What should I expect during a Chapel visit?

Written By

Paul Fisher

Using knowledge gained from over 15 years of direct experience from within the funeral industry and from his formative years watching and learning from his grandfather who was also a funeral director, Paul Fisher answers some of the most frequestly asked questions posed to him and the team. If you have a question you would like to ask you can contact us here, send us a tweet @_ivanfisher or call us direct.

For some, visiting a Chapel of Rest can be very daunting. Not knowing what to expect during a visit or knowing what you should or shouldn’t do can make the whole process much more stressful than necessary.

Firstly, you will always be greeted by one of our team and sat down in our family room before being taken into the chapel. You will be asked if you would like to go into the chapel alone, with family or friends who you might be with or indeed, if you would like us to join you for the first few moments. There is no right or wrong answer to this and you must choose what is right for you.

You will be taken to the chapel door and shown in. Unless we have advised otherwise, the person you are visiting will be in their coffin with the lid removed so you will be able to see them as you walk through the door. Occasionally they may be lying on a bed with a pillow and a blanket over them (sometimes this happens when a chapel visit has taken place before the family have chosen a coffin).

If you would rather just spend time with someone when their coffin is closed, you must advise us of this in advance. It isn’t common practice in the UK for the coffin to be closed during chapel visits. This generally only happens when we make a professional judgement that an open coffin wouldn’t be appropriate, this is something we would always discuss with you in advance.

When you are in the chapel, you may wish to talk to the person, leave photos with them, write them a letter or simply sit in quiet contemplation. Everyone is different and how we react to the death of a loved one is a unique and individual process. You can take as much time as you like in the chapel and we will facilitate as many visits as necessary for you and your family.

We always encourage chapel visits to take place sooner rather than later, particularly when the date of the funeral is set for an extended period after the date of someone’s death. We ask that you let us use our professional judgment on this matter and to guide you and your family accordingly.

Generally, we ask that chapel visits take place by appointment on a weekday between 10 and 4 however we are aware that this is not always possible. If you need an appointment outside of these hours, please speak to one of our team and we will, of course, help where we can.


As funeral directors, we are regulary asked lots of questions about our profession. We are very happy to answer any questions you might have and no matter how strange they may seem, it’s very likely that we’ve been asked it before! Fill in the form below with your question and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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