Phone (24 hours) 0117 956 4796

What To Write in a Condolence Book in the UK

Contact Us

Funerals provide a space to share your memories and support the family of the deceased. One simple way to do this is by writing in a condolence book.

Open page in a condolence book

If you’re wondering what to write in a condolence book in the UK, there are some important considerations to keep in mind. In this post, we’ll take you through everything you need to know, including where to buy a condolence book. 

What is a book of condolence?   

Condolence books are a thoughtful way to give a message of support during an upsetting time. The family of the deceased often provide a book at the funeral service or wake, and you may choose to write a short message if you wish.  

However, it’s understandable that putting pen to paper can be a little overwhelming. Not knowing what to write or how to start your message is a typical stumbling block.  

But, whatever you write, it’s important to remember that this may give the deceased’s family comfort. In addition, it may help you to cope with feelings of loss.  

What to write in a condolence book at a UK funeral service?  

Writing in a condolence book is a personal experience, but overthinking your words can make this daunting. Some aspects to consider include the following: 

Starting your message 

Address your message to the family members. Perhaps start with a sentence such as “I was very sorry to hear that George passed away…” This sentence is often the most difficult to write. However, in these few words, you can express your sympathy and show support for the grieving family.  

Include personal memories 

Writing in a condolence book is a beautiful way to share memories of the deceased. Reminisce about experiences you shared or how they impacted your life. Include kind words about their character or how they made you feel. Loved ones will cherish these messages fondly.  

Offer support  

After the funeral, the deceased’s family will take time to read the condolence book. So, at the end of your message, you can offer a helping hand if you’re able to. For example, you might mention that they can call anytime if they need to or if they require assistance with life tasks such as shopping or babysitting. Let them know you’re only a phone call away.  

How to write in a condolence book  

Don’t worry about the length of your message 

Some people write several paragraphs, others just a few sentences – don’t feel your message has to be a specific length. Any words are appreciated.  

Speak from your heart 

This message is a way to show the deceased’s loved ones your feelings during this time. To convey your message, the words don’t have to be grammatically perfect or even spelt correctly. So, don’t worry about the little imperfections. Just write from the heart.  

What not to write in a condolence book 

Writing a heartfelt message doesn’t have to be daunting. But there are a few things to remember so you don’t inadvertently cause upset at this already difficult time.  

Avoid religious phrases, especially if the family are not religious. For example, writing that this is part of God’s plan, or a similar expression, may cause hurt.  

Avoid comparing this experience to your own or using phrases such as “I know how you feel”. While this comes from a good place, and you’re trying to help, everyone experiences grief differently, and this may cause upset.  

Where to buy a condolence book?  

If you are making funeral arrangements, condolence books are available in many high street and online stores. Your Bristol funeral director may also provide a book or recommendations for online condolence pages where family and friends can share messages, images and donations after the funeral.  

Read more: What to Say at a Funeral

Compassionate funeral services in Bristol 

Preparing for a funeral service can be a difficult process. For assistance on what to write in a condolence book or other aspects of arranging a funeral, our team of caring and professional funeral directors in Bristol is here to help. 

If you have any questions about our services, you can get in touch with our friendly and compassionate team for advice and guidance. 

Related FAQs