The Proper Customs And Etiquette For Attending A Funeral At A Funeral Home

If you are attending a funeral or a memorial and/or public viewing after cremation services for the first time, then you probably feel a little uneasy about proper etiquette. These feelings of apprehension are completely natural and are easily alleviated once you understand the proper customs of attending a service at a funeral home. Follow these guidelines to feel secure when attending your first funeral service that is held in a funeral home's chapel:

Wear Appropriate Funeral Attire

While the appropriate attire for a funeral varies from one part of the country to another, it is always appropriate for you to wear any of the following options:

  • dark-colored clothing

  • suit jackets

  • dress pants

  • ties

  • scarves

  • nice capped-sleeved blouses or long-sleeve dress shirts

  • knee-length skirts or dresses

While you want to dress nicely, you don't want to be excessive or revealing in your attire. You should always wear closed-toe shoes without excessively high heels. You should also scale down your jewelry for the day by just wearing a couple simple pieces that complement your outfit.

It is not appropriate for you to wear any of these items:

  • t-shirts

  • jeans

  • tennis shoes

  • baseball hats.

Send the Right Flowers or Plants

It is a common custom to send a plant or floral arrangement to send condolences and extend comfort to the deceased's family. Since local customs and religious organizations have different customs about when and where your floral delivery should be made, your florist or the funeral home's staff can assist you with the proper delivery date and location, based on the stated wishes of the family. If you are unsure of what to send and don't have time to contact a home, sending lilies would be a nice gesture.

Attend the Pre-Funeral Visitation

Some people choose to have visitation times at the funeral home in the days before the funeral service. This is a time where the family will be at the funeral home and you will have the chance to speak with them privately and offer your condolences. It is appropriate for you to visit for just a few minutes and sign the register to leave a record of your visit for the family.

Know Where to Sit at the Funeral Service

Finally, as you enter the funeral home, you will be asked to take a seat in their chapel for the funeral service. It is customary for the immediate family of the deceased to sit in the first pews of the chapel or off to one side where they are out of sight of other attendees. If you are not a member of the immediate family, then you should sit anywhere behind the first few pews.

About Me

planning for a funeral while coping with the loss

How do you go about planning a funeral for someone that you love when you are trying to cope with the loss? I have had the unfortunate experience of having to go through this twice in the matter of two short years. First, I lost my father and about 18 months later, I lost my mother. I learned a lot during the planning process for my father that helped me get through the process for my mother. Everything that I learned about planning for a funeral while coping with the loss is included here on my blog to help you get through some of the most difficult days of your life.