Chapel of Rest

What Is a Chapel of Rest?

When a loved one passes away, it can be one of the most devastating and traumatising experiences in our lives. But there are certain things you can do to help yourself during the grieving process, and one way is by visiting the chapel of rest.

The Chapel of Rest is a private environment for loved ones, family members, and friends to pay their respects to the deceased days or weeks before the funeral.

However, it might not be for everyone. Below we have listed some of the most common questions people have about the Chapel of Rest to help you decide whether you should visit or not.

What You Can Expect

A Chapel of Rest is a small room with an open coffin. Many people worry about what to expect when seeing the deceased, but this will depend on how long ago they died, their cause of death, and whether they have been embalmed.

Either way, they will be groomed, dressed nicely, and cleaned. However, you don’t have to look inside the coffin if you think it will make you feel worse. For some, simply being in the same room is enough to say goodbye.

How Many Times Can I Visit and When?

You may want to visit once, but in most places, you can visit as many times before the funeral as you would like. You can visit with another loved one, although rules vary on how many people can visit at a time and depend on the funeral director. Many Chapels of Rest allow around two at a time to visit the Chapel of Rest, but make sure to check before your appointment.

You’re able to visit the Chapel weeks or days before the funeral, dependent on your funeral director. Get in touch with them to see when they allow visits, some may only open 9-5 whereas others will be open outside of office hours.

How Do I Arrange a Visit?

To plan a visit to the Chapel of Rest you need to speak with your funeral director. They will be happy to arrange a date and time for you, but this will usually be a few days before the funeral. Make sure to get an appointment so that they can prepare and make sure they have available space for your loved ones to visit.

Who Can Visit?

It’s completely up to the deceased’s family or those arranging the funeral to decide who can visit the Chapel of Rest. Children can visit, but it is again up to those closest to the deceased to make this decision. It may be too traumatic for children to see the deceased, but your funeral directors are there to offer advice.

Some people may be under the impression that you can only visit a Chapel of Rest if you are Christian, but that is false. No matter your religion, you will be able to visit the Chapel. You can even request certain arrangements if your religion requires it, just speak with your funeral director to find out more.

What Should I Wear?

There is no specific dress code when visiting the Chapel of Rest, so you can dress in a way that will mark respect for your loved one. It is important to still be respectful, so do not dress inappropriately.

Can I Speak in the Chapel of Rest?

Yes, many people use this time to say their last goodbyes which is completely acceptable. However, it’s important to stay respectful during this time and to be wary of the volume you speak. Bad language will also be frowned upon.

Taking Photographs

This may be accepted in some cultures, but it is usually frowned upon. If you are wanting to take pictures you should make sure the family is okay with this beforehand, otherwise, it is always best not to take any photography when in the Chapel of Rest.

To Sum Up

Hopefully, this has helped you understand what a Chapel of Rest is and whether you should visit your loved one before the funeral. From saying goodbye to getting closure, this can be helpful for many during the grieving process, but remember that it is not for everyone, and if you don’t want to visit you don’t have to.