After Funeral or Cremation Gathering
It is a common practice to have a gathering of friends and family after the funeral or the cremation. A gathering after either of these ceremonies is similar to a gathering following a Memorial Service.
If you are having a gathering, ask the funeral director or other family member or friend to make an announcement letting people know what is planned, when and where (if there is an open invitation to all present). This can be done at the funeral home, at the end of a church service, graveside, or at the crematorium.
If you prefer to have a family-only gathering, tell the appropriate family members to pass the word among family and let them know it is a family-only event.
First you will need to decide on a location for the gathering. Here are a few suggestions:
- Home of the deceased or other family member
- Restaurant or catering hall
- A church hall
- Funeral home, if they have a facility available
- community center or other space available through a club or organization, such as a VFW hall, nursing home, senior citizens' activity center, park district facility
- A park
- The beach or lake
- Any other location that seems fitting
The event can be as simple or fancy as you like. You can eat out, order food in, or request that the guests contribute food dishes or other items.
You will want to estimate the number of attendees if going to a restaurant or catering hall. If going to a restaurant it is best to make reservations and outline menu options to be offered to the guests.
You can personalize the gathering by bringing a favorite CD of the deceased and playing it in the background.
During this time it would be appropriate to have someone say a few words about the deceased.
Review the memorial service section if you wish to have more ideas for personalizing this type of gathering. But remember funeral gatherings are often planned quickly, do not overwhelm yourself trying to do everything that is suggested for a memorial service unless you have a lot of assistance from others.