Because a funeral is often a somber event fraught with emotion, many people feel uncertain about how to behave. They wonder what is appropriate and how best to convey their condolences. If you’ve never been to a funeral before, keep these basic etiquette guidelines in mind to help you feel more comfortable at the ceremony.
4 Tips for Funeral Etiquette
1. What to Say
Many funeral attendees get tongue-tied, not knowing what to say in the face of such loss. However, you don't need to say anything eloquent when greeting a bereaved family. Simply express your sorrow for their loss, share a brief, fond memory of the deceased, and be a good listener if they wish to talk.
2. What to Wear
Funeral attire is typically formal, with jackets and ties for men and conservative-length skirts or dresses for women. Dark, subdued colors are most common. Even if the departed shunned business wear, it is nevertheless considered polite to dress up a bit.
3. Where to Sit
In many instances, family members sit to the right of the center aisle while friends, coworkers, and acquaintances sit on the left. The front rows are normally reserved for immediate family members.
4. What to Bring
You are not required to bring a gift to a funeral. However, if you wish to bring something, a bouquet of flowers is always appropriate. A single rose is also acceptable, or even a sympathy card or a handwritten note of condolence.
When you’re looking into funeral or memorial service planning for a loved one, turn to Leeward Funeral Home in Pearl City, HI, for assistance. Serving Oahu communities since 1967, they will help you arrange a ceremony to celebrate your loved one’s life, write an obituary, and work through grief. Visit their website for details on their services, and call (808) 455-1041 to speak with a compassionate representative about funeral options.