Need advice on food at funeral memorial service


In the Brooder
Nov 25, 2015
I know this isn't exactly chicken related but I have observed over time that everyone here is so clever and helpful I hope I am allowed to ask for help. No relatives nearby (most are estranged from me and each other) I took care of Mom and I think that's why everyone has kept their distance... in case they might be asked to do something.

My 95yo Mom died Friday, 30 NOV 2018 and I am looking for ideas to put together some food at the church right after the memorial service. I figure sandwiches on small dinner roll sized buns (already assembled), cheese plate, etc. Simple fare. Finger food. No alcohol. Just coffee and soft drinks. And I need some simple easy suggestions about any part of this. Thanks for anything you can share. ~Bill.


Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
May 3, 2009
New Jersey
Bill, sorry for your loss. I'd keep it simple - folks are coming out of respect for you and your mother not for a banquet. Perhaps a vegetable plate and dip might be added. Have you checked to see whether or not the church auxiliary has experience in providing food for such a service?


Free Ranging
5 Years
Dec 1, 2016
Contra Costa county, Ca.
I'm sorry for your loss. It doesn't seem to matter how old you are, losing a parent can really set you adrift. I think you are on the right track food wise. Finger foods are best. People will be standing and milling about, with likely a cup in one hand and a plate in the other. Keep it simple. Dips are not always easy to manage, and sometimes people congregate around them, thus blocking the flow. Cookies and other small sweet roll type foods, as well as the sandwich types. You don't have to feed an army, just a few snacks to give people something to do. Most people feel a little awkward at these things, and that's where the food helps as a distraction. Make sure there is some seating for older friends also. The church will probably have tables and chairs, but do be sure to check that they will provide that. You may not know this, most ministers don't actually charge to do a service, but it is customary to give them some money anyway.

Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Sep 18, 2018
North Central Iowa
First, I am sorry for your loss; townchicks was exactly right about losing a parent and feeling adrift, no matter your age. Kudos to you for being there for her; taking care of an aging or aged parent -- no matter your relationship with them -- takes a toll on the caretaker.

My sister and brother-in-law own, among other things, a catering business and do a lot of "funeral food." It sounds like you are getting good advice. For the visitations, at the funeral homes around here, there are usually veggie and/or meat and cheese trays and crackers. If there is a church service, it gets a little fancier -- like small sandwiches and such. Maybe sliced ham and a warm side dish, in some cases. The family business catered my dad's funeral two years ago and I have No Idea what we ate.

We have catered much bigger, more elegant funeral meals and I am quite sure it really made no difference to anyone who was truly there to mourn the deceased or comfort the people left behind.


Mar 26, 2018
Bill sorry for your loss. It has been my experience when this happens that the ladies aux or ladies aid (depends on part of the country your from and what religion you are) helps out with lunch after the service. You of course need to contact whoever is on the committee and ask, in some cases they will help provide in some you will be asked to provide and they will serve it for you. When my parents passed we had very generous neighbors and relatives bringing food to the house and TBH way to much food to consume. We froze some and had to give some away, but that's the way it has been since I can remember as a kid. Again I am sorry for your loss and hope those good memories of your mom brings you through you time of grief.

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~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~
Aug 18, 2017
Caliente Nevada
Sorry for the loss of your beloved Mother. I can relate somewhat as my mother turned 88 this week. I cannot know the depth of your sorrow. Take great comfort that you were a good son and honored your mother with unconditional love.
In my church we have celebrations of life. Desserts are always part of it. Everyone has a special recipe and it seems that most all enjoy them. You could ask for desserts to go with the coffee.
Take comfort and peace knowing your Mother is now in the care of the our Father.
Bless you for the kindness you have shown.

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