When attending a funeral people often worry about the correct etiquette when there is no need. Most of us think there are certain things that should be said and done this is not the case all families and relatives know and understand that the main thing is that you are there to pay your respects and support the family with the loss of their loved ones.
There are of course some challenges that we face when arranging a funeral for a loved one. One of the most common concerns is where to sit. during the service, in almost all cases the front seats will be kept empty for the immediate family who typically follow in behind the coffin or will be carrying the coffin themselves.
The main task of the funeral director is to take care of the family and all proceedings leading up to the actual service and after.
What to wear to a Funeral.
Traditionally black tie for men or black attire for ladies. Although more commonly most families wish to celebrate the life of their loved ones by asking family and friends to wear bright coloured clothing which pays tribute to their loved one’s personality. To avoid any embarrassing events, consult the family organising the funeral, or dress neutrally.
The most important thing is to be comfortable and dress for the weather. Churches and cemeteries can be very cold in the winter.
Additional items you may want to take:
Who can attend a Funeral?
A funeral service is usually open to anyone, as churches and crematoriums are public places, we are not usually allowed to restrict access although, if someone causes a disturbance, we are allowed to ask them to leave.
Flowers before or after a Funeral?
Most have family flowers only unless otherwise instructed. Although most have a charitable donation outside after service which is optional.
Visiting the deceased in the chapel of rest
This would be discussed with family members who would instruct the Funeral Director.
Should children attend Funerals?
Children can attend funerals at the discretion of their parents. Do not think toddlers, babies are a problem they are not, the thing to do is not restrict them as this is often what causes the problem, just speak to family for their view.
Who travels in the Funeral procession?
The family arranging the funeral usually decide who will be in any limousines following the hearse. If people are travelling in their own cars, they can sometimes follow the procession or choose to meet the procession where the service is being held.
Does the procession always leave from the home of the person who has died?
Not necessarily, the procession may leave from the home of a close relative or a nursing home when appropriate. Mourners may decide to meet at the place of service. If you are not sure, check with the family or the funeral director.
End of a service?
When the service comes to a close the minister will then leave. Everyone will then stand to pay their final respects at the instruction of funeral director. The coffin, depending on the service, will then be lowered, carried out or taken out of view by the closing of the curtains.
The coffin may remain on view for loved ones to say one last goodbye before they leave. Friends will then leave first, followed by the remainder of the funeral attendees unless instructed by Funeral director. If it is a burial the coffin will be taken to graveside for the committal.
After the Funeral?
After most services, the family or friends organising the funeral will provide a get together, with light refreshments either at a home or in a private function area such as a pub or hotel. This is an opportunity to show support to the family and share fond and happy memories of their loved one.
If you have any other questions or would like more information about funeral etiquette, Memories will be able to offer you all the help and support you need.