What should I wear?
As a general guideline, wear your better clothes. Men should wear a suit or sports coat and a tie. Women should wear church or professional-like clothing. Exceptions include uniforms such as military, fire, police, rescue and girl or boy scout uniforms. Also religious clothing is acceptable such as robes, shawls, etc.
Am I required to look at the deceased?
No, the important thing is that you are at the wake to support the family and offer your comfort and sympathy. When you’re in the receiving line simply don’t look at the deceased. If you feel like you should kneel at the casket to say a prayer just bow your head and look down
Can I attend the funeral mass, but not go to the ceremony?
- If the family request the cemetery service to be private.
- If you are a friend of the family or co-worker ~ acquaintance.
- If the Cemetery is Distant
- If you are assisting in hosting the remembrance meal
Do I have to be invited to participate in the funeral procession to the cemetery?
The short answer is no. Families will specify if the cemetery service is to be private.
How long should I remain at the funeral home after giving my respects?
There is no correct answer to this question. Consider the following:
- If the family asks you to stay for awhile.
- If you feel that your presence is a comfort to the family, stay.
- Consider the number of people at the wake.
- Consider your relationship to the deceased.
If visiting hours are for two hours, is there a preferred time to arrive?
Family members should arrive 10 to 15 minutes before the scheduled wake starts, and stay during the entire wake. If you believe it will be crowded, arrive 5 minutes before the scheduled time or arrive during the last half hour of the wake. Do not come during the first half hour of the scheduled time.
Is it okay to bypass people in the receiving line and go directly to those you know?
Generally speaking the answer to this question is no; unless you have medical issues. Introduce yourself “Hello, I was one of Joe’s co-workers. I am sorry for your loss. I will miss his humor in the office”
Is it okay to discuss business with other visitors at the wake?
Yes, as long as the immediate family cannot overhear your conversation.
Is it okay to touch the deceased?
Yes, it is okay to touch the deceased. However, you may get cosmetics on you if you touch the skin. A shoulder or arm would be a better choice.
Should I bring condolence cards to the funeral home or mail to the family?
Your preference. It is very thoughtful to send a card with a short note of sympathy or a favorite memory of the deceased. E-Mail & Online Guest book.
Should I note my place of employment when signing the guest book?
Yes, if the deceased or a family member is a co-worker or know you through your employment.
Should I stay for the blessing or wake service?
If the a wake service is starting or about to start while you are at the wake, you should stay for the short service; otherwise no.
What is most important?
Your presence at a wake is more moving than anything you can say. Attending wakes and funerals is a selfless act. Remember, your primary goal is to comfort a family whose life is in total chaos.
Houses of Worship
- Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston
- Chelmsford Catholic Collaborative
- St.Catherine Church Westford
- St. Margaret Church Lowell
- St. Patrick Church Lowell
- Immaculate Conception Church Lowell
- Ste. Marguerite d’Youville Church Dracut
- St. Francis Dracut
- St. Rita Church Lowell
- St. Kathryn Church Hudson
- St. Anthony Church Lowell
- St. Michael Parish Lowell
- Holy Family Church Lowell
- St. Mary Magdalen Church Tyngsboro
- St. Joseph Church Pepperell
- Eliot Presbyterian Church Lowell
- First United Baptist Church Lowell
- First Parish Church United Westford
- First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church Chelmsford
- Grace Community Church Chelmsford
- Lowell First Church of the Nazarene Lowell
- New Song Community Church Westford
- Trinity Lutheran Church Chelmsford
- United Methodist Church Westford
- Bahá’í Faith Westford
- West Chelmsford United Methodist Church
- North Chelmsford Congregational Church
- Central Congregational Church Chelmsford
- Tyngsboro Evangelical Congregatonial Church
- Dunstable Evangelical Congregational Church
- Pawtucket Congregational Church Lowell
- Cavalry Baptist Church of Lowell
- Chelmsford Street Baptist Church Lowell
- Aldersgate United Methodist Church Chelmsford
- Christ Jubilee Church Lowell
Greek Orthodox Churches
- City of Lowell Cemeteries
- Town of Chelmsford Cemeteries
- Westford Cemetery Commission
- St. Patrick Cemetery – Lowell
- St. Joseph Cemetery – Chelmsford
- St. Mary Cemetery – Tewksbury
- St. Catherine Cemetery – Westford
- Lowell Cemetery
- Massachusetts National Cemetery – Bourne
- New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery – Boscawen, NH
- Classic Flowers – Chelmsford
- Blossoms – Tyngsborough
- Westford Florist – Westford
- A Floral Moment by Juju Buds – Chelmsford
- Flowers by Albert – Lowell
- Belvidere Florist – Lowell
- Finally Flowers – Lowell
- Sykes the Florist – Lowell
- The Flower Mill – Lowell
- Wood Bros. Florists – L
- Seasons Florist – Dracut
- Rosaries From Flowers – Tewksbury
- Power of Flowers Project – Tewksbury
- Rose of Sharon – Dunstable
- Flowers by Steve – Haverhill
- Keepsake Jewelry Art