Funeral etiquette is important to think about when you get an invite for a funeral. Good etiquette is a kind way to honor the deceased and their family. Additional stressors during this time of loss should be avoided.
Today we will learn a few pointers on funeral etiquette. Each is a great starting point for what to do if you find yourself in any of these scenarios.
Four Tips for Funeral Etiquette
1.Do I know them well enough to attend the funeral?
A funeral is a time to mourn the loss of a loved one as well as celebrate their life. Funerals often include close family members who spent everyday with them. It also includes friends and colleagues who they impacted sometime throughout their lives. You may wonder if it is appropriate for you to attend. Am I close enough to them to attend may be a question you ask. You don’t want to feel like you are intruding on a private family moment.
If the funeral is announced via social media or other forms of mass communication you are generally welcome to attend. As long as the funeral is not listed as private you can go. Attendance at a funeral is a way to show support for the deceased and their loved ones. It is often comforting to know they had an impact on so many people.
2. Should I let them know if I can’t attend?
When you receive an invitation to a funeral but are not able to go, let them know. If you see them in person or send a text or even a card. Express your condolences. Let them know the impact your loved one had on them. In addition, express your support for them.
3. Should I bring flowers or a gift?
You must make a good judgment call depending on your relationship with the family members. It is best to send flowers directly to their home afterwards. If you do decide to send flowers for the funeral do it in advance so they have the time to place them for the funeral. Last minute decisions and additional things to manage should be avoided.
A gift or a card is acceptable. However it is most considerate to drop it off another day.
4. What should I wear?
There is more freedom in what you wear now than in the past. In certain cultures it was expected to dress up and only wear black or dark colored clothes. It is still a general etiquette to wear darker and more plain colors. Try to avoid bright clothing that brings attention to you. It is common to dress more formal and conservative.
Overall, dress in a way that is honoring the deceased and you will be okay.
I hope this helped you have a better grasp on funeral etiquette. Every culture and every family can have different standards. This is simply a good place to start.
For information on preplanning a funeral go here.