Hosting a Funeral Reception

Funeral receptions at funeral homes in Rockford, IL generally follow the funeral service or the graveside service. Funeral receptions provide the comfort of food and drink, along with a more relaxed atmosphere in which mourners and the family can talk, have support, and have encouragement after the loss of a loved one.

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If you’re not part of the immediate family and you are hosting a funeral reception, it’s important not to forget that a funeral reception’s purpose is to bring everyone who is mourning together. Because this is an informal gathering designed to provide physical and soul nourishment, there is no need to plan something elaborate.

One of the easiest ways to host a funeral reception is to have everyone bring something and have a potluck-style meal, along with drinks like juice, tea, water and soda. Be sure to have a coffee maker as well. Paper and plastic ware make cleanup after the funeral reception much easier. Have a couple of large, lined garbage cans where people can throw out their trash, and cleanup is almost as simple as two contractor’s garbage bags to be thrown away.

Why should you have or attend a funeral reception? One reason is to be able to express sympathy and to offer condolences to the family who has lost a loved one. Another reason is that it gives everyone who knew the deceased a chance to remember them and share warm, humorous, or noble stories about them, which is very comforting to family members. A third reason is that it gives friends and family of the deceased an opportunity to spend meaningful time together in a supportive atmosphere.

Funeral receptions can be held anywhere. Since most funeral homes now allow food and drinks to be served on premises, it may be easiest to host a funeral reception at the funeral home after the funeral service or graveside service. The other popular choices for holding a funeral reception include church fellowship halls and private homes.

Some funeral receptions are public and some are private. If everyone attending the funeral service is invited to the funeral reception, the funeral director will announce that everyone is welcome at the reception at the end of the funeral or graveside service. If the funeral reception is private, then invitations will be sent directly to the people who are invited.

Food and drinks served at a funeral reception should be things that everyone will eat. If you’re hosting a meal (refreshments and drinks are okay as well), include dishes like salads and vegetable casseroles, so that if some attendees are vegetarians, there will be something they can eat. If the meal is a potluck, make sure that those who are bringing food include different kinds of meat, vegetables, salads, side dishes, breads and desserts. Using disposal containers for food will make cleanup a breeze, with nothing left to clean but the inevitable slow cookers that are the centerpiece of any potluck.

Avoid serving alcohol unless it’s a small private friend-and-family or family-only gathering. But even in these settings, it’s best to set a firm limit since too much alcohol can sometimes bring simmering issues or conflicts to the surface. This can turn really bad really quickly and may lead to permanent rifts in the family. For public funeral receptions, provide a large variety of non-alcoholic drinks like coffee, hot and cold tea, sodas, juices, and water.

When it’s time to eat at funeral receptions, the family of the deceased should be served or go first in line as a sign of respect.

For more help at funeral homes in Rockford, IL planning funeral receptions, our compassionate and experienced team at Collins & Stone Funeral Home is here to help. You can visit our funeral home at 128 S 5th Street, Rockford, IL 61104, or you can call us today at (815) 965-1515.

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