Funeral Etiquette - How to Thank Others After a Funeral or Memorial Service

After a funeral or memorial service, sometimes we are unsure of how to properly thank friends, family and others who may have taken part in the services, sent cards or flowers, brought food or kindly helped in other ways.

Here are some etiquette tips on how to acknowledge others:
  • Try to send your acknowledgement cards within a week to 10 days from the time of the service when sending thanks for flowers, gifts, and other acts of kindness.

  • If friends and neighbors performed personal services, usually no card is necessary as they are often so close to the bereaved family that they are thanked in person.

  • Letters and cards received from friends require some written words. These notes can be written on the inside of your regular acknowledgment cards. If your loved one was a prominent person or public figure, a regular acknowledgment card without a written note is acceptable.

  • It is not considered necessary to acknowledge visits and calls made by friends to the home or to the funeral home, as usually some member of the family has seen them and/or spoken with them already.

  • Sympathy cards received by your family members do not usually require a written response.

  • When acknowledging other acts of kindness including pall bearers, honorary bearers or friends who may have offered a car for transportation or other services, it is proper to write a personal note. The regular acknowledgment card may be used for these notes.

Have any funeral etiquette tips you'd like to share? Please share them here.