Etiquette in Responding to a Private Funeral
While the passing of an individual may impact many different people, those close to the loved one may opt to hold a private service. If you see that a funeral or memorial service is “private” in an obituary, attendance is only limited to those invited. If a time, date and place are not listed in the obituary listing, it means that only those invited are asked to attend—it is not open to the public. There are many reasons why a family may choose to host a private funeral service, but it is important for others to understand how to properly respond if they were not invited. Do Not Take Offense It can be easy to feel offended if one is not invited to attend a funeral service of someone they cared about. However, it is important to understand that those planning the service may have many reasons why they have chosen to do so. Keep in mind that these decisions were not made to block any specific person or to make an event “exclusive.” Some funerals may be private because:
- The deceased legally planned a list of those who could attend the service.
- Financial resources are limited.
- Religious or cultural customs are present.
- Close friends and family would like to say goodbye in a more comforting environment.
- The deceased was a public figure who may draw too much attention to hold a respectful service.