If you don’t know what the correct funeral behavior is, you’ll have a lot of trouble navigating it. Funerals are very stressful, and because everyone is tense and mourning the death of a loved one, you should be careful not to do or say certain things that may add to their grief. Here is the ultimate guide showing you what the Do’s and Don’ts of funerals are.
1. Do your Research
Before going to a funeral, you need to know whether it’s going to be in a religious setting, and if so, what the appropriate clothing, condolences, and behavior are. Familiarizing yourself with funeral and wake etiquette will go a long way toward showing the people mourning the loss of their loved one that you’re there for them and that you’re respectful of their beliefs. Doing so also means that you’re less likely to mess up what you say or do.
When going to most funerals, you will be expected to wear black. Sometimes, if the family having the funeral requests it, you might wear brighter colors. This does not mean it’s ok to wear neon or clothes that are too attention-grabbing, but it does give you some options other than black. No matter what you wear, make sure that it’s rather conservative, so that you don’t offend the deceased’s family.
3. Arrival and condolences
A funeral is not a social event where you can be late without consequences. It’s best to arrive promptly to pay your respects to the deceased and his or her family. Upon arrival, you’ll have to come in contact with the deceased’s closest family to whom you’ll need to give your sympathies. This is quite an awkward moment because, more often than not, you don’t know the right thing to say. You don’t want to be insensitive, but at the same time, you’re at a loss for words. To be on the safe side, tell the family of the deceased phrases such as “I’m so sorry for your loss” or “she was loved by everyone and will be greatly missed.”
When looking for a place to sit, try to remember that the front rows are usually in the family, and close friends of the deceased. It would be better to find a place nearer to the back of the funeral hall, which will give space in the front rows to those who were closer to the deceased.
5. Phone Etiquette
Out of respect for the deceased, make sure that you have your phone on silent throughout the funeral. A phone ringing in the middle of a time for mourning is quite disrespectful and may be offensive to those around you. This is especially important to take note of during the eulogy, which you need to listen to without having the distractions around.
It goes without saying that funerals can get emotional. This may make you tear up or cry. While that is acceptable, remember that you’re there to give support to the family of the deceased. So, if you cannot cry without an emotional outburst, it’d be best to leave until you can compose yourself.