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Everything about Funeral Thank You Cards

How to Use Funeral Thank You Cards

Funeral Thank You Cards


When your loved one dies, the outpouring of affection and support from friends and family, while certainly appreciated, can be overwhelming. Often, family members wonder what they should do to respond to the support they have received. Funeral thank you cards are one of your most versatile resources for simply and appropriately acknowledging the wide variety of well-wishers involved in your loved one’s funeral and related events.


Who Should Receive Funeral Thank You Cards

Generally speaking, it is appropriate to send funeral thank you cards the people who formally expressed their sympathy or otherwise assisted with the funeral or related events. A more detailed discussion of who should be thanked an how can be found here.

Formal expressions of sympathy often come in the following forms, and the thank you card should reference the way that the person’s sympathy was expressed.



Funeral Guest Book

Attendance at the Funeral. 

Be sure to have a funeral guest book prominently displayed at the entrance to the funeral or wake venue. The people who attend should receive thank you cards (one card per household) expressing your appreciation for their attendance. If you recall seeing someone at the funeral but do not find that person in the guest book, it is appropriate to send them a card as well if you know or can easily find the person’s address. You can shop for a tasteful funeral guest book here.

Funeral Thank You Cards

Receipt of Flowers. 

When an individual or household sends flowers to the funeral home or grave site, you should send thank you cards acknowledging the flowers and commenting on their beauty. When an organization sends flowers, you should send a thank you card to the leader of the organization or group expressing the same sentiment.

Gift Memorial.

As with the receipt of flowers, when an individual, household, or organization makes gift memorial in honor of your deceased loved one, you should send thank you cards expressing appreciation and noting your loved one’s regard for the organization that received the gift.

Sympathy Card.

Funeral thank you cards are also an appropriate response to the receipt of a sympathy card from an individual, household, or organization.

Phone calls or E-mails.

Sometimes people express their sympathy in more informal ways, such as through phone calls or e-mails. To the extent you can keep track of these expressions, thank you cards are an appropriate and often highly appreciated way to acknowledge these well-wishers.

In addition to those who express sympathy, there are often groups of people who are particularly instrumental in making the funeral and related events go smoothly. These people often fall into the following categories:

1. Clergy or Officiants.

The people who preside over the funeral, even if being paid to do so, should receive thank you cards for their services as a simple acknowledgement of their role.

2. Pallbearers. 

 It is appropriate to send thank you cards to each of the pallbearers thanking them for their service, even in circumstances where service as a pallbearer is largely honorary (as is sometimes the case with cremation).

3. Other Volunteers.

Often, there are a cadre of volunteers who assist in transportation to and from the funeral or otherwise assist the family with preparations. It is appropriate to send people who fall into this category thank you cards acknowledging their assistance.

4. End of Life Care or Support.

It is frequently the case, particularly after death from a long illness, that there are people who provided noteworthy medical or non-medical care and support at the end of your loved one’s life. Funeral thank you cards are a good way to express the family’s appreciation for the service rendered by people who fall into this category.

What to Write in a Funeral Thank You Card

You may be intimidated by the prospect of sending a thank you card for a funeral, and, indeed, one of the most frequently asked questions is, “What do I write?” The good news is that figuring out what to write in a funeral thank you card is easier than you think if you follow a few simple guidelines

  • Acknowledge the Recipient’s Specific Role. The starting point is to acknowledge the recipient’s role in the funeral. For example, if the recipient attended the funeral, the first line can be as simple as: “We very much appreciate that you attended the funeral service for our father.”

  • Express that the Recipient’s Sympathy Was Meaningful. The thank you note should also express that the person’s assistance or expression of sympathy was meaningful to you. This does not require a great deal of verbiage and can be as simple as: “The white lilies you sent were just beautiful. Seeing them gave us great comfort in this difficult time.”

  • Keep It Simple. People do not expect grieving families to write them epistles. Two or three brief lines thanking the recipient are generally sufficient. It is also appropriate to include prayer cards or a line of Scripture or other meaningful quote if you so desire.

  • Putting It All Together. Having discussed the basic ingredients of a funeral thank you note, a few examples may be useful.

Example 1: The following text would be appropriate for a pallbearer: “Thank you very much for serving as a pallbearer as our brother’s funeral service. It meant so much to us that you and his other close friends were the ones filling that important role.”

Example 2: The following text would be appropriate for someone who sent a sympathy card: “Thank you for your kind note expressing sympathy for our mother’s death. She was so dear to us, and hearing from you gave us great comfort in this difficult time.”

Example 3: The following text would be appropriate for an end-of-life caregiver: “Thank you so very much for looking after our father in the final months of his life. He always looked forward to seeing you, and we knew that he was in good hands when you were there. We cannot express how much we appreciate that you helped make his final days as happy as comfortable as possible.”

While we hope that these guidelines are helpful to you, we understand that writing a thank you card for a funeral is often hard to do when you’re still grieving. Accordingly, you can find 38 more idea on what to write here.

Whatever you decide to write, thank you cards are an invaluable resource for expressing your appreciation to those who wish you well and offer support when your loved one passes away.

Funeral Books & Beyond is a one-stop shop for thank you cards, sign-in books, and all of your funeral stationary needs. A complete product listing can be found here.

The people at Funeral Books & Beyond stand ready to help you any way they can as you navigate the process of planning and hosting a funeral.

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