For a lot of people attending a funeral for the first time can be a very daunting task. How do I act? What do I say? Where do I sit? This blog post by A Cain funeral services is some helpful tips on funeral etiquette.
Choosing an outfit for the funeral is the first choice you have to make. This does not have to be a completely black outfit and sometimes on request families will ask you to wear colours instead. We suggest wearing something conservative. This would be the sort of outfit you would happily wear to church or a business meeting perhaps.
Always take into consideration that different faiths and cultures have a different tradition when it comes to funeral attire. Make sure you are on the ball and ask a family member of the deceased. They will be in the best position to advise on the dress code. Alternatively, you could contact the funeral director who will have an understanding of what is suitable.
Please turn off your mobile device before entering the place of the funeral if that be a church, synagogue or funeral home. There is nothing more cringe-worthy than hearing a mobile beeping during a funeral service. So show respect and make sure all gadgets are off.
On arrival you may often be escorted to your seat we advise always following the person to the seat where they would like you to sit. Normally close family always sit at the front of the church so unless told to do so avoid the front few rows of the church.
When leaving the church you will normally have the chance to face the family of the deceased. Here is where you have the chance to shake their hand and offer a hug to the family. When doing so you should remain quiet and in a reserved manner. We always advise keeping interaction brief at this point as there is normally others waiting to speak to the family.
Remember when you are sharing stories of the deceased with fellow attendees that it is a nice positive story. You must never speak ill of the dead on what is already such an emotional time for their family and friends.
You are never expected not to cry on such an emotional day. So please go ahead and cry if you feel you need to. It is actually believed that sharing your grief with others helps with the grieving process. So make sure you have a packet of tissues with you to wipe away those tears.
After the service has been carried out there is normally a graveside service. This can be taken 2 different ways. On occasion, families will ask that only they attend the burial. If the family has requested this please try your best to accept their decision, even if you would like to be there. However on most occasions families will leave it open for everyone to attend. If this is the case then go ahead.
This is a very stressful and emotional day for the families involved so try your best to help. Offer to give some of the attendees a lift to the venue or graveside. You may even offer to help with the preparation of the food for after the burial.