Hosting A Private Funeral: Three Things To Know

When it comes to planning a funeral for a loved one, some families prefer to have a small, private service. This may be to limited space in the church or funeral home, or it may be intended to limit the mourners to only those closest to the deceased. If your family is considering a private funeral service, here are a few things to know as you make the arrangements.

Sending Out Invitations

For a private funeral, you may want to consider sending out invitations. You can send out traditional paper invitations, which mourners should be directed to bring with them to the service. If time is short between the date of death and the date of the funeral, you can opt for online invitation services. These online services let you email the invitations. Those invited can RSVP directly, and they can also print the invites to bring to the funeral. Be sure to create a guest list as soon as possible, as this will make it easier to ensure everyone you want to attend is invited. If you are requiring invitations be present to gain entrance to the church or funeral home, make a note of it somewhere on the invitation.

Informing Mourners

It's important to let people know that the funeral will be private, as this will help to deter those who are not invited to the services. In the obituary, inform mourners when the public viewing will be held, and also state that the funeral service will be private. If you are hosting the funeral at a separate location, you can omit it from the obituary by simply stating that there is a private funeral to follow. Should you decide to withhold the information about the funeral's location, be sure that all who are invited are informed of the location in advance. Remember that you don't have to add any information about the viewing and funeral if you don't want to. Instead, you can simply post a death notice that informs the public of your loss.

Plan For Crowd Control

In some cases, families choose to have private funerals to exclude specific individuals. This might include an former spouse of the deceased, but it might also be due to disruptive family members or friends you don't want present at the services. To prevent these individuals from showing up without an invite, you can hire a door guard or usher to check the invitations of all who are in attendance. For this, you'll want to create a guest list that can be checked against the invitations. Having a guest list will also make it easier to allow people in who were invited but forgot their invitations. If there are specific people you don't want attending, put their names on a "do not allow in" list.

Discuss your wishes for a private funeral with the funeral home director, such as from Hitzeman Funeral Home, Ltd. He or she can help to ensure your family's wishes are followed while still arranging a touching tribute to your loved one.