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Mormon funerals

Mormon (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) funerals are seen as a time to celebrate a life as well as to comfort and support the friends and family of the person who has died.

Mormon church

They are also an opportunity to preach the doctrines of resurrection and the certainty of life after death.

Much emphasis is placed on the deceased’s life as a believer in the  Mormon faith, and less on the unique personality of the individual.

Services usually include music, prayers and a sermon. The funeral is a reverent and quiet occasion.

Before some Mormon funerals there is a viewing of the body and a family prayer. This usually takes place at the mortuary or funeral home.

Most Mormons are buried in white as a sign of purity. However, if the person has been blessed in the Latter Day Saints (LDS) Temple, they can be buried in temple clothing.

Approved/typical venues

Most funerals are held in a Latter Day Saints (LDS) chapel or mortuary, led by of the Bishop of the Ward. Sometimes a graveside service is held instead of a formal funeral.

To find a local place of worship, visit the maps section of the LDS website.

Length of funeral and other 'rules'

Burials are more common than cremations.

The service lasts between one and three hours.

It is appropriate to send flowers.

Although members of the family usually say a prayer and dedicate the grave, there is not usually a personal account of a person’s life unless it is related to their religious conviction.

Ask your local officer of the church for advice.

Most people are dressed smartly. Men typically wear suits, and women dresses.

The funeral director you appoint should have knowledge of or experience of mormon funerals.  The officer of the church will advise on suitable local funeral directors.

Things to discuss with the officer of the church

  • Who will be the pallbearers?
  • Who will do the readings?
  • Are there any special readings, prayers, hymns, other music you want?
  • How much are the fees?
  • Are there other fees, for example for the organist?
  • Should you bring your children if they are young?
  • What about a headstone to mark the grave?
  • Are there rules about what memorials you can choose?

Order of Service

At the start of the service the coffin is carried into the church followed by the family.

Services start and finish with prayers and usually include hymns. There is usually a short graveside service with prayers to dedicate the plot.

Discuss the details of the service with your local officer of the church.

Secular music, readings and other features

These may be allowed and should be discussed with an officer of the church when planning the funeral.

Think about creating your funeral music playlist now.

Should we have a gathering afterwards?

There is usually a meal after the funeral. This might include ham, turkey, 'funeral' potatoes (a special Mormon recipe), salad, rolls and dessert.

Memorial services

Memorial services are sometimes held. This is again something you can discuss with your local officer of the church. (SL-B)

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