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Funeral Reception Ideas

Updated April 17, 2017

After a funeral, it's proper etiquette for the family of the deceased to host a reception. The reception is announced at the end of the funeral service or included as part of the paper program given at the funeral.

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The family of the deceased must decide who they would like to invite to the funeral reception. If they prefer, they can choose to invite family only to the reception. A funeral reception should be somewhat intimate, so it's best to choose those who were relatively close to the deceased. Friends, co-workers, classmates and neighbours are all possibilities.


The setting is an important element to the atmosphere. Most receptions take place in an intimate setting such as a home, but it's also possible to have the reception in a park, on a beach, or in a church fellowship hall. Some funeral homes have facilities available for a reception or, if you prefer something more formal, a restaurant will often have a room for guests to congregate.


Receptions should begin with refreshments such as coffee, tea, and juice. Include pastries, cookies and finger foods. You can serve light refreshments or an elaborate dinner. A buffet or pot luck is a stress-free idea to provide nourishment for your guests, or you may choose to have the meal catered by a restaurant.


Create an atmosphere that honours the memory of the deceased. Play the favourite CD of the deceased person. You may also have on display pictures of the deceased, as well as special tokens from her life -- such as awards, trophies and other objects from her life. Personalising the reception is an important way to help the guests honour the one who has passed away.

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About the Author

A writer since 1995, Brooke Turner has been published in the "Duluth News Tribune" and "Ashland Daily Press," as well as various advertising publications. She is a freelance copywriter and the owner and operator of Blue Quill Writing Services in Ottertail, Minn. Turner also maintains two blogs: The Blog of Brooke and Blue Quill Writing.

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