Can I Have A Gathering/Visitation Without A Ceremony/Service?

By: Ian Elliott
Wednesday, September 14, 2022

If a family member or close friend has passed away, you need to start thinking about making arrangements for the funeral services. Death is inevitable, but perhaps you've never had to cope with the rituals and traditions surrounding a death before. You need to understand the nuances between the various types of memorial services and whether or not it's possible to conduct a visitation without a ceremony. Arbutus Funeral Service offers tailored funeral services to align with our client’s individual needs.

Conducting A Visitation Without A Ceremony

Let's start with the basics and discuss what distinguishes a funeral service from a wake, visitation, or viewing.

1. Memorial Service

A memorial service's purpose is to allow deceased loved ones to come together and share their memories. Typically, such a ceremony follows the funeral. There may be a eulogy, some music, and prayers. Attendees should dress respectfully, just as they would for a funeral, in muted colours rather than showy. In the case of cremation, families often hold memorial services where the urn is displayed.

2. Visitation

A visitation is when acquaintances and friends of the bereaved can come to the deceased person's family's home and share their sympathies with them. Most wakes and visitations occur at the funeral home or a family member's residence before the funeral. Dress respectfully and in sombre tones; there's no need to go all out as you would at a funeral.

3. Viewing

An open casket viewing is a funeral ceremony in which the deceased person's body is on display. By the time of the burial or cremation, the funeral home will have embalmed and otherwise prepared the corpse. Here is your chance to pay your respects in private to the departed.

Talk to the funeral director about hosting a visitation without a ceremony since there are many ways to handle gatherings, visitations, funeral services, and rituals. They'll listen carefully to determine your needs and recommend appropriate action. They will also assist you in organizing the visit or service so that it fits perfectly with your religious or cultural norms.


At Arbutus Funeral Service, we help organize and preplan funerals. Contact us for additional details about our preplanning services, visitation without a ceremony, and other services. We are here to help you plan and organize a befitting farewell for your loved one.

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