Singapore Funeral Committee

Jan 18, 2024

Compassionate Funeral Services & Packages in Singapore

An introduction to the importance of funeral services

Funeral services importance

Funerals, which symbolise the passing from life to death, are significant events in our lives. They give us a structured space for grieving and healing, enabling us to accept the reality of loss. Funerals give friends and family a chance to celebrate the life that was lived and say their final goodbyes, acting as a final act of love and respect towards the departed. Funerals have an importance that extends beyond the life of the deceased person because they foster community bonds and mutual support during difficult times.

The cultural significance and diversity in Singapore’s funeral traditions.

Due to the peaceful coexistence of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and other ethnic groups on the island, Singapore is renowned for its multiculturalism. Every one of these communities has its distinct funeral customs and traditions. Funerals are a cultural mosaic that reflects the country’s rich diversity of ancestry. They act as a moving reminder of the influence that culture, religion, and ethnicity have on the farewells that people say to one another. Being aware of these traditions is a sign of respect and of Singapore’s diversity and unity.

Duration and Phases of a Conventional Singaporean Funeral

Intricate multi-stage procedures, funeral services in Singapore frequently change according to religious and cultural customs. Nonetheless, a lot of Singaporean funerals share the following characteristics:

  • Pre-Funeral Rituals: 
    • This phase entails notifying loved ones, registering the death, and securing permits. It also refers to the preparation of the deceased’s body—such as washing and dressing—by cultural and religious traditions.
  • Wake or Vigil: 
    • A wake or vigil is held after the deceased’s body is placed in a casket or on a bier. This enables friends and family to send their condolences and pay their respects. The wake lasts a few days, though it can last longer.
  • Funeral Service: 
    • Various locations, such as places of worship, funeral homes, or the deceased’s residence, may host the actual funeral service. It entails prayers, rituals, and eulogies unique to the deceased’s faith and cultural upbringing.
  • Procession and Committal: 
    • After the funeral service, the body of the departed is usually taken in a procession to the crematorium or burial ground where it will be laid to rest. Throughout this voyage, rituals and prayers are continued.
  • Post-Funeral Gatherings: 
    • It is customary for family and friends to get together for a meal or refreshments following the burial or cremation. This makes it possible to offer more sympathy and support.
  • Mourning Period: 
    • The length of the period of mourning differs among cultures and faiths. Family members may participate in extra-religious rites and wear particular clothing to symbolise their grief during this time.

Planning a Funeral in Singapore

Funeral services and package

We should first go over every step of funeral planning, from the time of death until the last farewell, before getting into the specifics. As soon as you have a clear understanding of what to anticipate, delving into the details won’t seem as intimidating.

Those interested in learning how to arrange a funeral on their own, without the assistance of a professional, should follow these steps.

First, look for any prior arrangements.

  • Step 1: Check for Pre-Arrangements
  • Step 2: Get the Certificate of Cause of Death, or CCOD.
  • Step 3: File a Death Report
  • Step 4: Plan the Funeral
  • Step 5: Interment or Cremation of the Deceased

Step 1: Pre-Arrangement

  • If pre-arrangement has been made, a large portion of the planning will already be completed if the deceased had prearranged with a funeral service provider. 
  • To initiate the arrangements, simply get in touch with the funeral director or provider of funeral services.
  • Making funeral arrangements in advance can help allay worries and uncertainties about how a funeral ought to be planned. 
  • The deceased’s wishes should already be known to close fam
  • By expressing their preferences in advance, a person can ensure that their funeral will be planned and carried out in the manner of their choice.

If no prior plans have been made, If no prior arrangements have been made, the family members will need to make choices regarding four different areas.

  1. Decide on the religion in which the funeral will be held.
  2. Select between burial and cremation.
  3. Select a location to hold the funeral.
  4. Choose the final resting place.

The funeral process can be started by the family by getting in touch with their chosen funeral service provider or funeral director once they have talked over and confirmed their selections.

Step 2: Get the Certificate of Cause of Death, or CCOD.

Obtaining a Certificate of Cause of Death is a requirement before planning a funeral (CCOD).

Sometimes death comes unexpectedly. Since it’s impossible to predict where or when it will happen, different protocols apply depending on the location of the death.

Step 3: File a Death Report

The death should be reported as soon as possible. This is typically completed right away following the acquisition of the CCOD.

It’s important to make this decision as soon as possible because you’ll be asked if the body will be buried or cremated. The Mandai Crematorium, operated by the government, is the most popular location for cremations in Singapore.

Neighbourhood Police Centre, Neighbourhood Police Post, Police Divisional Headquarters, or the Registry of Births and Deaths are the various places where you can register a death.

You only need to bring the CCOD and identification in the form of a passport, NRIC, or birth certificate (both yours and the deceased’s).

You don’t need to worry about this part if the body has been sent to the Mortuary@HSA, as the death will already be recorded there.

The official death certificate will be issued by the hospital or police once the death has been reported.

  • The obituary preparation (optional)

Although writing an obituary isn’t strictly required, it’s a nice way to inform others about the passing of someone and provide information about the wake and funeral.

