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Proper Funeral EtiquetteA funeral is something that can be difficult to prepare yourself for. It doesn't necessarily matter how close you were to the person who has passed away, it is often an emotional affair and something that isn't easy. Still, it can help to be prepared if you are educated on proper funeral etiquette. If you have been blessed enough to have never attended a funeral before, you may not know what to wear, where to sit, or how to act. Some things are pretty straightforward, but it's helpful to know it all ahead of time.

Funeral Attire

Black is considered a color of grieving. It is almost always a safe bet when attending a funeral. Sometimes, the family will request something different. It's not unheard of for the family to request that funeral members wear bright colors in an attempt to celebrate the person's life instead of mourning his or her death. This will usually be mentioned in the obituary, or you may see it in a social media post. If you don't hear anything, then black or another dark color is best. Of course, you also want to make sure you are dressed conservatively. Don't wear anything that is going to draw attention to yourself.

Where to Sit

Most of the time, you will seat yourself at a funeral. Family members usually sit in the first two rows. If you are a close friend of the deceased, then you might want to sit in the third or fourth row. Another important thing to remember is while you want to show respect for the family members, you also don't want to make them feel completely alone. While it's important to keep the first two rows empty, you don't necessarily want to sit in the back, unless there is no room anywhere else.

Approaching the Grieving Family

You may be wanting to express your condolences but aren't sure how or when to do it. If you are close with the family, then coming up to them to give them a hug before the service starts might be appropriate. In some cases, it's better to wait until after the funeral or the meal afterwards, if there is one. Try to follow what other people are doing if you aren't sure.

How to Act

Of course, it should go without saying that you are quiet and respectful during the funeral. If you are attending with small children, you should be prepared to take them to the back of the room or even outside if they become loud and disruptive. You might want to consider bringing a coloring book and crayons or something similar as a distraction during the service.

There may be a time when anyone who wants to come up and say something on behalf of the deceased may do so. If you knew the person well or have a particular story you would like to share, then feel free to go on up. On the flip side, if you don't feel comfortable addressing the crowd, then there's nothing wrong with staying in your seat.

What to Say

If you do approach the family on the day of the funeral, you may feel you are at a loss for words. When in doubt, here are some easy phrases:

  • I'm sorry for your loss.
  • Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.
  • I'm thinking of you.

Now is not the appropriate time to ask questions about the person's death. In fact, it's generally best to not ask those questions of the grieving family at any time.

Attending a funeral may seem overwhelming, even if you weren't close with the person who passed away. The most important thing is to not draw attention to yourself and maintain proper funeral etiquette. Make sure you dress appropriately, sit in the right place, and avoid being a disruption.

Category: Get Ordained Funeral

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