Funerals are a sad and difficult moment in anyone’s life. We all want to have a smooth burial for our loved ones to avoid making the grieving process even harder. Making out the right funeral invites may be the difference between a smooth and a chaotic funeral. A funeral invitation letter is a letter inviting people to attend a funeral service. It is written in the third person and is done after a date and venue for the funeral has been set. A funeral service is synonymous to a memorial service, only that the latter can be a little informal at times, while giving people the freedom to share their memories and socialize. In the case of a memorial service, it will be titled a memorial service invitation letter.
Funeral viewing invitation
Before you get to the funeral, there is the funeral viewing also known as visitation or calling hours. This usually happens after a funeral home has prepared the body of the deceased. A funeral viewing gives family and friends the chance to say goodbye at a personal level as well as making it easier for them to accept the loss. Viewing may take place at the family home, at church, or before the actual funeral service.
How to write an invitation letter for funeral ceremony
Two things you need to have in mind before writing an invitation letter for funeral ceremony:
1. Some of the rules of formal invitation are inapplicable
A lot of formal invitation features are eliminated as the main goal of the letter is to invite people for the funeral and post-funeral gathering if it will be there.
2. It is rare to attend a funeral by invitation
Funerals should however not be by invitation only. A notice should be put up where as many people as possible can access it, as even distant relatives, family friends, and colleagues would want to attend. Customized funeral invitation cards can place someone in a tight spot. There is need for the recipients to be feel that they can be flexible about attending the funeral or being supportive in other ways.
To reach a huge number of people, you can read out your funeral invitation letter to church members as part of church announcements or put it on public notice.
Writing about the death and funeral arrangements
Having said that, it is natural that people who are not family members such as your colleagues at work may want to grieve with you and in light of this, here is how you can go about informing them of the death and funeral arrangements:
1. Gather sufficient information on the funeral
This information includes:
- Who the funeral is for?
- When the funeral will be held (date and time)?
- Where the funeral will be held?
- Any gestures expected of the guests for example contributions
- Contact details i.e. name and address in case there is need for clarifications. This is also important as some of your recipients may need to send you an excuse letter in case they will not be able to make it for the funeral.
- Herein, you can also include the dates for funeral viewing or visitations.
2.Write about all connected events such as a meeting after the burial
If there will be a gathering after the burial or any connected event after the burial date, be sure to indicate that.
It is commonplace to have a gathering after the burial to provide meals or refreshments to your guests. It is also gives you a chance to interact with your visitors and thank them for attending the burial ceremony.
Funeral invitation letter example
This example of funeral invitation letter will give you an idea of how to make your own with ease.
Funeral invitation letter sample for a colleague at work
In the above case, the Human Resource Manager will inform the employees of the funeral invitation through a memo addressed to all employees and give the way forward in terms of contributions and attending the funeral service.
A few days to the funeral, you may need to draft funeral invitation cards as a reminder to the recipients.
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How to write funeral invitation cards
1. Start with the title: Funeral invitation OR Memorial service invitation
This should be at the top of the card. If it is a memorial service, let the heading of the card indicate the same.
2. All-inclusive addressee titles
Decide on who to address the letter to. Preferably, structure it to be all inclusive as it is a chance for some who may not be able to attend the burial, to come and pay their last respects and also console with you. This will offer you a strong support system make the whole ‘coming into terms’ process much easier.
3. Include the location of the funeral service
Let the location be clear and easily accessible to as many people as possible. It should also be accommodative of a large number of people to avoid overcrowding due to limited space incase many people turn up. Include the physical address as well as phone lines in case anyone wanting to console with you may require directions.
There should be two to three people in charge of picking calls and directing visitors to avoid overwhelming directly affected family members.
4. Give a brief description of the deceased including their name
Be sure to include the full name of the deceased as well as a brief description of who the deceased was. The brief could include direct relations and some of his positive attributes.
5. Plan on how the funeral invitation cards will reach its target audience and bring about the result you need
In the current digital era, you are already spoilt for choice on the modes of passing information to various people. You may decide to use text messages if you have personal numbers of some of the addressees, use a WhatsApp group created for the funeral logistics and invite members, use your Facebook page, post it in a newspaper, give out the cards during a church service or it put up as a public notice. Hand deliveries can also be made to specific people.
Example of a funeral invitation card
Here is a template to help you craft one of your own. The bolded text also helps the recipient to grasp most important content faster.
Remember, in case you are addressing a specific person, you may include their specific name on the funeral invitation card. The funeral invitation cards can be distributed in social gatherings such as churches.
In conclusion, whenever you need to write an invitation letter for funeral ceremony as well as funeral invitation cards, ensure you include all the details necessary to ensure the recipient is well informed. Involve all family members to help ease the process so that you can have a smooth burial ceremony for your loved one.
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