Condolences to the death, how to condole properly at a funeral and in writing

Condolences to the death, how to condole properly at a funeral and in writing

If you ever lost someone close to you, you know how hard it is to cope with the loss. Support of those who surround you is very important. The easiest thing you can do after you get the message about death of a person, is to condole to his closest and express your condolences.

There are two kinds of condolences – direct (personally) or in writing. Every situation requires different approach, and, in this text, we will advise you how to proceed and what words to chose and then is the ideal moment to condole.

Personal condolences (before and during the funeral)

First opportunity, when to condole the bereaved, is the moment, when you find out about the death of the deceased. If you are with the bereaved in regular personal contact, then it is appropriate to condole on the first occasion. Most of the family and friends will meet the bereaved at the funeral.

It is good to consider, that every funeral can be different and therefore requires different approach from the guests. Consider the bereaved and their current situation, even when condoling. Below we will describe the recommended procedure, which can be followed in general.

When to condole

At a funeral we usually condole in two moments. When entering the ceremonial hall, the people approaching go greet the person arranging the funeral and closest bereaved. If it is the first time you met the bereaved after death, then usually with a handshake and express your condolences in words. It is possible, that the funeral will be attended by large number of guests so you will not manage to meet before the ceremony, do not fight for this privilege, wait patiently for the right moment. It is better to express your condolences in peace after the ceremony, than in rush, impersonally before the ceremony.

Official condolences begin after the ceremony ends, when the bereaved usually agree, whether they will want to accept condolences from the guests or not. Sometimes can be the present asked not to condole, which usually happen in moments, when the loss was extremely painful. Respect this wish.

If the bereaved accept condolences, then they usually stand at a certain place, where they will accept the condolences. Usually from the right to them come the guests of the funeral, shake hand of each of them and express their condolences. Afterwards you should leave the ceremonial hall – to the funeral feast or home

To whom to condole

To whom to condole or not to condole is not governed by any rules. Always is considered the relationship to the deceased as well as family ties between the deceased and the relatives. In general, it can be said, that you condole the closest bereaved (spouse, partner, adult offspring, parents). Condolences can be expressed to anyone close, you know, or anyone, who was affected by the loss.

We recommend distinguishing two situations – first condolences in the moment, you find out about the death and condolences when entering ceremonial hall. These condolences can be expressed to everyone you consider fit. Second official condolences after the ceremony to everyone, who stays standing at a certain place for accepting condolences. Here you do not have to hesitate and choose, it is a decency to condole all of these people.

How to condole

You want to primarily express your involvement in their grieve. Different types exist, how to express this involvement. The most common way is a firm handshake followed by few words, which are usually “condolences”. Do not forget, that you never wish condolences! Do not let yourself to be swayed by phrase “I wish you my condolences”! You certainly do not wish something like that to the bereaved. If your relationship, you can offer your help in their situation, remember shortly about the deceased or otherwise personally express your participation.

Indirect condolences (via letter, e-mail or a postcard)

Indirect condolences (via letter, e-mail or a postcard)

By this condolence is usually meant the expression of condolence expressed differently than personal contact. Nowadays different options for expressing condolences exist, which is tied to how a death is announced. While obituary was traditionally sent via post office, nowadays it is possible to send obituary via SMS or e-mail.

That is why condolences can be expressed in the same way. If you are hesitating to whom to condole in writing, we recommend always to condole to the one, who send you the obituary at first, and consider other relatives or friends of the deceased to condole to as second. Even here no fixed rules exist, you need to follow your instinct.

How to send condolences in letter

If you want to choose traditional way of sending condolences, then we recommend writing few lines by hand on nice and clean paper and send your condolences via post office. It is possible of course to write the text on computer and print out, that is question of your preference. Condolence like this usually called letter of condolence. Contents of such letter can be your personal expression or some borrowed content: quote, poem or citation from the bible, based on your consideration.

How to choose condolence card or postcard

If you do not want to choose the possibility for writing a personal note in a letter, you can buy in a stationery shop or any other shop pre-printed card or postcard, which serves for expressing your condolences. Concerns with the content of condolences should be solved by printed texts, quotes or verse, so you only need to sign it and send it to the address of the bereaved.

How to send condolences by e-mail or SMS

Similar rules for content belong to a message, with which you can express your condolences via e-mail or SMS. Nowadays it is common to send condolences online, but always consider technological abilities of the person, which will accept the condolences. By e-mail or a text message it is possible to send a picture with condolences, which in this time will constitute for written condolence.

Thanks for condolences

If you are in opposite situation and you accept condolences, then you may be thinking about how to thank for a condolence or how to answer. In case of personal condolence, a simple “thank you” is enough, in case, that you get a condolence as an answer for an obituary, then the answer is not necessary and is purely on your consideration, whether you decide to continue in communication.

Condolences for death – templates

Templates for condolence quotes, texts and poets:

Texts from bible dealing with death:

We will provide any information at a nonstop phoneline of our funeral home +420 725 900 800.

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