Funeral Etiquette – What to Do, What Not to Do

Funeral Etiquette - What to Do, What Not to Do

Attending a funeral is a nice way to show support to the grieving family. Here are some etiquette guidelines to follow when you’re at a funeral or memorial service.

Do: Dress Appropriately

Black is the traditional color of mourning, but you don’t have to wear all black. Do dress in darker colors and avoid flashy or bright accessories. You should make sure that you are neat and clean. Your clothes should not look wrinkled and creased. Don’t forget to dress for the weather if you plan to go to the cemetery. Heels may be suitable for the indoor service but may give you problems when you’re outside in a grassy area.

Don’t: Try to Be Perfect

It’s okay to cry during the service. It’s even okay to laugh if the speaker makes a joke about the loved one. Act naturally, just don’t be the centre of attention. If you aren’t comfortable taking part in a sacrament, such as communion, just stay seated. If you don’t want to say a prayer out loud, that’s okay too. Just stand or stay in your seat. Be respectful of the rituals.

Do: Follow the Ushers for Sitting

Typically, the first few rows in the service are reserved for the family. Once you are seated, make sure to turn your electronic devices off or put them on silent mode. Don’t get up again, either, unless you start coughing or need to excuse yourself to go to the lobby.

Don’t: Be Late

Try to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to park and find a seat to avoid disrupting the service. If you know that the funeral will be well-attended, you may even want to arrive 30 minutes early. If you do get there late, try to be as unobtrusive as possible when you sit down.

If you aren’t sure what to do, just pay attention and follow others. It’s fine to ask a staff member of the funeral home or an usher what to do. Take some time following the funeral to process your own grief. Direct Cremation is here to help you with funeral arrangements.

Direct Cremation serves Montreal and all of Québec. Contact us to find out more about funeral planning, pre-planning, and a range of other services.

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