4 Funeral Etiquette Tips You Need To Know

By: Brian K. Daly
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Funerals can be difficult for many as it is hard to know exactly what is expected of you and what not to do. Here are some key etiquette tips for funerals that you need to know.

1. What To Wear

Unless otherwise stated, a funeral is considered a formal affair where men wear suits and women wear formal skirts, trousers or dresses. There are a few key points to note including:

Women should minimize cleavage and the amount of leg that they are showing
Men should avoid shorts and t-shirts
Trainers should not be worn
Black is traditional but some services may require a special dress code e.g. wear an item in a certain color etc.

If you are unsure, contact the funeral directors or the family if you are close and ask them if there are some specifics that you need to know about dress code.

2. Religious Services

You may be attending a funeral that has religious undertones because the deceased was of a certain religion. You should not be expected to actively participate (unless you have been previously asked) however you are expected to stand/sit/bow heads at the appropriate time out of respect, even if you choose not to pray/sing hymns or participate. Ultimately, respect the religious elements whether you are religious or not.

3. Children

Usually, funerals are child-free (or at least free of small children) and the wake or service are for everyone unless you are part of the immediate family of the deceased. That being said, it may not be possible or it was the deceased’s wish to have everyone there (although this will generally be disclosed.) Ensure that you prepare children that you bring, discuss what to expect beforehand and always follow up with them afterwards.

4. What To Say

It’s important not to avoid the grieving family as this can make them feel sad and uncomfortable but you aren’t expected to say something profound and meaningful either. At the end of the day, you won’t be able to take away their grief and they are likely to want to hear condolences or share a good memory of their passing loved one.

Hopefully this gives you more insight into what to expect and how you should behave at a funeral. For more information and advice, visit our website or contact a member of our team who will be able to assist you. 


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