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Nowadays undertakers organize things to such a degree that they really do undertake to cover every detail during this very painful and difficult period, from registering the death to printing the form of service for the funeral. An obituary notice is usually sent to a national or local newspaper and inserted in the "Deaths" column. It may read as follows:

Smith. On the 4th of January, 1964, at 15, Blank Road, Preston, Joan Mary Smith, beloved wife of John D. Smith and mother of Jane and Jeremy. Funeral private (or Funeral service at 11 a. m. on 7th January, at St. Mary's Church, Fells Road, Preston).

"No flowers, by request" may be added if desired.

Those who send flowers do not carry them to the house in person, but place an order with a florist to have a wreath or bunch of flowers delivered on the morning of the funeral. These should usually be sent to the church or to the undertaker, whose address can be given in the notice. A visiting card or plain card is attached, signed by the person or persons sending the flowers, together with some very simple message, "With deepest sympathy from ..." "With all our love from ..." or "With deepest affection from ..."

The wearing of mourning is a purely private affair today, but certainly everyone who attends a funeral should wear black or dark-grey and the men should wear black ties and hats.

It is not correct to send out printed cards to thank people for letters of condolence or flowers. These should all be acknowledged by letter, although if there are a great many a notice of thanks may be published in a newspaper.

(Etiquette by Martine Legge)

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