Funeral Etiquette

What do do at a Funeral…


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Funerals can be an emotional time especially for people who have lost their loved one. It may be a difficult time for you also if you are at a loss for proper words and actions. The problem gets compounded if you have not been to many funerals. Having some knowledge on the things to say and do beforehand will help you to speak properly with the family of the deceased.
You may have noticed people wearing black clothes during a funeral. You do not have to follow this tradition always though this may be the standard system. However, wearing dark conservative colors means that you are showing respect to the family. Try to avoid bright clothes and casual attire such as brightly colored shirts and jeans which make you noticeable. Choosing subdued and dark colors makes your dress respectful and proper.

It is often proper if you send flowers to the family who has lost someone. You can ask the flowers to be sent either to the family or directly to the funeral parlor. It is better to go for the obituary and the arrangements for the funeral before doing this. The case of a family asking for specific gift items in place of flowers for the funeral is a relatively common occurrence. Sometimes people request others to donate money or send gifts to charities instead of sending flowers.

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In cases like these, you should make the charity or organization aware of the name of the deceased person for whom you are sending the donation. The family of the deceased gets informed of the donation received in the name of their lost one. Try to contact the director of the funeral parlor if you are uncertain of where to send the flowers, donations or gifts.
Many people choose a particular time called “Wake” during which you can pay a visit to say a final goodbye to their lost ones. The time for these visits is usually fixed to be two or three days or just before the burial service. Ensure that you put your signature in the guest book when you visit the funeral parlor along with a few words of condolence for the deceased’s family. This is important for those who are not that close to the family.

The funeral service may follow some religious belief or other. You should sit and observe the proceedings quietly if you do not belong to the same faith as you are not expected to take part in any of the religious activities. You have already shown respect and support for the family by coming to the funeral.
There may be a reception held for the various members of the family and close friends after the funeral. Avoid attending it if you do not belong to the family or are not a close family friend unless someone specifically invites you.

Though funerals are quite trying for all the people involved in it, you can avoid falling into awkward situations by knowing beforehand how to behave properly during these occasions.