Miss Manners

Sympathy Card Is Properly Sent Before a Funeral Service, Not Brought to It

DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I attended three funerals (unrelated to each other), I sent each family a sympathy card with a handwritten note immediately upon hearing of the death.

However, I noticed a basket at each funeral for people to place cards. Because I had sent cards at the time of death, a month before the services, should I have also brought a card to the funerals? It didn't even occur to me. I'm not sure what the proper protocol is.

GENTLE READER: Well, it shouldn't be collecting a basket of cards as if they were valentines in an elementary school class. Sympathy is properly conveyed as you have already done, and presence at a funeral is noted in a guest book for attendees to sign.

Miss Manners presumes the bringing of cards is being done by people who are unaware of funeral etiquette, or who want to save postage.

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