What should I take to a funeral?
What should I take to a funeral?
Saying goodbye to someone who meant something to you is never easy. Attending a funeral can be a difficult experience, whether you are a family member, friend or acquaintance. If you have never attended a funeral before, it can be helpful to know what are the right things to take with you. Our latest blog to funeral etiquette will help make things a little easier by suggesting what items will be helpful.
When you attend a funeral, there is no expectation to bring anything other than yourself. You should aim to arrive a little earlier to pay your respects. Your presence alone will be enough however these additional items may help to make things easier. Funerals can be incredibly emotional so coming prepared is a great idea.
Items to take to a funeral
- Tissues or handkerchief
A packet of tissues, or a handkerchief, is an essential item for anyone attending a funeral. Perfect also for handing to someone else who may be struggling on the day as a kind gesture.
- A sympathy card
There are usually places to add sympathy cards at the service, if you haven’t already sent one to the family following the bereavement. These are then collected by the funeral director and given to the family. A sympathy card is a great way to show the family that you are expressing your condolences and you can offer support by adding a simple, meaningful message.
This can be added to the sympathy card or added separately to the donations box. It is becoming more common now for families to ask for donations rather than flowers as a way of commemorating the memory of the person who has died. Tom Owen and Son Funeral Directors also add details of the online tribute page to the back of their service sheets incase you haven’t brought any cash or cheques with you, so you can also make use of gift aid in your donation. A few weeks after the funeral has taken place, we will then send all donations to the nominated charity on behalf of the family.
If the family haven’t specified family flowers only, you can arrange to drop funeral flowers at the funeral directors or bring them on the day. Alternatively you can give the flowers to the family at the reception/wake afterwards as a token of your sympathy. You can read more about the meaning of flowers here.
- A photograph
Whether this is a single larger photo for on top of the coffin, or to add to a stand of other photos, this offers an opportunity to discuss happy memories of the person who has died.
It can be incredibly therapeutic for you and the family of the person who has died to share stories and memories. These can also be added to online tribute pages, you can find our current ones here, which will provide the family which something to look back on in the future.
- An umbrella
If the weather isn’t looking too good it’s never a bad idea to bring an umbrella as you will be waiting outside before and after the service. This would also be a good idea if you are attending a burial service.
These have two purposes at a funeral! Sunglasses are great if the sun is shining, as you do spend time waiting outside or if it is a graveside service. In addition, if you wish to hide your emotions then sunglasses are perfect for this. If you would like more tips on what to wear to a funeral read our blog here.
- Alternative footwear
If there has been heavy rain prior to a burial service, it is recommended you take an alternative pair of flat comfortable shoes with you to change in to.