All About Visitation

Are you planning a visitation at funeral homes Johnstown, PA? It’s natural to feel overwhelmed and confused about how to be on your best behavior at a visitation event – especially if you’re doing it for the first time.

Keeping that in view, we are here to answer all your questions about what visitation is, what you should expect, whether you should bring a gift, and many more. Let’s find out!

What is visitation?

In the funeral industry, a visitation is an informal gathering with close family and friends, to pay one last tribute to the departed soul. It is generally held the evening before the funeral and usually, the body of the decedent is not present.

The purpose is this event is to honor a loved one in an informal way before their final funeral service.

What happens at a visitation?

Since the body is not present at a visitation, the family and friends gather together to remember the deceased in a casual setting. Sometimes there is coffee or cookies available, and also a guest book to sign.

Be sure to greet the bereaved family and express your condolences. The pastor or the member of religious clergy may say a few words or give a short sermon towards the end of the gathering. And a family member may conclude the event by raising raise a glass in their memory and thanking everyone for coming.

What is the difference between a visitation and a viewing?

Both visitation and viewing are informal gatherings of the deceased’s family and friends before the funeral to socialize, mourn, and remember the life of the loved one. But there is one major difference between them.

The decedent’s body is not present at the visitation. At a Viewing event, the casket or cremated remains are present and the emphasis is placed on offering your respect to them.

But remember that many families use visitation and viewing interchangeably. Though the body is not present at a visitation, sometimes the terms are not used precisely and you might witness the casket or urn at the service.

funeral homes Johnstown, PAHow long are you supposed to stay at a visitation?

As long as you feel is appropriate. But generally, it’s a good idea to spend at least half an hour at the visitation. This should give you enough time to sign the guest book, meet the bereaved family and offer your sympathies, have a drink, and get back.

But if you are part of the family or a close friend of the departed soul, you will most likely want to stay longer. It is an informal event. Don’t shy from catching up with family members and friends and having a nice talk while you partake in some refreshments.

Should I bring a sympathy gift?

Yes, absolutely. You should bring a sympathy gift for the bereaved family like an arrangement from a local florist. But the family isn’t expecting something from you. So, even if you forget a gift, it’s ok. The process at funeral homes Johnstown, PA, is emotional.