Funeral Etiquette

The accepted customs of dress and behavior in a funeral have changed over time, but courtesy never goes out of style. Here’s what we’d like you to know about funeral etiquette.

Making the Most of a Difficult Time

It’s important to know what religious, ethnic or personal considerations you need to take into account. And it’s also important to be respectful of the emotions of close family members.


Here are a few things to consider:

- Offer an expression of sympathy. 
Sometimes we are at a loss for words when encountering something as final as death. Simply saying "I'm sorry for your loss" is usually enough. Be respectful and listen attentively when spoken to, and offer your own words of condolence.

- Give a gift. 
It doesn't matter if it is flowers, a donation to a charity or a commitment of service to the family at a later date; as always, "it's the thought that counts." Always make sure to provide the family with a signed card, so they know what gift was given, and by whom.

- Sign the register book. 
Include not only your name, but your relationship to the deceased: co-worker, gym buddy, or casual acquaintance from the golf club. This helps family place who you are in future.

- Keep in touch. 

It's sometimes awkward for you to do so, but for most people the grieving doesn't end with a funeral.


But, What Shouldn't You Do?

- Don't feel that you have to stay.
If you make a visit during calling hours there's no reason your stay has to be a lengthy one.

- Don't be afraid to laugh.

Remembering their loved one fondly can mean sharing a funny story or two. Just be mindful of the time and place; if others are sharing, then you may do so too. Feel comfortable to talk about the deceased in a happy, positive tone.

- Don't feel you have to view the deceased if there is an open casket.
Act according to what is comfortable to you.

- Don't allow your children to be a disturbance.

If they personally knew the deceased, it's a good idea to invite them to share in the experience.  However, it is important that they remain quiet and not disturb the service.

- Don't leave your cell phone on.

Switch it off before entering the funeral home, or select the silent/vibrate mode.

- Don't be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake.
Everyone does, and you can be sure that an apology may be all that's needed to mend and soothe.

When it's all over, always remember to continue to offer support and love to the bereaved. The next few months are a time when grieving friends and relatives could need you most. Let them know that your support did not end with the funeral.


We are Here to Help

Perhaps you've got special concerns about an upcoming funeral or memorial service? We're here to provide the answers you're looking for. Call us at (336) 751-1100.