A "viewing" is the opportunity for family and friends to spend time with the deceased and bid farewell in their own way. This may take place just prior to the funeral ceremony, or several days beforehand, depending on the family's wishes.
Letters, cards, photographs, flowers or special mementos may be placed in the coffin with the deceased at this time.
The viewing is usually held in the funeral director's premises. However, it may be held in a church or in the family home. Viewing in the family home has the advantage of not being restricted to a set time period, and the deceased often remains in the home overnight, usually the day before the funeral.