A funeral is a complex and cultural event where people come together to pay their last respects to the departed. It is also a time of remembrance and acceptance. Here are some ideas on what happens during a funeral visitation.

What is visitation?

A visitation is a service made for family and friends. It is an event where people can come together and express their sympathies to the bereaved. Typically, the casket of the deceased is present, and people can show their final respects. In certain aspects, a visitation is similar to a wake or viewing.


Venues for visitations

Usual sites for visitations are funeral homes, places of worship like churches, or the private home of the family. Typically, visitations are private affairs concerning the immediate family and close friends. It is why most visitations are not announced publicly, and invites are personally given by the bereaved.

When one should arrive


Unless you are part of the family or a close family friend, you are not expected to stay with the bereaved throughout the wake. Visitations usually are scheduled for a few hours to allow people from faraway places to visit. It is best when you arrive to offer your condolences to the bereaved, give some words of comfort and a few fond memories you have with the deceased.

Is there a dress code?


Unless specifically requested, there is no strict dress code during visitations. Though it is the tradition to wear dark colors as a sign of mourning and sympathy, casual attire is enough. There are some cultures where they wear brightly colored attire to celebrate the passing of a loved one.

What should you do when you arrive?


Make sure to offer your condolences to the family of the deceased immediately. A show of sympathy will go a long way, so make sure to give those who are mourning. You can talk a bit longer with those who are affected the most by the death of a loved one. Share stories about your experiences with the deceased and show empathy.

If you are among those who are intimate with the deceased, you can offer a special gesture as your final respect for the dead. You can extend the bereaved a heartfelt speech, or give a souvenir which will make the family remember the love and life of the departed.