NHFA President Elizabeth Knox
(second in on the left) speaking with the Minnesota Threshold Network
in June. 

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. 
  • Restoring Families’ Rights to Choose, a position paper jointly written by the NHFA and the FCA regarding legal obstacles for families who choose to care for their own.
  • NHFA Position on Certification and Licensure, a position paper designed to clarify the differences between licensure, certification, and programs that offer certificates of completion, and what they mean for home funeral guides and those they serve.
  • The NHFA Code of Ethics, Conduct and Practice, recommendations of best practices for home funeral guides, which also informs families about what to expect when including a home funeral guide in their post-death experience
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.

Join us at our next

NHFA Biennial Conference

October 2 - 4, 2015

Los Gatos, California

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


           Join Us On Facebook!



             Help us help others


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.
© National Home Funeral Alliance
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software