You have the option of placing an obituary in your local newspapers in place of getting in touch with every friend and acquaintance of the deceased. You may choose to forego it entirely or post an online obituary in its place because it can be a little costly.

Step 4: Establish the Funeral

  • A funeral cannot be planned in a single, ideal manner. Every family has a unique set of beliefs, and every religion has its customs as well. It’s possible that the deceased had specific wishes regarding the funeral.
  • Singapore is a multi-religious melting pot. For the family to properly send their loved one into the afterlife, the funeral home of their choice must be knowledgeable about what to say and do according to each religion.
  • Every family should likewise receive kind and considerate treatment. For the deceased, the same holds.
  • Funeral homes provide packages according to the kind of funeral ceremonies you would like to perform. 
  • The most typical types of funeral services include Buddhist, Taoist, Christian, and Catholic ones, as well as nonreligious/freethinker funerals.

Choose where the wake or funeral will take place.

  • Budget and attendance size are usually the deciding factors when choosing a wake or funeral site. A major consideration when choosing a location for a multi-day wake is whether you want to be able to lock up without paying extra for night staff or staying up late yourself.
  • Among the most popular choices are HDB void decks. Organising a funeral at void decks requires a special permit from the Town Council. One of the less expensive options is typically a voided deck funeral.
  • If there is sufficient room, holding the funeral at home would be an additional cost-effective choice.
  • A funeral can be held in a funeral parlour as well. This is typically a more costly choice. Better facilities are what you are paying for, and you might not have to spend the entire night at the wake. This is so that you can get some much-needed rest during this trying time. Some funeral parlours have the option to lock their doors at night.

Other funeral-related considerations

  • Regarding the ceremony itself, there are a few things to think about.
  • You can designate a funeral director by your religion. Hiring an officiant—a monk or priest—to conduct the service is the primary requirement for this.
  • The funeral’s customs and schedule may require extensive planning and organisation, and they may be tailored to the family’s preferences. You can get assistance from a funeral director with the planning.
  • The wake’s floral arrangements and other decorations are also up to you.
  • You can also set up food catering if you would like to provide your guests with food and beverages.
  • These are optional and determined by the deceased’s desires or personal preferences.

Step 5: Burial or Cremation of the Deceased

Where your loved one should be laid to rest is another crucial choice you will have to make.

• Cremation

  • The majority of Singaporeans decide to cremate their loved ones’ remains.
  • Columbariums are the most popular option in Singapore for a last resting place. The surviving family members must choose a niche, an urn, and a marble plaque for their departed loved one.
  • Some families also opt to have the body cremated, bringing the urn and ashes home with them. Additionally, using the ashes to make jewellery and ornaments has become more and more popular.

• Standard funeral

  • The Choa Chu Kang Cemetery Complex is the only cemetery in Singapore that is still accepting burials, according to the NEA.
  • Reservations can be made in person at the booking office or over the phone. To reserve a burial time, the original Death Certificate—which includes the Permit to Bury—as well as the NRIC of the applicant and next of kin are needed. You can get guidance on this from your funeral director.

• Sea Burial

  • Dispersing your loved one’s remains into the sea can be a serene and spiritual experience, in addition to being environmentally friendly. 
  • There are two methods to handle this: either place the cremated remains in a biodegradable urn and throw it into the ocean, or wrap them in a religious cloth.

• Inland ash scattering

  • Special government-owned facilities, the most well-known of which is the Garden of Peace at Choa Chu Kang Cemetery, provide an open garden for the scattering of cremated remains.
  • For those who prefer the land over the sea and do not want to be buried in a columbarium, this is a great option. 
  • The Garden of Peace is a great location for ash scattering in inland areas because of its tranquillity.

Factors that contribute to the cost of funeral services

  •  Venue leasing

You can arrange the wake for the funeral services in the funeral parlours or memorial halls that are provided by most funeral homes. On the other hand, setting up a wake in an HDB vacant deck is also fairly typical. The cost may change based on the length of the funeral and whether you need equipment and tents for the ceremony setup.

  •  Floral arrangements

Floral arrangements are typically included in funeral packages. Depending on the service selected, these flowers are typically used for photo wreaths, altar table arrangements, cross wreaths, and casket sprays.

  •  Foods or refreshments

Light refreshments are typically offered to guests, but they are typically an add-on to the funeral package. If not, you might need to get in touch with a different catering service provider.

  •  Transportation

This means that vehicles must be used to convey both the deceased and the mourners. To guarantee a seamless funeral procession, this service typically offers a single air-conditioned bus and a funeral hearse.

  •  Cremation or casket

Funeral expenses are also influenced by the choice of interring or cremating your loved one. Adults in Singapore must pay a burial fee of $940, which is exclusively available at the Choa Chu Kang Cemetery Complex. Cremation costs range from $100 for a government crematorium to $300–$500 for a private one.

  •  Urns or headstones

  • You must also think about the cost of the headstone, which will designate your loved one’s final resting place, in addition to the cost of the caskets. Grave headstones can be made of a variety of stones, such as granite, marble, or sandstone, all of which have varying prices.
  • The price of the urns, if you decide on cremation, will vary based on the material, design, and level of customization. Columbarium niches, which range in price for public and private spaces, are another option for storing cremated remains.


