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Funeral invitations etiquette

(16 Posts)
whataboutbob Mon 16-Jan-17 18:37:37

I'm in the sad position of having to organise my Dad's funeral. Just wondering about the best way to invite people. I want to get an Order of Service printed, should I send this out (will take me till Sunday 22nd to finish and print off) , or is is OK to just email/ ring people and hand out the order of service on the day?
The funeral is on the 10th of feb and I want as many people as possible to attend. It's in Kent, furthest travel will be from Bristol, most people local or coming from London. Thank you.

purplefizz26 Mon 16-Jan-17 18:39:41

Order of service are usually given out at the church just before the service.

I've never been officially 'invited' to a funeral, ringing/texting/emailing seems to be the done thing, tell everyone the date, time and location and people turn up.

Sorry for your loss flowers

Piffpaffpoff Mon 16-Jan-17 18:41:43

Ones I've been to, we've been told of date by a notice in paper/phone call/email with the printed order of service handed out on the day.

Sorry for your loss.

NoraDora Mon 16-Jan-17 18:43:44

Yes don't send out orders of service, they are given at the start of the ceremony.

Let people know the time, date and location and then they can attend. This can be done via call, text or email. Sometimes a forum or Facebook post is appropriate depending on the person. If you are planning on a wake then this is usually mentioned like "and afterwards at xx golf club".

flowers for you at such a sad time.

maddy68 Mon 16-Jan-17 18:46:59

Order of service is handed out as morners enter.
You don't invite people, a notice goes in the local paper and you ask friends/relatives to spread the word.
Facebook is used a lot and ask folk to share the details
Sorry for your loss, the undertakers should be able to advice you on things too xx

SnugglySnerd Mon 16-Jan-17 18:49:12

Sorry for your loss.
I have never been contacted directly by the spouse or offspring of the deceased about funeral arrangements, assume they have a lot to organize and they probably don't feel like contacting lots of people. I think it's a task you can delegate to maybe a relative outside of immediate family.

Often people put a death announcement in the local paper with the time and location of the funeral.

People will be wondering whether to send flowers or donate to a particular charity so make sure that information will be passed on.

TheGirlOnTheLanding Mon 16-Jan-17 19:01:31

Very sorry for the loss of your Dad, Bob.

As PP have said above, there is no need for invitations as such. Re. the order of service, it's worth asking your funeral directors if they offer this as part of their package. Ours did and it was one less thing (on a huge and intimidating list of things) to do. We just had to supply the name of the hymns we wanted and a picture, and approve it: they laid it all out and printed it for us, as well as advising on the appropriate number of copies. Of course, if putting something more personalised together will give you comfort, you absolutely should do that. flowers for you and I hope all goes well with the arrangements.

whataboutbob Mon 16-Jan-17 19:49:01

Wow good folk of mumsnet thanks for your prompt response. That's great, I'll just put the word out via email/ phone , also the funeral directors are putting an ad in the local paper which is good as Dad was very sociable and it may capture some extra people. It gives me more time to work on the order of service. Thank you again for your answers.

Kr1stina Mon 16-Jan-17 20:05:13

What you can do is contact people from each area of your fathers life and ask them to contact others. So phone or email his friend from sports club /work/ church and just ask them to pass on the details to everyone.

As others have said, you don't actually invite them. You just email to say

"I'm writing to let you know that my father, John , passed away peacefully on x date at Y location, after a long illness.

" The funeral will be on Friday 10 February at 11am at st Mary's church ( address and postcode ) and afterwards at the Lion Hotel ( address and postcode ) .

[ If you have any requests like family flowers only please or doncations in lieu or flowers to cancer relief then mention then here ]

" I'd be greatful if you could contact dads other friends from the bowling club and let them know the funeral arrangements. My mother jane and I Hope that many of the club members can join us, as bowling was such a big part of Dads life "

If the death was sudden then I think it's best to briefly explain, otherwise you will get phone calls. So say " after a heart attack / stroke " or " after a fall at work / car accident" . I'm guessing this might be the case for you as the funeral date is ahead .

