"Friends help you move,
but true friends help you move a body"
Courtesy of Olivia Bareham, Sacred Crossings
After-Death Care Workshop

What is a home funeral?

A home funeral is a family or community-centered response to death and after-death care. Families and communities may play a key role in:

  • planning and carrying out after-death rituals or ceremonies, such as laying out the deceased and home visitation of the body
  • preparing the body for burial or cremation
  • filing death-related paperwork such as the death certificate
  • transporting the deceased to the place of burial or cremation
  • facilitating the final disposition, such as digging the grave in natural burial
Home funerals may occur within the family home or not. Some nursing homes, for example, may allow the family to care for the deceased after death, and more church committees are housing and caring for the dead. The emphasis is on minimal, non-invasive, and environmentally friendly care of the body. Support and assistance to carry out after-death care may come from home funeral educators or guides, but their goal is to facilitate maximum involvement of the family in charge of the funeral process, and their social network.

How you can learn more
The NHFA acts as a clearinghouse of all things home funeral, providing connections and resource information to all who are looking for guidance. On these pages, you will find:
Become a member

Membership is free and open to all. Please see our Join Membership for a list of member benefits for more information. We hope you will find our resources helpful, and choose to support our work by becoming involved in committee activities, attending workshops and conferences, and passing on your knowledge to others in need.

Join us at our next NHFA Conference in 2015

We are in the planning stages of our 2015 Biennial Conference. Stay tuned for more information about the conference — and help us make it a reality! Join our Events Committee by going to About Us


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Photo Above: Elizabeth Knox conducts a home funeral body care workshop at a conference in Boulder. The emphasis is on minimal, non-invasive, and environmentally-friendly care of the body.

The NHFA is a nonprofit organization committed to supporting home funeral education.
The NHFA does not offer certification opportunities. Membership in the NHFA and participation in
its activities does not constitute endorsement of any kind.

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