What to Write in a Funeral Announcement
Soon after the funeral planning begins, you will want to place (or send) a funeral announcement. Like an obituary, this item is a way of notifying the public of a loved one’s passing and details of any arrangements you are making on his or her behalf. Unlike an obituary, a funeral announcement does not delve too deeply into personal or private information. In this way, you can maintain boundaries while still honoring the deceased.
Although many funeral homes will take on the task of writing a funeral announcement for you, you can also take charge of this on your own. Most funeral announcements only take a few minutes to write, and include the following:
- Information on the Deceased: Because you won’t be including the details, all you need to mention is the date of death (and possibly birth) as well as the full name of the deceased. There is no need to mention the cause of death unless you wish to.
- Next of Kin: In an effort to help identify the deceased and the newly bereaved, most funeral announcements also include the names and relationships of the spouse, parents, and/or children of the deceased. Deceased relatives may also be included.
- Personal Details: This area is left up to you to define. Although you can list some facts about the deceased’s life (where he or she worked, organizations to which he or she belonged), it is not required—nor should you go into too much depth.
- Funeral Arrangements: This is the real purpose of a funeral announcement. Because it appears before the obituary, this is your chance to notify members of the community about when and where the funeral will be held—as well as whether or not it is open to the public. You can include information on:
- Viewing Time and Location
- Wake Time and Location
- Funeral Time and Location
- Private or Public Services
- Address for Funeral Flowers
- “In Lieu of” Gifts/Donations
Most newspapers have a special section for funeral announcements, and the cost is typically a per-line or per-word fee. These announcements go out before the obituary and provide readers with a chance to participate in the funeral however they wish.
Funeral announcements can also be sent out to individuals and community organizations, or posted online through various social media outlets or websites. Because making individual calls and repeating the information over and over again can be a real drain on a family that is already struggling with grief, funeral announcements provide a quick and easy way to get the necessary information out there.