How To Prepare To Attend an Open Casket Funeral

January 2, 2023 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Are you planning to attend an open casket funeral service? If so, there are many things that will help prepare you in advance, so you know what to expect. An open-casket funeral service means that everyone attending the funeral will visually be able to see the deceased’s body in the casket. However, prior to the funeral services, your loved one will be embalmed and their makeup and hair will be done, so they are presentable.

Preparing for an Open Casket Funeral 

Open-casket funerals typically take place in a church or funeral home. The body of your loved one will be dressed up and well-presented. Just because the casket will be "open" doesn’t mean you have to go to the front and view the body. You can still pay your respects by walking past and taking a seat without actually looking.

Prepare yourself for the way that your loved one will look. Bodies in open caskets do not look exactly how they looked while they were alive. With that being said, it is important that you prepare yourself for what you may feel while viewing your loved one. It is not uncommon for this experience to take an emotional toll on you. If you are afraid, have someone accompany you to the casket.

When viewing the body, it is totally okay to touch the hand of your loved one or even give a kiss on the cheek. However, you should avoid attempting to hug the body. The body will feel cold to the touch.

If you have children that will be attending the viewing, you should prepare them as well. Many children have never seen a dead body, and if they don’t feel comfortable or are scared, it is appropriate to allow them to stand at a further distance.

Benefits of Open Caskets

If you are planning a funeral and not sure whether you should have an open or closed casket, here are some benefits of open caskets.

Benefits of Open Caskets

  • Loved ones can say proper goodbyes
  • Loved ones are able to hold their loved one’s hand
  • Loved ones can kiss their loved one goodbye for a final time
  • Loved ones can feel relief seeing that their loved one is at peace.

Closed caskets are the opposite of open caskets, which basically means you will be unable to view the deceased’s body. There are many circumstances that make a closed casket more appropriate.

Choosing to have a closed casket can mean any of the following:

  • The deceased passed away following a violent death that makes their body not viewable.
  • The family made the decision to remember the deceased as they were instead of viewing them as deceased. Many times, a large photo is shown next to the casket.
  • Children can become traumatized seeing their loved one in a casket, and therefore a closed casket makes more sense.
  • Many religions are against having an open casket.
  • Many people are not comfortable having an open casket at their loved one’s funeral.



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