Funeral Etiquette

The accepted customs of how you should act and dress have changed over time, but courtesy is always acceptable. Here's what some suggestions about funeral etiquette.

Making the Most of a Difficult Time

It’s important to know what religious, personal or ethnic considerations you need to take into account. And it’s also important to be respectful of the emotions of family members.

Here are a few things expected of you:

- Offer sympathy.
Sometimes we don't have words when encountering something as final as death. Simply saying "I'm sorry for your loss" is normally enough. Be attentive and respectful, and offer your own words of condolence.

- Find out the dress code.
These days you can almost dress in anything for a funeral. In fact, sometimes the deceased or family have specified the dress code such as saying no black as a common request. If you can't find the wishes of the family, then dress business casual, and avoid standing out with bright colors.

- Give a gift.
It doesn't matter what the gift if as long as it is from the heart. Some examples are flowers, donation to a charity, or even a commitment to serve the family in some manner.

- Sign the register book.
Include you name and relationship to the deceased. This helps family know who you are in the future. 

- Keep in touch.
It may be awkward for you to do so, but for most people the grieving doesn't end by the time the funeral is over.

But, What Shouldn't You Do?

- Don't feel that you have to stay.
If you make a visit during calling hours it is ok to be brief.

- Don't be afraid to laugh.

Remembering your loved one can mean sharing a funny story or two. Just keep in mind of the time and place. If others are sharing, then you may do so too. There is always a reason to talk about the deceased in a positive tone. 

- Don't feel you have to view the deceased if there is an open casket.
Do what is more comfortable to you. 

- Don't allow your children to be a disturbance.
If you fell they might be, then leave them with a babysitter. But, if the deceased meant something to them, it's a good idea to invite them to share in the experience. 

- Don't leave your cell phone on.
Turn your cell phone off before entering the funeral home. It is rude and inconsiderate to check your phone during a funeral. 

- Don't neglect to step into the receiving line.
It is as simple as saying how sorry you are for their loss and offer you name and the relationship you had with the deceased. 

- Don't be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake. 

We understand that nobody is perfect, but an apology may be all that is needed to mend and soothe.

When it's all over, remember to offer support an love to the family. You never know when friends and family could need you most in these next months. Let them know they have you full support. 

We are Here to Help

Perhaps you've got some concerns about an upcoming memorial or funeral service? Gering Chapel is here to provide the answers you're looking for. Call us at (308) 436-5038.