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What to Bring to a Funeral Service

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What you bring to a funeral often depends on your role during the service. However, there are several things that help make the day easier and more meaningful. So, knowing what to bring to a funeral eases the pressure on you.

man with white roses at funeral service

Below, we cover some of the main items to take to a funeral. Plus, the ones you should avoid taking.

What to bring to a funeral service


Funerals can be very upsetting, and it’s natural to be overcome with emotion during the service. Having tissues to hand is ideal for these moments. However, it’s also helpful and a kind gesture if someone nearby needs an extra tissue and you have one available.


If you’re deciding what to bring to a funeral service, flowers are an important consideration. Depending on the service, the family of the deceased may welcome flowers at the service. Details on sending flowers to the funeral home beforehand are sometimes available. However, there is usually a spot to lay flowers at the service.


Many families now ask for donations instead of flowers as a way to pay respect to charities or organisations the deceased supported or benefitted from. These are usually given at the end of the service, and a collection box is available for cash. The Order of Service may also have details of where and how you can donate money.

A sympathy card

A sympathy card is a simple way to show the family your support and appreciation for the deceased. There is typically a place to put flowers and cards at the beginning of the service. However, handing a card over personally to the grieving family is a kind gesture during this painful time.

An umbrella

When deciding what to bring to a funeral, an umbrella might not be first on your list. However, if the weather forecast says rain, it’s best to take an umbrella as you may be required to wait outside before the service.


If you are arranging a funeral for a loved one, having photographs at the service or wake is a moving reminder of the deceased. Many services now display slideshows. So, including photos at the wake is a meaningful way to chat about memories with family and friends.

A guestbook is also another poignant memento of the deceased. This creates a perfect place for everyone to sign their name and add a memory to the book in commemoration. Read our guide on what to write in a condolence book to find out more.

What not to bring to a funeral service

Flowers (in some cases)

Depending on the funeral, it is sometimes inappropriate to bring flowers with you. For example, if the family requests any flowers be sent to their chosen Bristol funeral home, or they prefer a donation – be sure to respect their request. Also, flowers are deemed culturally insensitive in some religious services, such as Jewish funerals.

Mobile phones or loud electronics

This might sound obvious but it’s surprising how many people disrupt funeral services with loud phone ringtones. Naturally, everyone brings a mobile phone out with them these days. But before you enter the service, turn it off or set it to silent to avoid any disturbances.

Young children

Having children at a funeral is typically at the discretion of the deceased’s family. It may not be an appropriate setting for very young children due to the emotions of the occasion. Instead, arrange for them to be looked after by a family member while you attend the service. In some cases, children are welcome at the wake as this is a chance to celebrate the life of the deceased with everyone.

Read more: What to Say at a Funeral

Preparing for a funeral service

Understanding funeral etiquette is sometimes confusing. However, our team of female funeral directors in Bristol is available to guide you through the necessary preparation to make your loved one’s funeral a special and beautiful service.

To learn more about our services, contact us on 0117 956 4796 or email at

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