What to Bring and Not to Bring to a Funeral

Funerals and funeral homes Johnstown, PA, are among the least discussed topic among peers – for quite obvious reasons. Who would want to talk about their death and final services! Yet, everyone faces a time when one has to attend the funeral of a loved one. It is customary to bring something to a funeral.

As of writing these lines, about 86% of Americans never talk about funerals with friends and family until they have to attend one. That’s why many people are unaware of what to bring, and what not to bring to a funeral service.

To help you out below is a simple guide on what should you bring to a memorial service, funeral, or viewing.

Bring Flowers – But Not to a Jewish Funeral

Flowers are the best way to express your condolences and sympathy to the bereaved – and honor the deceased. Because of their versatility, they are also considered as sympathy flowers by the florists.

Every flower depicts a specific meaning in itself. You can bring any type of flower to a funeral but the most appropriate and common funeral flowers are:

  • Roses
  • Lilies
  • Orchids
  • Carnations
  • Gladioli
  • Daffodil
  • Chrysanthemums
  • You also bring a combination of various flowers.

Sympathy Cards

Another traditional gift to bring to a funeral is sympathy cards. You can bring either in combination with flowers or on their own. The most important thing to consider is what to write on a sympathy card. Don’t overthink it and write from your heart a few lines that should comfort the bereaved.

Family Photos

If you have any family photos of the deceased, that would be a memorable gift for the bereaved; the photos they even might not know existed. During moments of stress and pain, such gifts that reminisce the happy moments may bring solace and comfort to the grieving family.

Arrange the photos in beautiful and unique collages, frames, memorial albums, or scrapbook.


While some funerals are not open to children, you may bring young children of over age six or seven to a funeral to allow them to say a final goodbye to the lost loved one. Also, the decision depends on the bond between the child and the deceased. If you’re bringing one, make sure they are aware of the decorum and don’t make unnecessary distractions.

Family Food

While it is customary in many families for immediate friends and family to bring family food like cake, cookies, or any sweet dish for the visitors. It is still a thoughtful gesture even if you’re not a close acquaintance. Bring your favorite food to the reception along with disposable plates so visitors can easily eat them and family can take the leftovers home.

However, don’t bring food extravagant dishes to funerals or cemeteries.

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What You Shouldn’t Bring to or Do in a Funeral

Unlike any traditional ceremonies, funerals are highly formal events where one has to be on the best behavior. Don’t wear shiny or casual dresses that might catch attention; you may choose dark-colored attire. Avoid bringing very expensive gifts. Don’t just glue yourself to your cellphone and restrict its use as much as possible. And, remember, never be late for a funeral. Funeral homes Johnstown, PA, are accomodating, but the other mourners may not be.