How Much Does the Average Funeral Cost in 2022?

Making end-of-life arrangements is a difficult and emotional task. There are many decisions, and the expenses are often unexpected.

Whether you're planning a traditional church service followed by a graveside ceremony, a simple cremation without a service, or an uplifting celebration of life with decor, live music, catering and more, we want to help you understand the costs involved in funeral, cremation and memorial services in 2022.

In this article you will learn:

The best way to understand the price of the funeral or memorial you prefer is to work with a funeral planning professional, but our pricing guide will get you started.

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Our Guide to Understanding Funeral & Cremation Costs helps you decode the sometimes confusing costs of final arrangements.

How much does the average funeral cost?

According to a 2021 report by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), the national median cost of a traditional funeral with a viewing is $7,848.


That cost includes:

  • Recovery of the loved one from home, hospital or hospice and into the funeral home’s care at any time, on any day
  • Transportation of the loved one to the funeral home
  • Embalming, hair and makeup
  • Metal casket
  • Funeral director and staff’s time
  • Access to the funeral home’s amenities, including chapels, visitation rooms, reception areas and more
  • Securing necessary permits and certificates
  • Basic printed materials, such as a funeral program and registry book
  • Use of a hearse
  • Coordination of clergy or celebrants
  • Coordination and placement of funeral flowers and/or charity donations
  • Coordination of an online or newspaper obituary

It’s important to note that this cost does not include cemetery property or burial charges. Average price varies by state and may not include certain items per state regulations.

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The staff was so helpful and kind. Their compassion during one's bereavement time is priceless. In addition the staff is experienced to handle family tension during a difficult time. If you are looking to lay your love one to rest with love, professionalism, class, and peace, then make your appointment today.

—BRONICA M., SAN BERNARDINO, CA

How much does a cremation funeral cost?

According to the same NFDA report, the national median cost of an adult cremation funeral with a visitation is $5,365.


That cost includes:

  • Recovery of the loved one from home, hospital or hospice and into the funeral home’s care at any time, on any day
  • Embalming, hair and makeup
  • Funeral director and staff’s time
  • Access to the funeral home’s amenities, including chapels, visitation rooms, reception areas and more
  • Securing necessary permits and certificates
  • Basic printed materials, such as a funeral program and registry book
  • Use of a hearse
  • Coordination of clergy or celebrants
  • Coordination and placement of funeral flowers and/or charity donations
  • Coordination of an online or newspaper obituary

That cost does not include a casket or container that will be used during the cremation or a container to return the ashes to the family. Though some families chose to bring their own containers, buying cremation containers from the funeral provider brings the median cost of a cremation funeral to $6,970.

Why do funerals cost so much?

Almost like a wedding, a funeral requires a great deal of effort to organize—but it often happens in a very short amount of time. It's no small feat to bring a large group of people together to remember and celebrate. Few would attempt to plan a wedding in less than a week, but the very things that go into wedding planning are all part of funeral planning.

From announcements, flowers, catering, music, transportation, venues, speeches, videos and event planning—not to mention completing paperwork for death certificates and obtaining permits for transportation, burial or cremation—there can be many costs involved in a funeral.

There’s a lot of value in being able to coordinate all those parts while comforting a family who is experiencing one of the worst times of life. In fact, when it's done well, with attention to detail and in a manner that seems effortless, our families tell us it's priceless.

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The complete care and compassion offered by each staff person is truly comforting during such painful times. Their guidance, patience, and understanding is priceless. They thorough and sincerely care for you, your family, and your loved one.

—LELANI W., MOBILE, AL

What affects funeral and cremation costs?

Funeral or memorial services are deeply personal, which means there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how much they cost. For every unforgettable event, there’s a plan with unrelenting attention to detail, and funeral expenses vary depending on preferences and needs.

Some of the misinformation surrounding funeral costs can be explained by incomplete survey data. There is no single source for understanding the complexity of funeral costs in the United States and Canada.

And many of the reports consumers depend on to make informed decisions mix full-service providers with low-cost providers that have no public-facing facility and rely on third parties for things like transportation and the preparation of loved ones.

Traditional funeral costs

When religious or cultural traditions are of the utmost importance, a traditional funeral that emphasizes certain customs is the choice for many families.

Often visitation precedes the funeral service, and the loved one is placed in a cemetery after the service. The funeral most often occurs at a place of worship or a funeral home, and sometimes includes a graveside service.

