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A Complete Guide to Funeral Thank You Etiquette

Knowing who to send thank you notes to and who can go without after a funeral can be confusing. For example, should you send thank you notes for funeral flowers? Should you send a thank you note to someone who made a long journey to attend the funeral? Funeral thank you etiquette isn’t black and white and it’s a good idea to follow some general guidelines, but to go with your gut if you feel like someone deserves a thank you note.

Who do you write thank you notes to after a funeral?

Here are some folks you should consider sending thank you notes to after a funeral:

  • Anyone with a job at the funeral (pallbearers, speakers, religious leaders, etc.)
  • Those who made memorial donations or provided financial assistance
  • Those who chose to show support in other ways (such as bringing you food, covering chores and household tasks, helping at the funeral, or went above and beyond in other ways)
  • Any religious members who presided over the funeral
  • Those who sent flowers
  • Anyone you feel you’d like to send a thank you note to

Should you send a thank you note for a sympathy card?

You do not need to send a thank you note to someone who sent you a sympathy card. You are welcome to send a thank you note thanking them for thinking of you, but it’s not expected or required. Thank you notes are typically sent to those who have gone above and beyond sending a sympathy card.

What are the best ways to send a thank you note after a funeral?

Writing physical funeral thank you notes and funeral thank you cards used to be the best and most common way to send acknowledgements after a funeral. In today’s world, sending thank you notes after a funeral has never been easier, especially if you’ve created a memorial website for your loved one.

If you have a memorial website, you can send out thank you notes to those who RSVP’d and to those who contributed to your memorial website. You also have the option of sending out a mass thank you note that goes to everyone who contributed to your memorial website if you’d like to make the process a bit more efficient.

If you don’t have a memorial website yet (or want to thank those who aren’t on the memorial website), writing a handwritten note or sending an email are both great alternatives.

Should I send a thank you note to the church?

It’s customary to send a thank you letter to church members after the funeral, especially if you used the church as a venue or if they were supportive and helpful during your time of need. Letters of appreciation to the church after a funeral can generally consist of thanking them for their use of the venue, their leadership and guidance, and anything else you feel is worth mentioning in the letter.

Sample sympathy thank you notes

If you’re looking for inspiration or guidance on how to write a thank you note, you can find some examples below. Feel free to use these examples and change or alter them to fit your unique situation or need.

Sympathy thank you notes to coworkers

[First name],

Thank you for taking the time to attend the services for [first name]. Our family was so happy to finally meet you as [name of decedent] spoke about you frequently. [He/she] would’ve been glad to know you were able to attend.

Best, [Name]

Sympathy thank you notes for funeral food

Dear [name],

Thank you so much for the wonderful [list food] you shared with us last week. It meant so much to us to know that we didn’t have to worry about meals during this difficult time. The [specific dish] was delicious. Your support means the world to us.

Best, The [Family name] Family

Sample thank you notes for funeral donations

If you’re writing out a thank you note you’d like to send to all those who donated to your memorial fundraiser (assuming you have one on Ever Loved), here’s a suggestion on what you could say:

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit [Name’s] memorial website and for making a contribution towards [cause]. Your donation helps us to pay for [list out expenses, or something general], and we wouldn’t have been able to do that without your generous support.

All our love,
The [Family name] Family

If you’re writing a thank you note to someone special or an individual who chose to donate to in memory of your loved one, you could say something like:

[Name of donor],

I wanted to send along a thank you note to let you know how much it meant that you donated towards covering [deceased’s name]’s funeral expenses. Our family would not have been able to afford [deceased’s name’s] beautiful service if it wasn’t for the generosity of people like you. [Deceased’s name] was so, so fond of you, and I know this would’ve meant a lot to [him/her] too.

Thank you, [Your name]

Sympathy thank you letter to church members after funeral

There are a few different scenarios in which you may find yourself writing a thank you note or letter to the church. If you’re writing to the church staff to thank them for letting you use their venue or to thank them for general support, here’s an example:

Dear [name of church] [team/staff],

Thank you so much for hosting our family, friends, and loved ones as we remembered the life of [full name]. Your support and help during this time has been invaluable to our family and we are blessed that we were able to hold services in this place [first name] called home.

Thank you, [Your family name]

If you’re writing a letter of appreciation to the church after the funeral for services provided by religious leaders or clergy (for leading the service, for example), here’s what you could say:

Dear [Name],

Our family would like to thank you, sincerely, for officiating [full name]’s services this past [day services took place]. The service was beautiful and truly inspired all that attended, we were honored to have you speak and lead the services for all involved. Thank you to you and [other clergy members] who supported our family during this time, it has meant a lot.

Warmly, [Your family name]

No matter what you decide to write or who you’re sending a funeral thank you note to, being authentic and appreciative is an easy way to ensure the note gets the right tone across. If you haven’t yet, setting up a memorial website on Ever Loved is an easy way to send out thank you notes to everyone who donates to a cause of your choice. Setting up a website is quick, easy, and free.

Create a memorial website

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Last updated October 5, 2021
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