Fortunately, for most of us, funeral etiquette isn’t something that we think of or have to practice very often. However, when we are faced with the death of a loved one, it’s important to understand the proper way to act and how to conduct oneself at a funeral or memorial service. If you follow a few basic rules for behavior and etiquette at a funeral, you will not only feel like you are more a part of the service and the celebration of your loved one’s life, but you’ll also help others close to the departed find peace, as well.
Dress Conservatively and Respectfully
While black is the most widely accepted color to wear to a funeral or memorial service, you do not have to wear it if you do not think it’ll be appropriate. There’s a touching story of a soldier who wore a bright green dress to a buddy’s funeral because they’d made a pact when they were oversees together. While this might seem disrespectful to those outside of their close friendship, in this case the soldier’s odd clothing was perhaps the most respectful thing he could have worn.
For most of us, though, a conservative black dress or suit is the best option when mourning a loved one. Whatever you wear, be sure that it is something that your loved one would have approved of and that will make his or her family and friends feel comfortable and respected.
Try to Arrive Early
Whenever possible, arrive to a funeral or memorial service at least 15 to 20 minutes early. This will give you time to greet friends and family and to pay your respects to those who were closest to the deceased. It’ll also give you time to find a seat and prepare yourself for the service.
Follow and Participate When Cued
Whether singing along with a hymn, reciting a prayer, scattering ashes, or anything else during the service, always pay attention, follow cues, and participate when asked. Then, when it’s time for everyone to leave, be respectful of the order of dismissal. The closest family members will leave first, and then everyone else will file out quietly after them.
A funeral or memorial service gives mourners a chance to come together and remember their departed loved one. Observing this etiquette is a good way to show respect and to avoid distracting from the service. If you follow these rules and stay close to your friends and family to support each other in the days and weeks afterward, you will find that you can get through the grieving process one step at a time.
If your loved one has been cremated and you are interring or spreading their ashes, you may want to consider saving a few ashes for a piece of quality cremation jewelry from Johnston’s Cremation Jewelry. These pendants and charms let you keep your loved one always close to your heart with an elegant piece of jewelry.