Some of the fundamental services that are included in funeral packages and will affect their price are the ones listed above. The cost will also vary depending on the type of funeral—Buddhist or Christian, for example. With any luck, this will help you plan your funeral budget more effectively and help you decide what exactly you need.

Working within a budget is a wise practice. You must have a solid financial plan. You can make sure you don’t overspend by talking to other family members. You shouldn’t have to worry about paying for a funeral service procession. Service providers will frequently make an effort to offer you something that you don’t need. Being aware of what you are paying for is crucial. Avoid going over your budget.

Tips on how individuals and families can cope with grief

  • While it takes time to grieve the loss of a close friend or relative, research indicates that this loss can also serve as a trigger for a resurgence of meaning that gives life direction and purpose.
  • Some of the following techniques can be useful for grieving people in helping them process and accept loss:
  • To help you make sense of what happened and to honour your friend or family member, discuss the death of your loved one with friends or coworkers. Isolation and a disruption in the healing process with your support systems are two consequences of avoidance.
  • Acknowledge your emotions. You could feel a lot of different things, like sadness, rage, or even tiredness. All of these emotions are common, and it’s critical to identify when you’re experiencing them. Speak with a certified psychologist or other mental health specialist if you feel trapped or overtaken by these feelings; they can assist you in overcoming your emotions and figuring out how to get back on track.
  • Look after your family and yourself. Your physical and emotional well-being can be enhanced by eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep. The physical effects of grieving can be felt for some time.  Make sure you check in with your loved ones to ensure they are maintaining their health by taking the appropriate healthy steps.
  • Help those who are grieving by reaching out to them. Everyone can find it easier to deal with if they spend time with the deceased’s loved ones. These little actions, like telling stories or playing your loved one’s favourite music, can have a profound impact on some people. There’s a further advantage to helping others: it makes you feel better.
  • Honour and commemorate the lives of the people you love. Friends and family may experience sadness on the anniversary of a loved one’s passing, but it can also be a time to remember and pay tribute to them. 
  • You might start a garden in memory of the deceased, give a baby a family name, or gather donations for their preferred charity. It is up to you what you decide as long as it enables you to pay tribute to that special relationship in a way that makes sense to you.

Psychologists’ roles in helping

  • Psychologists are qualified to assist individuals in managing the fear, guilt, or anxiety that can arise from losing a loved one. 
  • See a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional if you need assistance managing a loss or overcoming your grief. 
  • Psychologists can assist individuals in strengthening their resilience and creating coping mechanisms for difficult times. Licenced psychologists assist individuals in enhancing their lives through a range of evidence-based interventions, the most popular of which is psychotherapy. 
  • Among all healthcare professionals, psychologists with doctoral degrees receive one of the highest levels of education.

A checklist for selecting a reputable funeral service provider

  • Credibility and Reputation

    • Your first concern should be with a funeral service provider’s credibility and reputation. Begin by thoroughly researching possible suppliers. 
    • Consult their website, read internet reviews, and get referrals from friends and family who have used their services.
  • Selection of Services

    • Funeral service providers in Singapore provide a range of services, from basic burial or cremation arrangements to all-inclusive funeral plans. 
    • Selecting a provider that provides the services you need is crucial, and it depends on your needs and preferences. 
    • Choose a service provider who can handle both modern and traditional funeral plans.
  • Transparent Pricing

    • Funerals can be costly, so it’s important to be fully aware of all the expenses involved. In Singapore, reputable funeral service providers ought to be upfront with their prices. 
    • This includes a thorough accounting of all the fees associated with services, coffins, shipping, and any other out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Location and Accessibility

    • Another crucial thing to think about is the funeral service provider’s location. Select a provider that is easily accessible so that family and friends can attend visitations and memorial services. 
    • Take into account the provider’s facilities’ accessibility as well, particularly if you or a loved one has particular mobility requirements.
  • Expertise and Compassion

    • It’s an emotional journey to deal with the loss of a loved one, so you need a funeral service provider who can combine professionalism and empathy. 
    • The personnel ought to be considerate, perceptive, and aware of your needs. 
    • A trustworthy supplier will help you every step of the way during the funeral planning process, providing consolation and support when you most need it.
  • Legal Conditions And Supporting Records

    • Legal requirements and a significant amount of paperwork are frequently involved in funeral arrangements. 
    • A respectable funeral service provider ought to be knowledgeable about the required paperwork and legal processes. 
    • They ought to help you get permits, death certificates, and any other documentation you need, making the process easy and hassle-free.
  • Pre-planning Services

    • To lessen the stress on their loved ones during a time of loss, some people decide to pre-plan their funerals.
    •  Pre-planning services are provided by reputable funeral service providers in Singapore, enabling you to make funeral arrangements ahead of time. When the time comes, this can help guarantee that your desires are honoured and carried out.

An Overview

During a difficult time, selecting a trustworthy funeral service provider in Singapore is essential. You can make an informed decision that pays tribute to your loved one’s memory by taking into account aspects like reputation, scope of services, clear pricing, professionalism, legal knowledge, and pre-planning services.