In Singapore, planning for a funeral would typically present you with a few venue options. If the deceased or family members live on a private property with enough space, they can choose to hold the wake and funeral in their residential area. But for the majority of Singaporeans who live in public housing, HDB void decks are the popular choice.
However, did you know you can also opt for the funeral to be held at a funeral parlour, or do without the wake service and do a straight case funeral instead? Depending on your budget, the deceased’s wishes, or for matters of convenience, the ideal choice may differ. Below, we present an overview of the pros and cons of having a straight case funeral, or holding it at the HDB void deck, or at a funeral parlour.
Straight case funerals
In this arrangement, the deceased is taken straight to the crematorium or cemetery without the wake services.
Due to the simplicity and speed of this option, it is probably the cheapest way to handle a funeral. It also presents a more private mourning opportunity for close family members, without the need to host large numbers of guests. If the family chooses, they can still hold a memorial service in place of the wake and funeral after the body has been cremated or buried.
However, not many choose this option as they still believe it is important to have a proper send-off through means of funeral rites. This is especially so for the religious, who would prefer to arrange for a Buddhist or Taoist funeral service for their departed loved one.
HDB void decks
A unique fixture of the Singaporean heartland landscape, void decks are ubiquitous and convenient venues for events like funerals.
The advantages of holding a funeral in a void deck is that it offers an opportunity for the deceased to be honoured and remembered near their home. This also ties back to a traditional belief that the wake should be held near the home so that the soul will not lose their way. Additionally, this venue choice gives a sense of familiarity and community for the family members and relatives when they visit the wake as well.
However, the void deck isn’t the perfect space for a few reasons. Firstly, it is still a public space, and residents are bound to walk past or through the void deck to get in and out of their homes. Secondly, during certain occasions, the void deck may already be booked out for use for other events. Furthermore, certain void decks have smaller or more distinct layouts that make it difficult to hold events in.
Funeral parlours are dedicated establishments where funerals can be held. Some also include facilities and services like embalming.
Funeral parlours as funeral venues are increasing in popularity due to their private and comfortable halls. Many of them even include comprehensive amenities like free wi-fi, air-conditioning, audio-visual setup, security surveillance, and more. Some funeral parlours also have their own packages for funeral planning that you can tap on for an end-to-end service.
What prevents more people from choosing this option could be the costs associated with it, or their faithfulness to traditional beliefs that the funeral should be held near the deceased’s home.
The best funeral service is one that goes according to the deceased wishes as well as the family’s. Whether that means a straight case funeral, or a funeral parlour, we can help you make it happen. Having trouble deciding on the best option? Our consultants at 1Stop Buddhist Funeral Services can also advise you based on your preferences.