Funeral Invitations: What to Say and How to Word Them

What to say when it’s hard to find the words.
Funeral Invitations: What to Say and How to Word Them

It may seem like a small detail of a much bigger (and sadly, bluer) picture, but creating an invitation is a necessary step in informing others of the funeral, memorial or celebration of your loved one’s life. It can become an important and cherished keepsake for those left behind, as well as of course providing necessary details like date, time and location for the gathering.

The invitation is simply a means by which friends and family are brought together to honour the deceased and support each other through their grief – if that makes the task any less daunting for you! In any case, we’ve got some tips on how to craft some special sentences for a personalised invitation.

Invitation overview

If you need some invitation inspiration, you can access templates online just as you may have done in planning another type of gathering in the past. These will give you an idea of the structure, tone (formal, casual, spiritual), vocabulary, format, layout and artwork or photos that might be most appropriate to use. They may also lend clues to other general information that guests may find useful to know such as driving directions, contact numbers or dress codes. Try looking to Etsy, Pinterest or Canva for inspiration.

Who, what, when, where

In other words, the basics. It’s best to have these ironed out when putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard). The invitation should clearly state who the service is honouring. Use their full name and perhaps also any nicknames they were known by. The date, time and location are the next most important details for invitees. Any venues that may not be familiar to guests can be accompanied by a small map or access instructions (maybe even predicted traffic conditions!) – these never go astray. 

Depending on the venue size and expected turnout, you may want to ask people to confirm their attendance via RSVP, in which case you would need to include the appropriate contact for confirmation to be directed.

Including a short description of what is planned also helps guests understand more about what type of event you are holding. For example, is it a formal funeral in a church, perhaps with a viewing? Is it a casual memorial service, or a celebration of life at the deceased’s favourite seaside spot? Will there be a meal and refreshments shared afterward? In many cases, the type of service will also inform the dress code, which guests will also be (most) grateful to be advised of.

Add a personal touch

Adding some personal touches to your invitation can add more significance and enhance each individual’s connection to the ceremony. You may wish to include a short statement about the life of your loved one. This could be in the form of a short biography highlighting achievements and passions, or even an anecdote that captures their essence or a quote that sums them up!

A photo on the invitation can often say far more than words, by evoking special memories of the one who guests will be paying their respects to. Or you might instead choose to represent their identity through special colours or artwork that reflect their individual personality and life. You’re allowed to exercise some creative licence here… unless it’s not what they would have wanted.

Some examples of wording for funeral invitations

To start you off, or to guide your invitation’s tone, these may resonate:

  • Please join us as we say goodbye to a loving sister and friend in [Name]
  • In remembrance of the beautiful life of [Name], we warmly invite you to share in a celebration of their journey on [Date] at [Time], [Venue Address]
  • As we bid farewell to our beloved [Name], we request the honour of your presence as we pay tribute to a life well-lived on [Date] at [Time], [Venue Address]
  • The family of [Name] humbly invites you to attend the memorial gathering
  • Come share stories and memories as we remember the incredible life of [Name]

For something a bit more poetic:

  • [Name]’s life was a tapestry of moments, both significant and subtle. Please join us as we reflect on those moments and remember the individual threads that made up the wonderful person we knew and loved
  • Just as a leaf falls from a tree, we too must say goodbye. But the tree remains, strong in its roots, much like our memories of [Name]. Join us as we celebrate their lasting impact on our lives
  • [Name] left behind more than memories; they left a legacy of love, laughter, and life lessons. Let’s come together to celebrate the indelible mark they left on each of us

Wrap up 

It’s easy to create a funeral invitation that accurately reflects your loved one if they took control of their legacy by writing their Will online in 15 minutes. You should do the same

If you found this helpful, you may benefit from reading our Guide to Writing a Death Notice.

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