When you are attending a funeral, there are so many things to consider. Do you send flowers? What do you wear? There are lots of different things that can make it a stressful occasion for everyone. We have created a handy etiquette guide below, that should make the whole experience a little easier for you.
Do you have an Invitation?
Lots of people worry about whether or not they should attend if there hasn’t been an invite from the relatives of the person who has died. The general rule of thumb is that as long as it isn’t specifically listed as a private ceremony it is open to anyone.
Should you want to get in touch with the family prior to the ceremony and maybe let them know that you are sorry for their loss, and that you are looking forward to seeing them at the ceremony – that will let them know to expect you.
Is it a Religious Ceremony?
It’s always best to check whether or not it is a religious ceremony. If it is – then of course it would be good for you to see if there are any customs that you need to be aware of to follow. An example of this could be if it is a Jewish funeral you would need to cover your head.
Should you Bring your Children?
If you have very young children it may be a good idea not to bring them in case they disrupt the service. It’s usually fine to bring along older children – but a good idea to advise them ahead of time that they may become upset and it can be a bit of an emotional experience.
What Should You Wear?
Everyone knows that the tradition was always to wear black to a funeral, although this isn’t really the case in the modern day. To be safe – avoid bright or bold colours, and maybe stick to dark blues, blacks or greys. It’s usually a formal dress code but you can always double check if there is anything specific that guests have been requested to wear.
How Should You Behave?
This is probably the trickiest one out of them all. How should you behave? Normally when you attend a funeral, it is usual for the immediate family members to sit in the first few rows from the front. The remaining guests can take their seats behind. It’s ok to get emotional and upset – don’t be afraid to cry. Although it may not be your choice funerals evoke that reaction.
Although it may seem a lot to think about and remember – if you follow this etiquette guide you should be absolutely fine. Nobody ever feels comfortable at a funeral, and nobody ever knows what to do – so don’t worry, you won’t be alone.