This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Home Book Of Etiquette" book.
The great sorrow brought upon a family by the death of one of its members often renders the immediate relatives incapable of properly attending to the arrangements necessary for the funeral. The services of a near friend or a relative, therefore, are often availed of, he being informed of the wishes of the family, and relieving them of all further care, by himself taking charge of everything needing to be attended to.
The ladies of the family, before the funeral, see none except intimate friends, and may with propriety deny themselves even to those.
Immediately after a death the relatives and intimate friends of the deceased should receive some notification of it. An undertaker must also at once be summoned, and the arrangements and details of the funeral be left to him. Notices should be inserted in one or more of the daily papers of the time and place of the funeral services, etc.
In some parts of the country it is customary to send notes of invitation to the funeral to the friends of the deceased and of the family. These invitations should be printed, neatly and simply, on mourning paper, with envelopes to match, and should be delivered by a private messenger, where convenient.
A written notification, however, is frequently sent where only a few are to be specially invited, the newspaper announcement being trusted to inform those less closely connected.
The expense of a funeral should be in accordance with the means of the family. It is a foolish form of pride and ostentation that induces the members of a family to load themselves unnecessarily with debt in order to make a showy funeral display. All marks of respect should be shown to the dead, but undue expense is more indicative of a desire on the part of the living to impress their friends and neighbors than a genuine desire to do honor to the one who has passed away.
Where invitations are sent out, a list of persons invited must be given to the person in charge of the funeral, in order that he may provide a sufficient number of carriages. Those invited should not permit anything but an important duty to prevent their attendance.