The Importance of a Funeral Procession

By: David Tindall
Wednesday, November 8, 2017

A funeral procession holds a very important part in the funeral service, but over time it is slowly loosing its meaning and importance. For many people, they tend to forget that this is the last journey they will take with their passed loved one, and they deserve to have their friends and family supporting them through the procession. Throughout this article we will take a look at the meaning and etiquette behind funeral processions.

What is a Funeral Procession?

A funeral procession has changed a little over history as our means of transportations have changed. A procession is in reference to the transportation of the deceased from the memorial site to the burial site. A couple hundred years ago, when there were no cars, the pallbearers would carry the casket from this service location to the site, however now that there are cars, the body is transported by a hearse. The hearse is the first vehicle in the procession, followed by all the family and friends in their vehicles.

The Hearse

The hearse is an important part of the funeral procession. It is the vehicle at the front of the procession that holds the body of the deceased. Normally, the hearse would also transport the spouse and/or children along with the body. The word hearse actually originates from the French word ‘herce’, referring to a frame that a body would lay in.  Before the implementation of motorized hearses, a hearse would have been a horse drawn carriage.

Procession Etiquette

Although every city has their own legislations pertaining to funeral services and processions, these are some common procession etiquette tips to remember:

  • Make sure to have your vehicle marked with the funeral home flag
  • The hearse is the first in line of the procession followed by spouse or immediate family
  • The hearse is in charge of following the traffic rules, however any vehicle after does not
  • Make sure to turn on your headlights
  • If you see a funeral procession coming, please pull over to the side of the road. It is not required but it demonstrates respect

If you have any further questions or suggestions on the topic, please contact us at Tindall Funeral Home Inc..

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