It is customary to send thank-you notes after a funeral to acknowledge those who gave gifts, helped with the service, offered support and aided you with preparations before and during the funeral. Finding the right words can be difficult as you grieve, but the notes don't have to be long. A few simple words are enough to let people know your gratitude for their assistance during this difficult time.
Proper words are appropriate for many people who take part in a funeral. Send them to the clergy and musicians who took part in the service. Anyone who sent flowers, donated money to the service or a charity in honor of the deceased or brought food should receive a short note of thanks. It's also appropriate to send a simple thank-you note to the funeral director and staff who assisted you in preparing for the funeral. Some people send a thank-you note to everyone who attended the service, but this isn't necessary unless you want to do so.
A personal greeting makes a thank-you note more meaningful to the recipient. The appropriate opening words of your notes vary, depending on the person you're thanking. For example, the greeting will be different for a clergy person than for your sister, who cooked all the food for the funeral reception. "Dear Pastor/Father/Rabbi..." is sufficient for the person who presided over the service. If you're writing to a close friend or family member, first names are fine. Use "Mr." "Mrs." "Miss" or "Ms." for funeral home staff and musicians as well as friends of the deceased that you didn't know well.
Body of the Note
The body of your funeral thank-you note doesn't have to be long. A sentence or two is fine as long as the words express gratitude for specific gifts or acts of service. For example, "Many thanks for the beautiful flower arrangement in honor of..." is a good option for anyone who contributed floral gifts. Substitute "generous donation" for monetary gifts. "Thank you for thinking of me with your gift of a meal," is appropriate for friends and family who brought food during your time of sorrow. "Thank you for your assistance during the funeral service for..." are kind words for clergy, funeral home staff and musicians. If you want to send thank-you notes to everyone who attended the funeral, "Thank you for your support and presence during the funeral for..." is a simple sentiment that applies to anyone.
For close friends and family members, signing your funeral thank-you with "Love," followed by your name, is a nice way to end your note. For people you don't know well or who were involved in the service in a professional way, "Sincerely" or "Regards" are more appropriate sentiments. Don't forget to sign each card by hand, which makes the note more personal.
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