Planning a funeral reception is never an easy thing to do, especially, if you are related to the recently deceased. People get emotional, and cry, laugh, argue, get angry or sometimes just feel numb. A gathering after a funeral may ease the suffering of the loved ones of the deceased. The people who come to the reception show love and respect for the deceased person’s loved ones by offering comfort. When planning a funeral reception, keep in mind the deceased person’s character, likes and spirit. Keeping a good balance between sympathy and lifting people’s spirits is complicated, but it is worth the effort.
Get a family member, close friend or neighbor to help you plan the reception. You will need help the planning, making phone calls and deciding where you where the reception will be held. Possible locations for a reception are the church, the deceased person’s house, family member’s house, friend's house, neighbor's house, or at a restaurant. If you are very close to the deceased person, you need help in making arrangements for the funeral reception because you are in mourning, too.
Put one person in charge of receiving calls and calling all of the deceased person’s family and friends. This person will spread information about where and when the funeral and reception will be held and provide directions to the functions. This person lets people know the deceased person’s flower preferences or where to send money for charitable donation in the deceased’s name.
Display photographs and memorabilia around the reception area. This reminds the guest of old times with the deceased and stimulates conversation about the deceased person.
Provide an area in the refrigerator for food brought in by relatives and friends. Have several bags of ice available for drinks. Put the foods and drinks on a table with several bowls of the ice. A funeral reception last for several hours, so take into consideration the possibility of food spoilage while it is on the table. Place the foods that need to be kept cold into deep trays filled with ice.
Stock the reception area with paper plates, hot and cold paper cups, various soft drinks tea, coffee, sugar, creamer, eating utensils, serving spoons, serving bowls and napkins.
Play some soft, uplifting music while the reception is going on.
Prepare a secluded area for rest or taking some private moments for the deceased’s loved ones. Togetherness helps people get through the death of a loved one, but some people prefer not to show their emotions. This secluded area helps relieve tension in some people.
Items you will need
Family, friends, funeral home phone numbers
Address and map to the place of the funeral reception
Hot and cold paper cups
Bottled soft drinks
Bags of ice
If you are a close relative or loved doing everything on your own, use a local restaurant for the food for the reception.
Rent a church reception area, use the funeral home’s reception area or check with local businesses for a meeting hall that is available, so you don’t worry about having time for cleaning your home before the reception. If you know someone who is in a group like the Masons or Eastern Star, they usually have a nice-sized meeting hall that can be rented as long as a member is present.
Ask friends and relatives for help. Most people willingly give help if asked.
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