What You Need to Know About Funeral Etiquette

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Jan 14, 2016 in Funeral Preplanning

It’s often said that manners today are not as they used to be. Whether that’s true or not, one area of etiquette that many people believe has suffered is that surrounding funeral and burial services.

ThinkstockPhotos-78805527.jpgOne of the purposes of etiquette in general is to provide f
or comfortable human interaction. Good funeral etiquette, then, calls for extra consideration for those who are grieving.

Many people are unsure about how to behave when around those who are grieving and may even avoid attending services because they are uncomfortable and fear saying the wrong thing. Rest assured, grieving families will welcome the presence of all who cared about the loved one they have lost. If you need some suggestions about how to best express your sympathy and provide help to the family, A to Z of Manners and Etiquette has lots of information here.

Manners maven Emily Post advises that phones be kept silent—not just on vibrate—and that you avoid checking them at all during services. Arrive on time and dress appropriately. That doesn’t necessarily mean wearing all black anymore, unless one is serving as a pallbearer, but it does mean avoiding flashy or revealing clothing.

If the deceased was of a different religion than your own, be aware of potential different customs and respect those differences. 

When driving in the funeral procession, follow these rules provided by funeralwise.com:

  • Turn on your headlights. Funeral attendants may also place a small funeral flag on your car for the drive to the cemetery.
  • Stay close to the car in front of you, and don’t let vehicles that are not part of the procession enter.
  • Stay with the procession even if you are going through a red light, as funeral processions have the right of way.

If you encounter a funeral procession, follow these rules from funeralwise.com:

  • Be respectful.
  • Yield to the procession, even if you would otherwise have the right of way. Allow the entire procession to proceed before entering the flow of traffic.

If in doubt of the proper behavior, simply consider how you would wish to be treated if you were the one grieving the loss of a loved one, or remember how you felt when you encountered various behaviors when you suffered the loss of a loved one in the past. As in all areas of human interaction, the Golden Rule applies.


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