It is impossible to fully prepare to attend a funeral, but there are ways that you can make the experience easier for friends and family who are attending. Remember, the event is a chance to support the family and pay your respects. Here are some etiquette rules to observe when attending a funeral.
Choose Appropriate Attire
Unless the family has specifically stated a preference for what guests should wear to the funeral, you need to select attire that is conservative. You do not necessarily need to wear black, but stick to colors that are more subdued. You also need to ensure that your clothing choices are comfortable so that you are able to focus on the event rather than your discomfort.
Research Cultural and Religious Practices
If the deceased is from a culture or religion of which you are not familiar, find out before the funeral whether or not there are any practices of which you should be aware. For instance, in the Jewish faith, mourners are expected to stand following the service until family members have left the room. By researching the funeral customs beforehand, you can avoid offending the family and friends of the deceased and be aware of what is happening during the service.
Prepare Your Child for the Experience
If you are taking young children with you to the funeral, talk to them before the service about the importance of respecting the family. Ensure that the children know they must sit quietly and that if they have to say something, to whisper it. If your children are not able to sit quietly and whisper when needed, it might be a good idea to leave them at home with a babysitter.
Arriving early shows respect for the family. When you do arrive, look for a seat that is towards the middle to the back of the building. The first few rows are typically reserved for the family. If you are unable to arrive early and end up being late, quietly take a seat in the back to avoid disturbing others. You want to do as little as possible to disrupt the service.
If you are still nervous or unsure about how to conduct yourself at the funeral, consult with a funeral home director (such as Holcombe-Fisher Funeral Home). He or she can not only provide you with additional tips for attending a service but also help ease any concerns that you have.Share