What is a chapel of rest?

candles burning for remembrance

If you’ve lost a loved one you might have the opportunity to say goodbye to them at a chapel of rest. It’s natural to have questions about what to expect. Here we’ll take you through what the chapel of rest will look like, who can visit and how the funeral director can support you.

What is a chapel of rest?

A chapel of rest is a place where family and friends can go before the funeral to say goodbye to a loved one who’s passed away. It’s often a room or building that’s part of a funeral home. It’s a private space where you can view the person who’s died and sit with them to pay your respects.

Not all funeral homes have a chapel of rest. If you know you’d like to have some quiet time visiting the person who has died, make sure you choose a funeral director who can arrange this for you.

What does a chapel of rest look like?

Not all chapels of rest will look the same. But they all have similarities. They’ll usually have a stand where the coffin will be placed. This is called a catafalque. There may also be some seats or benches where visitors can sit. Heavy curtains will be drawn across any windows so that you have privacy too.

What to expect at a chapel of rest?

Your funeral director will always do their best to make you aware of what to expect at a chapel of rest. To ease your nerves speak to the funeral director beforehand about what your loved one looks like. And ask them for support when you go into the room if you need to. They’ll make the room as comfortable as possible for you and other family members. It’ll be a quiet, private room so that you can say goodbye in the way that you feel most comfortable with.

Can you touch someone in the chapel of rest?

When visiting someone in a chapel of rest it’s normal to want to hold their hand or touch their hair. Usually this is completely fine unless the funeral director tells you otherwise. If you’re unsure just ask.

Can you take photos in the chapel of rest?

You can take photos in the chapel of rest as long as you have permission from the next of kin or people organising the funeral. Check again when you visit the chapel of rest to make sure it’s okay. The last thing you want to do is cause anyone distress.

Can you talk at a chapel of rest?

Yes, you can talk in a chapel of rest. You may want to say goodbye to the person who’s passed away. Or you may want to speak with other family members while you’re there. Just be mindful of how other people in the room may be feeling. They may want to sit peacefully. Try to keep that in mind if you want to speak.

Who can visit the chapel of rest?

Can anyone go to the chapel of rest? The next of kin or person who’s organising the funeral will let you know if you can visit the person who’s died. They may decide only family should visit. But there are no restrictions on who can visit legally. If you’d like to pay your respects and aren’t immediate family then check with the person organising the funeral or contact the funeral director to see what’s appropriate.

When can you visit the chapel of rest?

You can usually expect to visit the chapel of rest a few days before the funeral. But you’ll need to contact the funeral director to arrange a time. If you ask the funeral director in advance you might be able to visit your loved one more than once before the funeral.

Should I go to the chapel of rest?

Choosing to go to the chapel of rest is a very personal decision. You might decide it’s not the way you’d like to remember your loved one. On the other hand, visiting the person who has died could help you grieve. It’s completely up to you. Speak to your funeral director if you’re unsure. They can tell you what to expect which may help you make your decision.

Learn more about funerals 

If you’ve got questions about funerals and what happens, you can learn more:

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Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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What is a Direct Cremation?

A Direct Cremation is an alternative to the traditional funeral. This involves the cremation of the deceased without a funeral service. A Direct Cremation is generally the most economic option because costs of the coffin, preparation of the body, funeral service and expensive transportation are not included. However, many people choose Direct Cremations for reasons other than expense, for example:

  • - Wanting to have a memorial at a different time to the cremation
  • - Expressed desire from the deceased to not have a ceremony
  • - Individuals with relatives who face big physical or geographical challenges in coming together for a ceremony

The prices quoted for Direct Cremations include:

  • All charges, meetings and paperwork for the cremation
  • Collection of deceased and care prior to cremation
  • A simple coffin and urn for the ashes
  • Cremation fees and delivery of ashes to the family
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Attended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees for an Attended Funeral, which is where family and friends have a ceremony or service for the deceased person at the same time as they attend their burial or cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Taking care of all necessary legal and administrative arrangements
  • Collecting and transporting the deceased person from the place of death (normally within 15 miles of the funeral director’s premises) into the funeral director’s care
  • Care of the deceased person before the funeral in appropriate facilities.
  • Providing a suitable coffin
  • Optional viewing of the deceased person for family and friends, by appointment with the funeral director
  • At a date and time you agree with the funeral director, taking the deceased person direct to the agreed cemetery or crematorium (normally within 20 miles of the funeral director’s premises) in a hearse or other appropriate vehicle

In addition to the Funeral Director’s fee, there will be third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements) to cover the other aspects of a funeral (such as the crematorium or burial fees). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to provide these for you.

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Unattended funeral

This is Funeral Choice’s best estimate of this Funeral Director’s fees and the crematorium fee for an Unattended Funeral, which is where family and friends may choose to have a ceremony, event or service for the deceased person, but they do not attend the burial or cremation itself. This is also known as a Direct Cremation.

This price includes the following:

  • Funeral Director's fees
  • Crematorium fee (for an unattended funeral) as selected by the Funeral Director

In addition to this fee, there might be additional third party costs to consider (sometimes called disbursements). Your chosen Funeral Director will be able to explain these for you.

If you wish to attend the funeral, you should view the “Attended Funeral” price instead.

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Why is this price Estimated?

We work hard to ensure the Funeral Director Fees we display are accurate and up to date. However, unlike with our partners, we cannot guarantee this price is correct today.

Funeral Director fees

The price quoted contains the Funeral Director fees for a simple funeral. This includes:

  • Funeral Director fees for meetings, paperwork and running the funeral
  • Collection of the deceased and care prior to funeral
  • Hearse or appropriate vehicle for transport to the funeral
  • Basic coffin

The Funeral Director fees quoted do not include third party costs (often called disbursements). The Funeral Director will guide you through your options. These costs are:

  • Cremation or burial fees
  • Medical certificate for cremation
  • Clergy or officiant fee for conducting the ceremony

In addition to the disbursements you may want to discuss optional costs with your Funeral Director - these could include:

  • Funeral flowers
  • Memorial (venue hire, catering etc)
  • Memorial headstone
  • Orders of service
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Funeral Choice charity donation

To redeem the £20 charity donation all you have to do is select the charity from the dropdown list in the Make Contact form. Once you have confirmed arrangements with that funeral director send us an email to info@yourfuneralchoice.com confirming the service has been arranged. After we receive this email we will make the donation to the chosen charity and confirm back to you.

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