an afterlife or not.

If you look closely enough at your history, you might find that most families hold memorial services on Sundays while other cultures prefer Saturday as their day for celebration. If you are unsure of where your ancestors are buried then this information could be useful since if necessary you’ll know which days are best suited for funeral services during Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism or Judaism, even if you don’t actively practice any of these faiths.

If nothing else, it can help you understand why there are so many businesses in most major cities that specialize in preparing the dead for burial daily, especially if they have to do work on Sundays due to personal family commitments. Otherwise, when they’re not working, they usually attend religious gatherings with their families just like the rest of us, even if it’s just for familiarity’s sake.

Gene Botkin

Gene is the director of the Theosis Christian Project. He studied physics and military science before founding the Project. Gene is currently pursuing his doctorate in systems engineering at an engineering college in the Ozarks. The Theosis Christian Project is his attempt to expand Holy Orthodoxy in America.

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