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2015 Board of Directors

What is a home funeral?

A home funeral happens when a loved one is cared for at home or sacred space after death, giving family and friends time to gather and participate in:

  • planning and carrying out after-death rituals or ceremonies
  • preparing the body for burial or cremation by bathing, dressing and laying out for visitation
  • keeping the body cool with noninvasive techniques, such as ice
  • filing the death certificate and obtaining transport and burial permits
  • transporting the deceased to the place of burial or cremation
  • facilitating the final disposition, such as digging the grave in a natural burial
  • hiring professionals for specific products or services

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:

What we stand for

The NHFA also advocates for preserving the rights of families to care for their own dead while supporting home funeral guides in their calling to guide families when needed.

Become a member

Membership is free and open to all. Please see our Become a Member 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.

Beth Knox conducts after-death care workshop

Photo Above: Beth Knox conducts a home funeral body care workshop at a conference in Colorado, emphasizing minimal, non-invasive, and environmentally-friendly care of the body.

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The NHFA is a nonprofit 501c3 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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