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Planning a Respectful Reception

After Catholic funeral services, it’s customary to hold a reception. The reception is hosted by the family of the deceased and offers a further opportunity for friends and loved ones to offer support. If you are unfamiliar with traditions for receptions after Catholic funerals in San Jose, consider contacting the diocese or asking the clergy members involved in the service for advice. As you move forward with reception planning, here are some tips for ensuring the event remains respectful of the occasion.

Consider the Venue

Post-funeral receptions can be held at private homes, restaurants, or event venues. Although receptions are intended to be more casual and relaxed than funeral services, consider the place you choose to host the reception carefully. In some cases, for instance, holding the reception at a restaurant or venue that has a bar atmosphere may encourage raucous behavior. A place with plenty of seating and without loud music encourages people to sit and chat instead.

Consider the Wishes

Sometimes, the deceased and his or her loved ones don’t want the reception to be somber but rather want an upbeat gathering at which the focus is good memories instead of loss. Toasts to the deceased, singing, and laughing may be encouraged rather than frowned upon. If the family wishes for the reception to have this kind of feel, it is acceptable—and even expected—to join in. As an attendee, your role is to support the family in a way that feels right to them.

Consider the Guests

What constitutes a respectful reception may differ depending who will be attending. A funeral for an elderly person that is attended mainly by other seniors may be more traditional and formal, while a reception with younger guests may be more relaxed. Be sure that any reception you plan adequately accounts for a range of ages and that you provide food, drinks, and seating for children, seniors, and the full scope of your guests.


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