The accepted customs of dress and behavior in a funeral have changed over time, but courtesy never goes out of style. It’s important to know what religious, ethnic or personal considerations you need to take into account. And it’s also important to be respectful of the emotions of close family members.  In the next section, are a few things that we would like you to know about funeral etiquette.


Offer an expression of sympathy 

At times, we are at a loss for words when death occurs. By simply saying "I'm sorry for your loss" is usually enough. The best advice is to be respectful, listen when spoken to, and offer your own words of sympathy.

Find out the dress code

We live in an age where almost anything goes regarding what to wear, but only when you know it's the right thing. At times, the deceased may have specified a dress code such as black, which is a common request for funeral attire. If you do not know the wishes of the family, always dress conservatively and avoid bright colors.

Give a gift

It doesn't matter if it is flowers, a donation to a charity or a commitment of service to the family at a later date; as always, it is the thought that counts.Be sure to provide the family with a signed card, so they will know what gift was given, and by whom.

Sign the register book

Be sure and sign the register book. Include your name and relationship to the deceased (ex. co-worker or friend), so the family remember who you are.

Keep in touch 

Although, it is sometimes awkward, you should stay in touch because but for most people the grieving doesn't end with a funeral. Remember, the grieving process is not the same for everyone.

 Now that it is over

Continue to offer support and love to the bereaved. The next few months is when grieving friends and relatives may need you the most. Let them know that you are there for them if they need to talk or a shoulder to cry on.


Don't feel that you have to stay 

If you make a visit during calling hours there's no reason your stay has to be a lengthy one.

Don't be afraid to laugh

Remembering their loved one fondly can mean sharing a funny story or two. Just be mindful of the time and place; if others are sharing, then you may do so too. There is simply no good reason you shouldn't talk about the deceased in a happy, positive tone.

Don't feel you have to view the deceased if there is an open casket.  

Act according to what is comfortable to you.

Don't allow your children to be a disturbance 

If you feel they might be, then leave them with a sitter. 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 

Switch it off before entering the funeral home, or better yet, leave it in the car. All too often, we see people checking their cell phones for messages during the services.

Don't neglect to step into the receiving line 

Simply say how sorry you are for their loss, offer up your own name and how you knew the deceased.

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

Everyone does, and you can be sure that an apology may be all that's needed to mend and soothe.