Why choose an unattended funeral?

There are many options when it comes to funeral planning.

These options are not limited. You can also decide whether close relatives and friends will attend the funeral. This is also known as an direct burial.

These types of funerals do not include a service and mourners are not invited to the cremation or burial. However, there are many valid reasons people choose to attend them.

Why Do People Choose These Types of Funerals?

Partly due to the pandemic where unattended funerals were the only option, the issue of unattended funerals has been highlighted. These should not be viewed as negative. A funeral service and burial or cremation are only one part of celebrating someone’s life.

Families can pay their respects to their loved ones in their own ways and according to their wishes with unattended funerals. It doesn’t matter if you have a church funeral. Many people also host their own funeral receptions at home.

Benefits of an Unattended Funeral

Is there anything that makes unattended funerals a better choice? Several things are possible to consider. The two most important advantages are travel and cost. There are other reasons, however…


Families and guests will only need transportation to the reception venue (if there is one), rather than having to hire or drive limousines to get between locations like the cemetery, crematorium, or church.


Unattended funerals cost less than full-service funerals. This is because you don’t need a lot of things such as limousine hire and venue hire.

Funeral costs seem to be on an (mostly continuous increase. They reached a peak of PS4,200 in 2020 for a basic burial, and then dropped by a few percentage points in 2021-2022. However, it remains to see if it will rise again after that year.

It’s possible for costs to increase slowly as with all other expenses. So, saving money on traditional services and planning your own tribute might be a wise move.

A basic funeral costs approximately PS4,000 today. Add professional fees, services, and the cost of holding a wake to that figure, and it rises to nearly PS9,000. Costs vary across the country with London being the most expensive.

Burials can be the most costly, with cremations costing around PS1,000 less and direct cremations costing on average about PS1,500.

Prepaid funeral plans can help you avoid rising funeral costs. This locks in the cost of your funeral at the current price. These plans are offered by most funeral directors.


Unattended funerals can have some psychological benefits. Some people find attending a funeral too stressful or difficult. This allows them to grieve in their own way, with less formality. This helps those who are struggling to decide whether or not to attend a funeral, and takes the pressure off their shoulders.

People are starting to break with old traditions in a positive manner. Not having a funeral can be seen a liberating thing. If you or the deceased were not particularly traditional, you might consider an alternative type of funeral such as an unattended one.

David Bowie, in fact, was said to have cremated without a funeral and without any family or friends because he wanted to “go with no fuss”.

Should You Have an Unattended Funeral?

No one can tell what type of funeral you should have, unless your religion requires it. It is an individual decision. Unattended funerals are just one option. Talk to your funeral director for further information.

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