I'm sorry for your loss

whataboutbob Mon 16-Jan-17 21:21:39

Thanks Kristina that is great advice. Sadly dad was ill for at least 5 years with dementia which his friends were well aware of and many continued to befriend and support him for a long time, until his disease was just too advanced. Looks like a round robin email would be fine then.
I'm organising a reception in a pub afterwards because some people will be pleased to have a catch up and I hope remember dad fondly. Thanks again for the great advice.

MollyHuaCha Mon 16-Jan-17 21:32:06

For you flowers

DailyMailDontStealMyThread Mon 16-Jan-17 22:54:40

No advice but flowers for strength for you.

Kr1stina Mon 16-Jan-17 23:52:12

I'm sorry to hear about your dads long illness. As so many of his friends supported him, you might want to mention that in your email. E.g.

" As you know, dad had been unwell for some years and the whole family /mum and I have appreciated the way his friends have supported him and us during this time. We hope you can join us to celebrate his long and happy life "

Etc etc

The pub sounds like a great idea, and yes it's often a happy and important part of the day as people share good memories. Make sure there's food as well as drink, especially if people are travelling.

I know it's very stressful to organise and attend, but a good funeral can really help everyone, it's an important step on the journey. And you will feel that you have done a good job of it, for his sake and for friends and family.

My tip is to make sure that whoever does the eulogy has written it all down and you have checked it. Make sure it's personal, complete, accurate and you like the tone and style.

And preferably use someone who has some experience of public speaking.

I've heard some shocking ones from experienced speakers ( vicar , very senior barrister ) and some wonderful ones ( vicar, family member ) that make me smile even now when I recall them .

If you decide to do it yourself, make sure you have a back up plan in case you are overwhelmed on the day and can't do it. Even if it's just the vicar /priest to read out what you were going to say. You will feel less anxious if you know there's a Plan B.

You want to include stories about the different parts of your dads life e.g. Bowling club, work. If you don't know any good anecdotes from these places , ask your dads friends who will be happy to share.

That way, your dads friends from these places will feel included in the service and that part of your dads life will be honoured.

whataboutbob Tue 17-Jan-17 17:53:24

Thanks again Kristina and everyone who posted . Things are falling into place, I now have a date to meet the priest who will lead the service, on Thursday . I'm contacting Alzheimers research UK so they set up a donation site in dad's memory for people to contribute to instead of flowers, then i'm sending out a round robin email before working on the order of service.
I do hope the funeral will be helpful, especially to my brother who 1) suffers from mental illness 2) despite my efforts did not seem to realise how ill dad was and thinks the care home where he lived for the last 11 months (before that he lived with bro) was negligent- I disagree, and I suspect his shock at losing Dad is translating into anger. If the funeral can help him accept things and remember Dad positively that'll be awesome. I fear he'll not attend the reception due to his social anxiety.

SnugglySnerd Wed 18-Jan-17 07:41:14

I hope it all goes well. Funerals are never easy but I often find the reception afterwards a nice time to catch up with relatives and remember the deceased with anecdotes etc. I hope it does help your brother.

whataboutbob Mon 27-Feb-17 15:14:46

Just wanted to report back that we had the funeral 2 weeks ago and it all went very well, I actually enjoyed the day weird as it seems. Everything was as Dad would have wanted, there was a good turn out, the church was lovely, the priest did a very good service and my husband, my cousin and I read out tributes and poems. We also raised £620 for Alzheimers Research UK simply by asking people not to send flowers but to donate via a tribute page I set up.
The only small thing I'd have done differently is not attempt to print the orders of service myself but go straight to a professional high street printers (I turned up there cap in hand at 2pm the day before).
Thanks again everyone for your advice.

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