Arrange for post-memorial activities

Organize a Funeral

It is common for memorial attendees to continue the commemoration of the deceased with a reception after the funeral and memorial. Examples include:

  • Gathering at the home of the deceased’s family members
  • A funeral luncheon
  • A meal at someone's home or a restaurant
  • A memorial meal at a bar

Tradition and customs of the deceased and their survivors may impact appropriate post-memorial activities.

For example, a Catholic wake is typically scheduled as a formal vigil to celebrate and honor the deceased. Certain Catholic churches have replaced this ceremony with the rosary, whereas others perform the vigil on a regular basis.

In Judaism, there is a seven-day period of mourning at one of the deceased's immediate family member's homes called a shiva.

In the Eastern Orthodox/Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church tradition, the memorial service is known as the 40th Day After Death. This ends a 40-day memorial period following the death of the deceased and is an opportunity for friends and family to gather.

An unveiling ceremony can be held to honor the placement of the headstone at the gravesite. Due to turnaround times to get these markers made, it is common to install these at a later date.

Helpful Tips


  • Christian - a reception for funeral attendees
  • Catholic - wake
  • Jewish - shiva, 1 to 7-day mourning period with visitors
  • Muslim - 10-day mourning period, with visitors expected the first 3 days.
  • Buddhist - the family may choose to host a reception where family and friends continue paying their respects. additional commemorations on the 3rd, 7th, 49th, and 100th day following the person’s death.
  • Hindu - a 13-day period of mourning. The deceased's family will perform mourning rituals to assist the deceased's soul. Visitors will come to pay condolences. The family holds another memorial ceremony at the one-year anniversary of the death, called sraddha.
  • Orthodox Christian - funeral is followed by a special meal, fish is usually served
  • Jehovah's Witness - family's discretion
  • Latter-Day Saints (Mormon) - a meal is usually provided after the funeral
  • Other religions and faiths - family's discretion

Personal Considerations


Will a post-memorial activity be held for some or all funeral attendees?


Decide in advance whether the post-memorial activity will be open to all attendees or limited to certain people or relatives.

Include information about the post-memorial activity in funeral announcements. Include this info only for those for whom it is relevant (i.e., do not tell people who are not invited to the post-memorial activity).

You may also need to make plans for transportation.


You may wish to direct guests to other ways to pay tribute to the deceased or support their survivors.

You may wish to hold an event at a later date. If so, include a note on "information to come" regarding such an event in any funeral announcement sent to invitees.

Pay tribute: direct donations to specific causes.

Support their survivors: direct people to service providers specifically asked for by the survivors.


If a post-memorial activity will be held:

Decide in advance whether the post-memorial activity will be open to all attendees or limited to certain people or relatives.

Include information about the post-memorial activity in funeral announcements. Include this info only for those for whom it is relevant (i.e., do not tell people who are not invited to the post-memorial activity).

You may also need to make plans for transportation.

If a post-memorial activity will not be held:

You may wish to direct guests to other ways to pay tribute to the deceased or support their survivors.

You may wish to hold an event at a later date. If so, include a note on "information to come" regarding such an event in any funeral announcement sent to invitees.

Pay tribute: direct donations to specific causes.

Support their survivors: direct people to service providers specifically asked for by the survivors.


Organize a Funeral