5 Funeral Etiquette Tips You Need to Know

By: Tom Gallagher
Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Being aware of proper funeral etiquette can prepare you for a funeral service, especially if you have never attended a funeral previously. Everyone present at a funeral is going through some level of emotional pain and it is important to familiarize yourself with how a service is run and what you should or should not do in order to be as respectful as possible to everyone a part of this special day.


Here are five etiquette tips for attending a funeral service:


Turn off your cell phone

Most importantly at a funeral service, you want to ensure that there are absolutely no interruptions that can be avoided. Although you may have every intention of doing so when you are inside, you may get distracted and forget. Turn off your cell phone before you enter the funeral home to avoid any chance of interruptions when you arrive inside.


Arrive on time

Arriving on time is extremely important when attending a funeral service. You want to ensure that you are there before the ceremony starts in order to say your hello’s to everyone and be sure not to interrupt people and take the focus off of the service. Give yourself time and leave early and avoid being rushed or late.


Dress code

Typically, at a funeral service, it is appropriate to wear all black unless there were any instructions given from the funeral home on what your loved one’s wishes were for attire. Keep your outfit simple and try not to wear anything flashy or wear night clothing. Business attire, dresses or suits are a good outfit choice for this service.


Where to sit

If you are the family of the deceased, you will typically sit in the first few rows at the front of the funeral home or church. These first rows are always reserved for family and if you are not family, wait for the family to be seated before sitting down if you are unsure where you should sit.


Giving Condolences

When you are talking with the family of the deceased and giving your condolences, avoid saying any cliché phrases that may be considered offensive. When a person is experiencing a great deal of pain they want sincere and heartfelt words from you, rather than a line that is used too often to the bereaved. Instead of saying phrases like, “They are in heaven now” or “The good die young” try speaking from your heart and expressing how much this person meant to you and how much you will them.


Attending a funeral is a difficult service and one that arises many different emotions and feelings. For some, they have attended funerals before and have an idea of how the service will run. Although, there are many people who have not yet attended a funeral before. Being aware of funeral etiquette can assist you during this day and help you to prepare. If you have any questions or would like to speak to our professionals here at Thomas Gallagher Funeral Home, you can contact us here.

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