If you're preplanning your own funeral, of course you should choose whatever location is the best fit for your particular wishes; this might be a funeral home, church or other religious building, or a graveside ceremony. However, when you're planning a funeral for someone else, you might wonder if you should opt for a church or other such religious building, or a funeral home. Note a few factors to consider so you can make the best decision for those plans, and ensure the event is as stress-free as possible.
The wishes of the deceased
If the deceased person was a staunch atheist, or had been very vocal about leaving their family's religion, it's good to respect their views and have the funeral in a funeral home, even if the family or friends of the deceased are still religious. Remember that having the funeral in a funeral home doesn't disrespect their views, but simply respects those of the deceased.
The wishes of the family and friends
If the deceased person had not obvious religious views, you might consider the wishes of the family and friends. However, this can become stressful, as they might disagree over which church should hold that service, and the extent of religious information that should be presented during a funeral. In cases like these, it can be good to plan the funeral in a funeral home so that no one has to visit a religious building they don't like; the service might also include a few religious aspects, but be kept neutral, and concentrate on the deceased and his or her life, rather than religious teachings.
Number of attendees
If the funeral will be very small with only a few attendees, consider if a church, synagogue, or other such building may seem large and impersonal. A smaller funeral home that offers a more intimate setting may be a better choice for a few attendees, and this may make them feel more comfortable and also give them an opportunity to mingle with other guests.
Supporting local business
You might not realize how your decision for a funeral affects the local economy, but working with a funeral home means supporting a local business, even if that funeral home is part of a chain or franchise. You might consider carefully how the money you spend on a funeral benefits the local area, and especially if the deceased person was very socially conscious and also made a point to support local businesses as much as possible.