A funeral announcement is a way to communicate the news that someone has died and to provide people with information regarding funeral service arrangements. It can be emotionally taxing to write a funeral announcement for a loved one, but sharing the news with family and friends often brings much-needed love and support in a time of grief.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, funeral announcements were referred to as “funeral invitations” and receiving an invite for a well-known individual was considered to be a social coup. The funeral invitations were engraved on wood (or copper, if the family was wealthy) and typically featured symbols of death like the Grim Reaper and Father Time. Times have changed, however, and these days funeral announcements are usually printed in newspapers, sent via email, or posted on Facebook.
Funeral Announcements on Social Media
Yes, it happens. Facebook has over two billion active users, so it’s no longer surprising to see posts and messages about funeral announcements on the platform. While this practice might ruffle some feathers, posting a death notice on social media is a personal decision and if the deceased was active online and used social media frequently to communicate with family and friends, this might actually be the best method to inform others about their death and the upcoming funeral.
Social media etiquette rules should apply though when posting funeral announcements online – try not to post anything until after the family makes the initial communication, and steer clear of negative comments or stories about the deceased no matter your relationship in life. It’s always common courtesy not to speak ill of the dead.
What to Include in a Funeral Announcement
The general gist of a funeral announcement should detail the full name of the deceased, the funeral logistics (time, date, and location), and if floral tributes are welcomed or information on where to send donations in lieu of flowers.
There are numerous samples and templates online to help you pick a suitable design and format, but keep in mind that wording and space may be limited if you are submitting the funeral notice to a newspaper or a website board.
Here are some items to include when you write a funeral announcement:
- Personal Details – full name of the deceased (if married, add the maiden name) and names of surviving family members. Residential information, e.g., city of birth and current/previous home locations, employment history, and personal details like military service or special accomplishments are optional additions. Don’t forget to include a picture!
- Funeral Arrangements – provide the time, date, and location of the funeral and burial, unless the service is a private affair. If you are not holding a funeral service, you can write “There are no funeral services planned at this time.” You can also let people know if a memorial service is scheduled for a future date.
- Contributions – let your funeral guests know if you are accepting flowers or charitable donations in memory of the deceased (sometimes only members of the family are allowed to bring flowers). If donations are preferred, make sure to include the name of the organization where contributions should be sent.