Funerals are sacred events. They are meant to be solemn, respectful, and somber occasions that allow the grieving process to begin. But some people have difficulty keeping those emotions in check and end up ruining what could have been a beautiful occasion.
Below are the dos and don’ts for attending a funeral to ensure that you honor the deceased, their family, and the event itself with your actions.
Things to Do When Attending a Funeral
Offer Heartfelt Words of Sympathy and Condolences
When you are a guest at a funeral, it is essential to remember that the occasion is not about you. You should offer your heartfelt words of sympathy and condolences to the family members who have lost someone they love.
An excellent way to start is by expressing your sorrow at their loss. You can say, “I am so sorry for your loss,” or “My thoughts are with you.”
You should also offer details about your relationship with the deceased to help the family members connect with you.
Send Sympathy Flowers
Sending flowers to the home of a grieving family is a beautiful way to express your condolences. Flowers are always appropriate, but they are significant during the first few days following a death.
If you know the deceased well, you may want to send flowers after the funeral service. Sometimes, you can do this as soon as one day after the service.
Dress Conservatively and Appropriately
Funerals are not the time to be flashy or express your individuality with clothing that doesn’t match the event’s tone. It’s important to remember that the person who died deserves respect, and you can show that respect by dressing in a way that doesn’t distract from the occasion.
Arriving early is always a good idea. It allows you to take in the atmosphere and consider your feelings before the service begins. You can also speak with the funeral director about arrangements for your loved one’s funeral. Most importantly, being early allows you to pay your respects to the deceased before people start arriving for the ceremony.
Stay Until the End of the Service
If you’re attending a funeral, stay until the end of the service.
This is for a couple of reasons. First, if you feel uncomfortable or need to leave before the end, it’s rude to your host and can cause them more pain. Second, this is often when people will be saying their final farewells to the deceased. They’ll never know what you want to say if you leave early.
If there’s an emergency and you must leave early, try to do so quietly and without drawing attention to yourself.
Send a Card or Letter if You Cannot Make the Funeral
Send a card or letter of condolences if you cannot attend a funeral. You can accomplish this via email or mail. It is best to notify the deceased person’s family beforehand that you will be sending a condolence note so that they will not think you are avoiding them or being disrespectful for not attending.
Things to Avoid During a Funeral Service
Unless you’re family, don’t post funeral photos.
Don’t snap pics of the funeral or put them on social media unless you’re a close family. This can be very disrespectful to the deceased person’s family and friends. It’s best to let them grieve in peace without worrying about social media.
Avoid Using Gadgets
When attending a funeral, avoiding using too many gadgets is best. People are usually sad and don’t want to be disturbed by your phone ringing or your iPad’s music playing.
It’s also important not to talk about work or other things unrelated to the funeral ceremony.
Don’t Bring Up Anything Negative About the Deceased Person.
The funeral is not the time for negative comments about the deceased. It’s best to avoid talking about what they were like or what they accomplished in life. Instead, focus on honoring their memory during this difficult time.
Avoid Leaving Mid-Way Through the Service
One worst things you can do during a funeral is to leave mid-way through the service. You might think you’re being considerate by going when it’s convenient for you, but it’s disrespectful and hurtful to the family members who remain. Don’t worry about staying too long—if it’s too much for you, that’s your sign that you need to leave. You can always come back later or another day to pay your respects.
Avoid Eating During the Funeral Service
Eating, drinking, and chewing gum are considered disrespectful during a funeral.
This is because it’s common to spit out gum when chewing it, and the last thing you want to do is disrespect your loved one by spitting on them at their funeral.
It’s also common for food to be served at funerals, but this is usually done in private rooms before or after the ceremony.
The funeral should be a time of mourning and respect for the deceased person. Giving a gift to the grieving family is also recommended to show your sympathy. One of the best gifts is a customized portrait that you can get on Memorialize Art. They offer quality and affordable personalized portraits that the grieving family will treasure.