Etiquette For Funerals
~Being There With Dignity~
Etiquette for funerals is necessary when you are paying your
respects to the family of someone who has passed away. Taking the time
to be there for those who need you will be the most important thing you
Funeral etiquette is quiet, solemn and dignified. You need to
all of these attributes to properly pay your respects. Depending on the
religion, the funeral will have a wake or viewing, the funeral service
and the graveside services.
When you find out that a family member, friend or acquaintance has
passed away, the most important thing you can do is contact the family
Good sympathy etiquette is not about the words you say, it is about
reaching out to them.
There are many ways that you can do this. A simple phone call is a
beautiful way to find out how they are doing
If you are going to pay a visit to the family, it is good etiquette for
funerals to take a plant or some food. They will not be concerned about
cooking at this time, so anything they can put together or reheat is
your visit brief. The family needs time together to come to grips with
what has happened and plan the services. Be sure to share the love you
had for the deceased. Ask
what you can do for the family
. Sometimes helping clean or
taking children is a burden lifter.
The best thing you can always do is just
be there for them
There are times when the bereaved will need to talk and be heard by a
sympathetic listener. You will be their shoulder to cry on and their
support to hold on to.
The Wake or Viewing
The wake or viewing is the time when family of the deceased receive their friends and loved
. It is usually held at the funeral home or church.
When attending a wake, dress modestly and conservatively. It is not
necessary to wear black, however dark colors are the most appropriate.
The family may have
to have an "open casket" viewing. This is when the upper portion of the
casket is open. Others may choose a "closed casket" viewing and as the
name implies, the casket is closed. This is a personal decision made by
the family and there should not be any speculations as to why. When
attending an "open casket" viewing good etiquette for funerals is shown
when you pass by the deceased and do not stare.
It is good funeral manners to speak
to the family of the deceased first
when you are at a viewing. Share your condolences by offering your
words of love and support. Also, it is appropriate to share good
memories. After you have done this, it is acceptable to speak with
others in attendance.
If it is possible leave
young children at home
. A wake is a place of mourning and
solemness. It is difficult for young children to understand this and
they may act out.
As with any solemn occasion, turn
off your cell phones and leave your electronic devices at home
This applies to all parts of the funeral services and is good etiquette
The Funeral Service
The funeral service is generally held at the funeral home or in the
church of their religious affiliation. It is a quiet and solemn occasion.
This is the time when the deceased is remembered and eulogized. In a
lot of cases there is clergy who conducts the services.
When you attend the funeral service, it is good etiquette for funerals
to leave the front
seating for the family
. Friends and acquaintances are
seated on the sides and towards the back.
If you are attending the funeral of someone of a different religious
respectful of their practices
. You do not need to
participate in all of the rites, however it is good to show reverence
to what is being said and done.
As a member of the family, you may be asked to speak at the funeral. Keep your words positive and
. Avoid any embarrassing stories that
are disrespectful to the deceased or the family.
It is an honor to be
chosen as a pall bearer
This is reserved for the closest family members or friends. Do not be
worried, you will be instructed what to do and where to walk when
carrying the casket.
The graveside services are reserved
for the close family and friends
of the deceased. It is a small intimate time. There is generally
limited seating and the ones that are available are reserved for the
close family members.
Depending on the religious affiliation,
at graveside services the clergy, or someone who has been invited, will
offer a few words followed by a prayer. After it is left to the
discretion of the family what they would like to do
It is common funeral flower etiquette for the pall bearers to place their flowers on the casket
It is also a time when children or family members may place their own
flowers on the casket in honor of the deceased.
the majority of cases, those attending to the burial wait until the
family has left before they lower the casket into the ground. They show their etiquette for
funerals and allow the family and friends as much time as they need to
say their final farewells.
After the Funeral
the final words have been spoken, and all is said and done, the family
will need time to grieve. This is a good time for you to offer your
support and love in any way that they need. In the weeks following they
will feel a sense of loss and wondering. By staying close to them, you
will be ready to offer what they need.
Funerals are a time of
grieving, mourning and support. As you work through a time of sadness
such as this, having dignity will help you along this path.