A Guide to Different Funeral Types in Singapore

A Guide to Different Funeral Types in Singapore

Holding a funeral is one of the most common ways of paying tribute to a loved one. Unfortunately, it can also be an expensive affair for some, but there are other alternatives that can keep costs low while giving your loved one a dignified send-off.

Beyond traditional funerals, we rounded up a quick list of various funeral types in Singapore, just in case you’re looking for other ideas. 

Traditional Funeral

Before anything else, we thought it would be important to talk about traditional funerals first. It’s the most common type of funeral practised by many around the world, not just Singapore. 

It normally starts with the embalming process for families who wish to hold a wake or viewing. This is practised by many Christian, Catholic, Buddhist, and Taoist families in Singapore. 

Then, it’s followed by a three or five-day way, usually held at HDB void decks or funeral homes. During this viewing period, families also hold various memorial services according to their religious beliefs, often involving singing, praying, chanting, and more.

At the end of the wake, the bereaved family often holds one final memorial service before buying or cremating the body. In some instances, the family also prepares a post-funeral reception or catering service.

Religious Funeral

A religious funeral can either be traditional or modern. Depending on one’s religious beliefs, some families choose to strictly adhere to traditional funeral rites without deviation. One such example of this are Muslim funerals

Meanwhile, some Hindu cultures prefer to stick to traditional customs while others employ a mix of modern and traditional rites. 

For instance, Hindus traditionally keep the body at home before holding the cremation.But in Singapore, many Hindu families choose to hold a wake at a funeral home or at an HDB void deck. 

Younger Hindu families also arrange for catering as well, which isn’t normally practised in more traditional households. 

Graveside Service

This less popular option is a funeral ceremony that occurs at the cemetery or crematorium. This funeral is one of the most simple and cost-effective types there is. 

There are no wakes or visitations held prior to this service. Often, it only involves a pastor or funeral director sharing a few words, which is customised according to the family’s religious beliefs.

Sometimes, family and friends also offer short eulogies to pay their final respects to the deceased before the body is lowered to the ground or cremated.

Ash Scattering

As its name suggests, ash scattering involves releasing the ashes outdoors following the cremation. In Singapore, you can scatter your loved one’s ashes at sea as long as it’s conducted at the designated site and time

You can also scatter your loved one’s ashes at the Garden of Peace, which is an in-land ash scattering facility in Singapore, open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily.

Humanist Funerals

Humanist funerals are held for the non-religious or free thinkers in Singapore. Anything goes in this type of funeral.

It doesn’t need to follow a specific structure, and it’s completely up to the bereaved family or the wishes of the deceased to design the funeral in any way they wish.

Some families choose to celebrate the life of their loved one through singing and dancing. Meanwhile, other families follow the more traditional format that includes readings about life and death from a non-religious standpoint. 

More Resources about Funerals in Singapore