Losing a loved one is never easy, and attending their memorial service can be an emotional event. But it can be difficult to know how to act, especially if it’s your first time going to one. Belmont Funeral Home in Colchester, CT, has shared advice on memorial service etiquette to help put mourners at ease during this time of grief.
Here’s their simple guide:
- What to Say: Many stress over saying the right words at a memorial service. Often, simply your presence will be a comfort to those who are mourning. Never underestimate the value of a hug and simple words.
- What to Wear: Black is the traditional color worn during times of mourning, though these expectations aren’t as rigid in modern times. Avoid wearing jeans, sneakers, or athletic wear. Men should opt for a suit with a tie or pants and a collared, button-down shirt. Women should wear a modest skirt or pants and a blouse, along with flats or pumps.
- When to Arrive: While memorial services have a somber tone, they are also social events. Attendees often arrive early to see other mourners and offer their condolences. If you arrive early or know you will need to leave before the ceremony is over, find a seat in the back. If you’re participating in the service, arrive 30 minutes early so you can meet with the funeral director to go over the schedule.
- How to Sign the Guestbook: During the service, the family is likely to be overwhelmed and might not remember everyone they spoke to. For this purpose, many memorials have a guestbook for attendees to sign. This is meant to be a record of who attended and normally isn’t a place to write condolences or other notes. If you would like to express your condolences in writing, consider sending the family a letter following the ceremony.
- Where to Sit: Generally, the first few rows of seating are intended for family, with immediate members sitting in the first row and extended family behind them. Aside from this rule of thumb, there is no designated seating at memorial services. Try to choose a seat that is near the front to create a more intimate feeling and avoid scattered seating.
Belmont Funeral Home has been an independently owned and operated funeral home since 1954. Their team specializes in scheduling memorial services and handling funeral arrangements to ease the load on mourning family members. Learn more about the funeral services offered online, or call (860) 537-2900 to speak with a member of their team.