Key expenses include preparation of the loved one, a casket, use of the funeral home for visitation and possibly the service or reception, planning by the funeral director, a casket and catering if desired. Members of some cultures conduct overnight visitations, ritual washing of the body or other special needs, and those services may cost more. 

The national median cost of a funeral with viewing and burial in 2021 was $7,848.

A group of men sitting around and visiting at a celebration tailgate.
Motorcycle or biker riding into chapel for memorial service with sidecar containing portrait and urn.

Other costs to consider

  • Clergy member or funeral celebrant. Often a pastor, priest or other religious affiliate will conduct a funeral service. However, even families who enlist a member of the clergy to lead the service may also want to use a funeral celebrant specially trained to help a family incorporate personal details into every aspect of a memorial. The services of clergy members and funeral celebrants typically run a few hundred dollars.
  • An alternative location. Many funeral homes have a chapel or other dedicated space in which to hold a funeral or memorial service. Some have gardens, courtyards, backyards or other natural outdoor areas for funerals and memorials. However, some people prefer a church or temple setting; others might rather a restaurant, country club, banquet hall or other venue. A celebration of life may also be held in a friend's or family member’s backyard, on the beach or in a park (with a permit, of course). Venue costs can be a little or a lot. Though a friend’s yard is free, a hotel ballroom is not.
  • Catering. Food after a funeral is a longstanding tradition for many cultures. Some funeral providers arrange catering services and have dedicated spaces for receptions, which can include anything from refreshing beverages and snacks to a formal seated dinner. Food during a visitation can be not only a convenience but a comfort that encourages guests to spend time together. Catering costs depend on the type of food, number of guests and serving preference.
  • Musicians. Whether a single musician, such as a harp player for the chapel or a bagpiper for graveside, or an entire band for a catered reception, musicians make an impact at a funeral or memorial. Prices start in the hundreds and can range into the thousands.
  • Personal touches. Flowers, keepsakes and gestures like a release of butterflies, balloons or doves are often part of a service. Those things add to the funeral cost, but incorporating unique touches doesn’t have to cost a thing. Asking guests to wear a loved one’s favorite color or a piece of clothing that represents a sports team or a passion for hats, for example, can set a tone and is free. So is having friends and family speak from the heart.
  • Caskets and urns. The cost of a traditional casket varies widely. You can pay a few hundred dollars for a cardboard container used during cremation or many thousands for a high-quality metal or handcrafted wood casket with personal touches. Cremation urns come in many shapes and sizes. Urn prices reflect size, material and design.
  • Printed materials. Funeral programs and register books are commonplace. Keepsake bookmarks and personalized stationery are other options. Printing contributes to the cost of a funeral.
  • An obituary. A newspaper may charge to run an obituary, but an online obituary is a free service. A funeral home associate can even help you create one if you don’t know what to write.
  • Flowers. Flowers are part of the typical funeral cost. The kinds of flowers and the types and sizes of arrangements inform the total price, which can run from several hundred dollars into the thousands.
  • Funeral keepsakes. Movies, slideshows, portraits, blankets, mini cremation urns and more make heartfelt keepsakes for family members. Funeral favors, such as personalized golf balls, key rings or boxes of cookies made from a special recipe, are a modern-day way to celebrate life. These items can add to the cost of a funeral, but they don’t have to. Some families opt to divide up a loved one’s collection among family and friends—and that can be the most meaningful remembrance of all.
  • Jewelry. Cremation jewelry and other charms of remembrance are lasting ways to keep the memory of a loved one near. They can also be passed down for generations. These types of keepsakes can be inexpensive or costly, depending on your choice.
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There is nothing easy about losing a loved one no matter the circumstance. Your heart is broken and your soul weeps for the loss BUT knowing that there are people that will handle the whole process of celebrating a life with the utmost professionalism, sensitivity, and respect is absolutely priceless.

—NADINE T., SUGAR LAND, TX

Get exact prices and start planning today

Amounts quoted in this article are according to the National Funeral Directors Association. Costs will always vary by provider. Visit with a planning advisor at a Dignity Memorial® location near you to get exact pricing for the type of service you have in mind.


The costs of final arrangements can be confusing. Make informed choices when you request our free Guide to Understanding Funeral & Cremation Costs.