Along with choosing the right flowers for the funeral service and appropriate music selection, one of the biggest decisions we can make when planning a loved one’s funeral is whether or not to hold a viewing as part of the service. For many cultures, the viewing of the body plays a significant role in the memorial and for others is an essential step in the grieving process.
The decision whether or not to hold a viewing is a highly personal one and the decision may have already been expressed by your loved one. Either way, it’s important to be aware of all of the information before making your decision.
What Happens At A Viewing?
A viewing is a ritual held prior to the funeral service where guests are offered the opportunity to visit with the deceased one final time. The casket can either remain open or closed during the viewing, depending on the personal wishes of the deceased’s loved ones, or cultural and religious traditions.
The casket is displayed in the funeral home or in another area of the family’s choosing, and guests take turns to visit with the deceased to pay their final respects. You may wish to share some words or prayers, or simply use the time to reflect on special memories you have with your loved one.
Why Do A Viewing?
Before the funeral service, a viewing can be the ideal time to farewell your loved one in a more intimate setting. Many people find this tradition essential to the grieving process, as it confirms the reality of death – and a viewing’s therapeutic benefits to the healing process are well regarded.
A viewing is an ideal time to show support to the family of the deceased, and to unite with others who are sharing in your loss. It can be an uplifting experience shared between family and friends, creating a bond between those present that they can take into the future
Etiquette of a viewing
It is considered good form to wait for an invitation to attend viewing before just going along. A viewing can be a very personal experience, and while it is often reserved for close family members, it may be extended to all those attending the funeral service. When at the viewing, make time to introduce yourself to other guests and offer your condolences to the family and friends.
The friendly and professional team at the family owned and run Southern Cross Funerals Sydney are happy to advise you on whether or not a viewing is appropriate in you situation. We are privileged to service Sydney, Western Sydney, and the Central Coast, and are available to discuss any special requirements you may have for your loved one’s funeral service.
We invite you to call us now on 02 9529 6644 – for an immediate response.