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4 Sensitive Funeral Etiquette Tips

Friday, January 27, 2017
Etiquette tips for funerals can help you get through a difficult day while demonstrating your support for friends or family suffering a loss. Use these four tips to demonstrate sensitivity at an upcoming funeral.

1. Wear black

Do you have to wear black to a funeral? Generally speaking, yes, unless you were told otherwise. Stick with a dress or suit that would be business attire - nothing too flashy. Simple and understated garments are a wise choice, as this is one occasion where you do not want to stand out for what you're wearing.

If you know the decedent wanted something other than all black, or if the funeral home shared different instructions, you can skip the head-to-toe black.

2. Get there early

Arriving on time if not early is critical, as a late entry can take the focus off of the event. Plan ahead and leave plenty of time to account for traffic. Rushing or running late can add to the stress of an already difficult occasion.

3. Turn off your phone

Turn off your cell phone or place the ringer on silent before you enter the funeral home to avoid an upsetting interruption to the eulogy. You may think this is common sense, but many people forget to turn off their phones because they are distracted or upset.

4. Sit mindfully

The initial rows of a church or funeral home are reserved for family. If you are related to the decedent, sit up front. If you are not related, take a seat further back to avoid offending any relatives. If you're unsure where to sit, wait for the family members to take their seats before finding yours.

When you follow these funeral etiquette tips, loved ones of the deceased will appreciate your sensitivity.

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