A funeral service is a complex, emotional experience. When you’re attending a funeral, you’re saying goodbye to someone you cared about, supporting others as they grieve, and celebrating the life and legacy of the departed. But if you’re attending your first funeral, you may have questions about what to expect, what to wear, and even where to sit. Here’s a closer look at proper funeral etiquette.
Funeral Service Etiquette
1. When You Arrive
As a guest, a simple rule of thumb is to arrive on time and stay for the duration of the service. If there is a guestbook, sign your name when you arrive, and write your relationship to the person who passed if you don’t know their family well.
If you have to leave the funeral home early, make sure to sit toward the back, so you don’t interrupt the service. If you arrive late, try to enter the service and take a seat as quietly as possible.
2. Where to Sit
When you’re selecting your seat, keep in mind that the first few rows of seating are generally reserved for close family. If you’re a member of the family, try to fill any gaps in seating, so the first few rows are filled. If you’re a friend of the deceased, taking any seat past the first few rows is ideal.
3. What to Wear
Funeral attire should be conservative, like what you would wear to a church or business meeting. Men may choose to wear a suit and tie, pants, a button-down shirt, and dress shoes, as opposed to jeans or athletic shoes. Women may choose to wear a pantsuit, a business-professional skirt, a top with sleeves, and flats or pumps rather than a mini skirt or sandals.
If the funeral or memorial service follows specific religious traditions, take some time to understand the family’s customs. For instance, if the service will be very religious, you may need to wear a head covering, or women may need to wear full-length skirts.
For five generations, TP White & Sons Funeral Home has provided respectful, affordable funeral services to clients in Cincinnati, OH. The full-service funeral home offers a variety of services and products to honor the departed and memorialize their legacy. To speak with a representative about funeral planning, call (513) 231-7150 or visit their website.