ceremony: observance, reverent rite

It is commonplace in our culture to hold home based celebrations when it comes to birth and marriage. Crossing Threshold helps families create sacred ceremonies around death and dying. A funeral offers ritual for acknowledging a life changing event for family and friends. A family-directed funeral is designated by loved ones to uniquely honor the one who has transitioned in the intimate setting of the home. Some suggestions to consider are:

  • Arranging for "Final Farewells" or a Living "Celebration of Life"

  • Creating Sacred Space and Altars

  • Spiritual/Emotional Support - which may include guided meditations, sacred singing & music, closing the chakras, anointing, prayer and blessing the body


Why Have a Home Funeral?

Places Family in Charge

Allows More Time for Visiting & Ceremony

Creates the Spirit of Community

Honors a Rite of Passage

Promotes Healing & Closure

Earth Friendly

Home Funerals are Healing & Honoring

Home funerals are a beautiful, ceremonial and healing way to say goodbye. They are led by the family or community. Many belief systems maintain there is a period of transition lasting about three days after one exhales their final breath in this world.

As the body is lain in honor, loved ones participate in the sacred act of washing, dressing/shrouding, and anointing with oils as preparation for the transitional vigil or wake.

In this familial environment, children often want to join in activities and rituals such as decorating the simple cremation box. Children learn that death is a natural part of the life cycle.


A Home Funeral offers an intimate opportunity. Families engage in ceremonies that honor their loved ones in the comfort of their own home. The home funeral is a rite of passage that allows for visiting, viewing, ceremony and closure.

You can do this with or without the support of a Death Midwife or Home Funeral Guide. Please visit the National Home Funeral Association for resources (such as Body Care).

For more information or to discuss if a Home Funeral Guide is the right option for you or your loved one please contact Jennifer at Crossing Threshold. 

For thousands of years, human beings have honored our connection to the earth, seasons, and major life transitions through ceremony. The purpose of creating ceremony is to honor the life-giving forces. In these current times of disconnection, the importance of creating ceremony is becoming more apparent. When we perform a ceremony we are creating more balance inside of ourselves that enables us to connect and act in a way that is in harmony with each other and the earth. 
— Katalin Koda

This slide show illustrates the intimate process of a Home Funeral. Video by Sacred Crossings.

Death Midwife Rev. Olivia Bareham ensures Dorothy's final wishes for her after-death are carried out. Video courtesy of Sacred Crossings.