Etiquette of Acknowledgement Cards for a Funeral

by April Sanders

Acknowledgement cards are sent as a gesture of thanks to those who helped the family of the deceased, served at the funeral, made a donation or otherwise offered their support. The cards acknowledge the efforts made by family and friends to honor the deceased and lessen the grief of the family during their time of loss.

What to Send

Acknowledgement cards should be nice, heavy notecards. Never send an email acknowledgement or type something out on plain paper. This is not considered polite. Instead, choose a set of nice cards, or ask the funeral director if he has something you can use. Often, the funeral home will have cards in stock, and they may be pre-printed with a suitable message. Some experts suggest adding a handwritten message along with your signature.

What to Write

Even if you don't write a personal message in every card, consider writing one in the cards that you are going to send to the clergy person who performed the funeral, close family members and others who went above and beyond to help you in your time of grief. Mention how much their support meant to you, and thank them sincerely. Sign the cards on behalf of the family of the deceased rather than with just your name. If you have a lot of cards to send, ask one or two people to help you write them.

Who to Send Them to

Send an acknowledgement card to anyone who sent flowers, food and other gifts -- anyone who helped in other tangible ways -- such as offering child care during the funeral -- and anyone who spoke or otherwise served at the funeral. You do not, however, have to send an acknowledgement card to every person who attended the funeral, although some people like to also send cards to anyone who signed the guest book.

When to Send Them

Acknowledgement cards should ideally be sent within two weeks after the funeral, according to Rochester Funeral Homes. Still, this is not a hard-and-fast rule, and most of those who assisted will understand if you don't send the acknowledgements right away.

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