Thinking of venues – funeral ceremonies in the open air

open air funerals

The most important thing to remember about the open air, in any location, is that it is very unpredictable. Some of the main elements of the normal funeral timeline (dressing the body, bringing the body to the home, transport to the location of worship and or eulogies and burial/cremation) can be done outdoors and some cannot. The key thing is that you choose which parts you wish to be outdoors and build a credible plan on how to deal with poor weather. Dealing with poor weather may mean choosing alternative indoor plans or even waiting for the right day. Obviously when it comes to waiting other considerations will come into play. These can be religious or just practical considerations relating to how long funeral homes and other (like guests) parties can wait.

Can I embalm/bury or cremate/spread ashes in the open air?

Embalming and cremation in the open air is basically unheard of in most countries, this said it should be noted that cremation can happen in the open air in a small number of countries. Burying and spreading of ashes in the open air very much goes with the territory, excuse the pun. Note, however, that their are still limits, both in common sense and legally on where a burial can occur. Burials are restricted almost exclusively to cemeteries and approved burial sites however spreading of ashes can occur in almost any open air place. In most cases ashes can also be kept or spread indoors however this will depend on how fine the ashes are following cremation.

Can I conduct the viewing or visitation in the open air?

This could pose real difficulty, especially if there is an open casket. The weather cannot be counted on even at the best of times so you would need to exercise real care here lest things get out of hand. This said after looking high and low we here at Funeral Suggestions could not find any actual legal restriction on the practice apart from the requirement (at times) for the body to be embalmed.

Can I conduct the religious/civil service of a funeral in the open air?

Some religions are becoming more and more open to the concept of outdoor ceremonies. For some who lived their lives in the outdoors there may be a desire to conduct simple ceremonies outdoors. While a lot of people will carry out these ceremonies the incidence of the body accompanying such a ceremony is very rare.

Can I have a post funeral reception the open air?

This really is not a problem. For many the idea of friends coming together in a park or on a beach is a very positive thought to think of once they have passed on. The concept is used widely in Australia and as their is generally no body or religious affiliations with these events there are no limits to where you want them to be held.

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