The Do’s And Don’ts Of Funeral Etiquette

Written by on May 31, 2013 in Family - No comments | Print this page


Unless you have already planned a funeral, or even attended one before, it can be an incredibly awkward and sensitive issue regarding how to behave appropriately. There are many younger people amongst us who have never been to such an event and really have no idea about the etiquette that is required for a funeral.

Funerals are such sporadic events that it is possible to have twenty years between them. Our culture tends to have us skirting around the subject of death and all things related. If you have been invited to a funeral or have learned of a recent death of a relative, please read this article for a few tips on how you should behave.


If the deceased was a close friend, you should really pay a visit to their family and offer your sympathy. As well as these kind words, you can also do a lot of good by offering some genuine help.

Something as basic as ordering a take away will be incredibly helpful and will be gratefully received. Many people tend to withdraw when grieving and we can easily forget basic needs.


After you learn of the location of the funeral home, you may send flowers to the appropriate address, and you should also attach a card expressing your sympathy.

If you are unsure of the faith of the deceased, it is best to check because some have specific rules about these details. If the deceased was an Orthodox Jew, the sending of flowers is not permitted.


This event usually is held the evening before the funeral service and it is a good idea to attend, especially if you were close to the deceased. They can be held at the funeral parlour or even the deceased’s home.

The wake is essentially an opportunity for the deceased’s loved ones to grieve openly. It can be a good way for them to express their love for their family member and is a very therapeutic event.


If you have not received an invitation to the funeral and are unsure about attending, it is best to ask the family of the deceased person. Usually you will be more than welcome and will be met with open arms.

If the funeral was specifically a private event, you would probably have not even heard about the details. Going to a funeral is a serious action and you will witness some sad and moving scenes, but it is the right thing to do and you can be on hand to offer support.

Dress Code

Wearing black is always the best motto to adopt, no matter how much you prefer to wear a flashy suit or shoes, please follow this code unless asked to dress otherwise.


Unless you are a very close friend or direct relative of the deceased, you will be best placed by sitting towards the back of the church.

Final Word

After the funeral has passed, you can still be sympathetic and helpful to the deceased’s family members. Feel free to call in and offer some support, invite them out for social events and you can help them to celebrate the life of their precious family member.

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Today’s guest author, David Baker, is a skilled mortician for providing cremation services in New Haven, CT. In his spare time, he likes to share his views on a wide variety of topics via writing articles online on various blogging platforms.


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