While doing some research in the local newspapers archives I came across this – Funeral Invitation1
This is the first time I recall seeing or hearing about a funeral invitation so I did a little research and found that this has been a practice since the beginning of our country and most likely originated in our English customs.
Form the http://www.funeralfriend.co.uk/funeral-invitations/ we find the following explanation/definition:
A funeral invitation is a letter or card inviting the recipient to attend a Memorial Service or Funeral Mass to celebrate the life your loved one. It is written in formal, third person language and is usually sent immediately following confirmation of the Funeral Service date, venue and time.2
The above websites also contains suggestions on what to include in an invitation, size and many others facets to consider.
A search of available South Carolina archived newspapers returned 2145 hits for the words “funeral invitation” in quotes and 6285 without the quotes.
This funeral invitation appeared in the 10 June 18083
Here are two such invitation from 1844, South Carolina.4
If you are familiar with this custom or have comments about funeral invitations I would love to hear from you.
 Funeral Invitation, Paul Rivers, The State, Columbia, South Carolina, 27 Oct 1931, page 12.
 Funeral Invitation, Edward Millkin, City Gazette and Daily Advertiser, Charleston, South Carolina, 10 June 1808, page 3.
 Funeral Invitation, Edward Millkin, Charleston Courier, Charleston, South Carolina, 27 January 1844, page 3.