After the Service

It is customary for the mourners to gather after the funeral for drinks and refreshments.

Depending on the number of mourners and the wishes of the family, these can be quite large affairs, involving hotels, caterers and so on.

Alternatively, the mourners can simply make their way to the home of the deceased for more modest refreshments.

Depending on the time of the funeral, the usual offerings would be a buffet, or sandwiches and drinks (wine, sherry, beer), although sit-down family lunches are also an option (if numbers are restricted). Not everyone will want to drink after a funeral, so tea and coffee should be liberally available.

Funeral receptions can range from decorous tea parties to large, noisy gatherings. Sometimes the feelings of release after the tension of the ceremony (and the alcohol) can make people voluble and sociable. If, as a chief mourner, you do not feel that you would be able to cope with a gathering of this nature, make sure that your guests know that the reception is circumscribed - it is not rude to give an end time, or even to withdraw to the privacy of your own room. This is your prerogative at a very difficult time. If you are a guest, be very conscious about the staying power of your hosts, and ensure that you do not out-stay your welcome.

SHARE THIS:
Debrett's Handbook

Debrett's Handbook

Debrett's Handbook

Debrett's Handbook

Debrett's new publication encompassing correct form, modern manners and everyday behaviour

search now
Debrett's Books

Debrett's Books

Debrett's Courses

Debrett's Courses

Training & Classes

Training & Classes

Providing the skills and confidence to be welcome and at ease in any professional or social situation.

search now
Guide to Entertaining Etiquette

Guide to Entertaining Etiquette

Guide to Entertaining Etiquette

Guide to Entertaining Etiquette

Explore and celebrate the many British rituals, customs and traditions that punctuate the year.

buy it now