When should I visit?
Upon learning of a death, intimate friends of the family should visit the home to offer sympathy and ask if they can help. You may prefer to visit the family at the funeral home. This setting may be more comfortable for you and the family, as they are prepared for visitors.
Which of the rituals should I attend?
Most funerals have three events, The Visitation or Wake, The Funeral or Memorial Service, and the Burial. Generally speaking, the number of people who are considered obliged to attend each of these three rituals by etiquette decreases at each step:
- Distant relatives and acquaintances may be called upon to attend the visitation.
- The decedent’s closer relatives and local friends attend the funeral or memorial service, and subsequent burial (if it is held immediately after the memorial service).
- If the burial is on a day other than the funeral, only the descendant’s closest relatives and friends attend the burial service (although if the burial service immediately follows the funeral, all attendees of the memorial service are asked to attend)