Attending a funeral service is often a challenging experience, but respecting etiquette rules will make the event easier for everyone. Following the guidelines about expected behaviors will help to avoid upsetting any bereaved family and friends unnecessarily. It will also bring a sense of order to mourners who find the situation difficult.
5 Etiquette Rules for Funeral Services
1. Arrive Early
Everyone attending a funeral should be on time, so they are ready for the service to begin. Arriving late could disruption the gathering. Planning to arrive only five or ten minutes early could still be problematic if you can’t find a parking spot or locate your seat. It’s best to arrive as early as you can.
2. Don’t Make Unnecessary Noise
Keep noise to a minimum while you’re waiting for the funeral to begin and try to be silent during the service unless you’re asked to speak. Also, phones should be on silent or switched off. If you plan to bring young children, be prepared to take them away from the service if they make too much noise.
3. Respect Cultural Rituals
A funeral service is not the time to offer opinions on the practices of a particular religion or culture. The family and friends of the deceased will have made careful funeral arrangements based on their cultural background, and the rituals should be respected. If you are unfamiliar with the culture, do a little research on what’s expected. For example, flowers are not usually part of a Jewish funeral.
4. Choose Clothing Carefully
You don’t necessarily have to wear black to funerals, but you should always dress conservatively and wear subdued colors. Certain clothing and colors are inappropriate in some cultural traditions, and as with rituals, it’s best to research the expectations of different cultures.
5. Think Twice About Taking Photos
Taking photos might be tempting if you haven’t seen friends or family members for a long time, but you should usually avoid taking pictures during funeral services. They should only be taken with the consent of the bereaved family.
If you want to take photos with friends and family, wait until after the service. Don’t post any images on social media without the permission of the bereaved family and everyone in the photo.
If you need advice on funeral service etiquette or help with funeral planning of any kind, rely on Eackles-Spencer & Norton Funeral Home in Charles Town and Harpers Ferry, WV. Established in 1918, they pride themselves on compassionate customer service that’s available 24/7. To discuss your requirements, call (304) 724-6500 or visit their website.