What is the chapel of rest?

The chapel of rest is a remembrance room where you can visit your loved one after they have passed away. It is usually within or attached to a funeral home and is there so that loved ones can say their final farewells. Each chapel of rest will have its own unique look, probably in keeping with the look of the funeral home itself. Some may be more elaborate than others, have more floral displays etc. but they are essentially a place of privacy, peace and reflection where you can spend time with the body before the funeral takes place.  

Where is the chapel of rest?

The chapel of rest is usually attached to or within the funeral home. It will be a room with a raised area where the funeral director will place the coffin or casket. This is called a catafalque. 

Why do people visit a chapel of rest?

For many people, spending time with the body at the chapel of rest is an important part of the grieving process. Once funeral arrangements are made and paperwork completed, the coffin or casket will be prepared so that the body is ready to be viewed. This next stage can be where acceptance of someone’s passing can begin.

The death of someone can feel unreal at times and having the physical evidence that someone has gone can be helpful, especially if someone has died unexpectedly. While many people pass away peacefully with their family and friends around them, others may die suddenly, and the chapel of rest gives mourners the chance to see them one last time.

But whatever the circumstances of the person’s passing, the chapel of rest is where you can physically touch and hold the person, pray, cry and do whatever gives you some comfort.

Of course, you don’t have to visit the chapel of rest if you prefer not to. Some people rather their lasting memory of their loved one was when they were alive and choose not to view the open coffin.

Who can visit the chapel of rest?

Viewing the body of the deceased in the chapel of rest is usually reserved for the next of kin. In fact, some funeral homes may specify family members only to preserve the dignity of the person who has passed away. 

Other than that, there are no real rules about visiting. For example, it may seem that the chapel of rest is specific to Christianity but in spite of the name that isn’t the case. You don’t have to be a Christian to visit the chapel of rest. In fact, they are multi faith spaces and if your religion requires mourners perform certain rituals in preparation for the burial or cremation, the chapel of rest is where these can take place.

However, when visiting the chapel of rest, it is advisable to check in with the funeral director when to come so you are not encroaching on someone else’s time with the deceased, or to save you from turning up when the funeral home is closed. Most funeral directors will be accommodating and open after hours to enable you to fit in other commitments, but others will only operate 9-5. 

You don’t have to dress in a certain way when you visit the chapel of rest, although most people when they are showing their respects will usually wear something appropriate, including mourning attire.

Funeral directors understand that when you eventually view the body you may be distressed and upset, so don’t feel that you need to control your emotions. These are the final hours you’ll have to spend with your loved one and it’s all about doing that in any way you wish. You can even take photographs as a keepsake, however the next of kin need to be OK about this before you go ahead. 

What are the costs involved with visiting the chapel of rest?

Funerals themselves can cost upwards of £1,000, but there is no fee for the chapel of rest.

These are places that have been created especially for mourners to go and say a final goodbye to their loved one if that is what they want to do. 

Getting in touch

If you have been recently bereaved, or want to know more about what we do, we are here to help so please don’t hesitate to contact us or follow the link below.