Some FAQs on Funeral Services

by K-Berens

Some religions impose strict standards at funeral celebrations. When in doubt, ask someone or do an Internet search.

Is it appropriate to bring children to funerals?

Children are able to react and partially understand death at a young age. It is appropriate to bring children, as long as they are reminded to be respectful of others around them. They should be given the option to attend the visitation or the funeral service.

Is there a difference between a Visitation, a Memorial Service and a Funeral?

Yes. A visitation offers a chance for mourners to communicate their feelings. The visitation is generally held at a funeral home, when funeral and memorial services are held in a church. Funerals and memorial services are different from each other because a funeral indicated that the deceased is physically present, which they are not at a memorial service.

What is a private service?

Typically an invitation-only event. The private services are typically small and limited to the immediate family of the deceased. However, if you feel that you would like to be present at the event and are close to the family, asking the family members involved with the funeral planning if you can attend is generally okay.

Is there a certain thing I should do or say at a Visitation?

Try and get to the family and make your condolences known. Communication is something that you should constantly be aware of. If you wish, you may stand at the deceased’s casket and spend a few moments in silent prayer. The visitation is a place where outward signs of sadness are normal.

There’s no proper time that you can spend at a visitation. This depends on how you feel. However, it is a good idea to take the time and spend about a half hour or so at the visitation.

How should I dress at these events?

Traditionally, wearing black was mandatory during the grieving process. However, it is important to dress fairly formal, as this is a sign of dignity and respect for the family of the deceased.

Some of of the deceased’s wishes may include wearing a certain color, or a variety of colors, to either the Visitation, Memorial or Funeral, and typically this request should be honored.

What are some other ways I can express my sympathy?

Emails are very popular now, in addition to traditional cards or handwritten letters for which people are grateful. Sometimes food and small memorial tokens are appreciated. One of these personalized ways of showing your sympathy are always appreciated, and should be sent out, especially if you were unable to make it to any of the funeral events.

Read more:

Funeral Etiquette Questions

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