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What is the Proper Etiquette for a Funeral?

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Published 07/01/2021
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As everyone knows, a funeral is a formal and respectful event intended to honour the memory of the person who has passed away. Therefore, it goes without saying that ‘funeral etiquette’ must be obeyed. But what does that actually entail? In this blog, I am going to answer that very question: what is the proper etiquette for a funeral?

The Basics of Funeral Etiquette

Some funeral etiquette is immediately obvious. First thing’s first, you have to dress formally, and the clothing has to be black. For males, this usually will involve a black suit and tie, and for females a black mourning dress.

However, there can be exceptions to this. Some people prefer to have a funeral with more casual clothing worn, others even opt for a different colour theme entirely. That being said, as this would be out of the ordinary it would most likely be explicitly stated by the organisers of the funeral (i.e. wear pink to raise money for breast cancer charities.) Therefore, if no such announcement is made, it’s safe to assume that black formal wear will be the dress code for the funeral.

If you’re interested in why people wear black to a funeral, check out this blog.

Another basic is what to say while at a funeral. Whilst obviously not everyone will be making a formal speech during the proceedings, that’s not the only thing that matters. When you see the family of the person who has passed away, what do you say to them? Once again, it’s quite simple. Let them know you’re sorry for their loss, and that you will be there for them in this difficult time. Words of comfort like these may help the grieving family.

Other Funeral Etiquette

Some funeral etiquette may be less obvious. For example, where should you sit at a funeral? Dignity Funerals notes that “At a funeral, immediate family and close friends sit in the first few rows and then the remaining seats can be filled.”

Another piece of etiquette you may not think of is what you could take to a funeral. The grieving family and friends may appreciate something as simple as a sympathy card, to help lift their mood on an undoubtedly difficult day. It may be worth having some tissues in your pocket for yourself and others, which would come in handy if people begin to cry - very likely at a funeral.

You may also be wondering, 'can I just turn up to a funeral?' Under normal circumstances the answer would be yes, although of course it is advisable to ask the family first. However, under current coronavirus restrictions this isn’t the case, as there are limits to numbers who can attend. You can read more about this in this blog

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, I hope you found it interesting. For more blogs on similar topics, please visit funeral-notices.co.uk/blog.
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