5 Funeral Etiquette Tips You Need To Know

By: David Tindall
Thursday, December 17, 2015

If you’ve decided to attend someone’s funeral how do you do so in a polite manner? The passing of a loved one doesn’t happen everyday not everyone knows how to properly behave at a funeral. Unfortunately, people sometimes say and/or do the wrong thing while attending a funeral, without being consciously aware of their behavior, which is why doing your research, on proper funeral etiquette is so important.

Although you can’t control how people behave, when they’re overcome with grief, you can control your own behavior. If you plan to attend an upcoming funeral here are a few tips that you need to keep in mind.

1 - Wear Clean, Conservative, but Comfortable Clothing

Funerals are typically a somber occasion, therefore, in order to be on the safe side it’s best to wear something that’s conservative, but also clean and comfortable. You don’t want to give off an oppositional message, by showing up, in a dress that you’d typically wear to a club, or a flashy outfit. In order to properly pay your respects wear the kind of clothing you’d wear to a job interview, or a first date, in a conservative environment.

2 - The First Few Rows Are for the Deceased’s Family

There’s a long-standing tradition at funerals, where the deceased’s family sits in the first few rows, and everyone else sits nearby, so that they can comfort them. Because that tradition is so common don’t sit in the first few rows, unless you’re a family member.

3 - Enter Quietly If You’re Late

When attending a funeral service it’s best to arrive 15 to 20 minutes before it starts. If for whatever reason you’re late, and the service has already started enter quietly, sit in the back, and draw as little attention to yourself as possible.

4 - Offer Assistance Whenever Necessary

The death of a loved one is a busy and chaotic process. As a result, the deceased’s grieving loved ones could probably use assistance with everything from babysitting to food preparation and cleanup. Whatever you do don’t be vague about how you intend to help. Offer specific assistance, doing whatever you can to make the grieving process a bit easier.

5 - Don’t Make Conversations with Grieving Loved Ones About You

If friends and family members of the deceased want to talk they’re typically a lot more interested in expressing their feelings than getting an in depth response. When talking to the deceased’s grieving loved ones be simple, direct, and honest. Show that you’re there for them, by sticking to friendly remarks such as “I understand,” “I’m sorry for your loss,” and “I’m here if you want to talk.” If you and the deceased were close you might also want to share a happy memory or two, of the person that passed away recently.

This is far from an extensive list, but if you can follow these 5 funeral etiquette tips, you’ll do just fine.

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