The reception

After the funeral service the family and friends of the deceased gather to the reception. This gives them the opportunity to reminisce the life of the deceased, express the gratitude of the time they had together and console each other.

Usually one of the relatives of the deseaced presents an invitation to the funeral reception, if one is to be held. The invitation can also be announced in the program of the memorial service or in the obituary notice in a newspaper or as a personal invitation before the service.

A funeral reception can be organised for the deceased’s home or in a parish hall, restaurant, or any other suitable place. If the deceased was a member of the parish, the reception can be held at the parish hall free of charge. The family can take care of the catering themselves or hire a catering service. Traditionally, a reception location features a table covered with a white tablecloth, on which a picture of the deceased is displayed with one or two candles and flowers.

The minister who conducted the service will, of course, attend the reception if invited. The invitation should be issued already at the stage of making the arrangements.

The family and the minister can plan the programme for the reception together. Reading of remembrance cards, songs, a speech by the minister, a memorial speech, and other short speeches and musical performances are often part of the reception.