What to expect at a Funeral
When attending a funeral people often worry about the correct etiquette, when there is no need. Most of us think there are certain things that should be said and done this is not the case all families and relatives know and understand. The main thing is that you are there to pay your respects and support the family with the loss of their loved ones, this says everything to them at this difficult time in there lives, we all have to go through this at some point in our lifetime.
There are a couple of main issues, these are where to sit, when to follow in or you may be asked to take a seat in chapel before the service takes place, this is under instruction from the family which the funeral director will direct.
The main task of the funeral director is to take care of the family and all proceedings leading up to the actual service and after.
What to wear to a funeral
Traditionally black tie for men or black attire for ladies. Although these days most families wish to celebrate the life of their loved ones by asking family and friends to wear bright coloured clothing which is becoming quite popular and pays tribute to their loved ones personality. To avoid any embarrassing events, consult the family organising the funeral, or dress neutrally.
Dress in smart attire and avoid casual clothing such as jeans, hoodies and trainers. The most important thing is to be comfortable and dress for the weather. Churches and cemeteries can be very cold in the winter.
Optional Items you may want to take
- Charity donation
- A memory of the deceased
Who can attend a funeral?
A funeral service is usually open to anyone, as churches and crematoriums are public places, we are not usually allowed to restrict access although, if someone causes a disturbance, we are allowed to ask them to leave.
What to say at a funeral
- I’m so sorry for your loss.
- Know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
- When you’re ready to talk, please feel free to call me.
- I’ll always remember your loved one for…..
- I’ll miss their kind words and sweet smile.
Where to sit at a funeral?
Immediate family and close friends sit in the first few rows and then the remaining seats can be filled, with direction from the Funeral Director.
Flowers before or after a funeral?
Most have family flowers only unless otherwise instructed. Although most have a charitable donation outside after service which is optional.
Visiting the deceased in the chapel of rest
This would be discussed with family members who would instruct the Funeral Director.
Should children attend funerals?
Children can attend funerals at the discretion of their parents. Do not think toddlers, babies are a problem they are not, the thing to do is not restrict them as this is often what causes the problem just speak to family for their view.
At memories we always like to introduce older children to the chapel just before the service takes place, this is to show them what to expect and not to be frightened.
Who travels in the funeral procession?
The family arranging the funeral usually decide who will be in any limousines following the hearse. If people are travelling in their own cars, they can sometimes follow the procession or choose to meet the procession where the service is being held.
Does the procession always leave from the home of the person who has died?
Not necessarily, the procession may leave from the home of a close relative or a nursing home when appropriate. Mourners may decide to meet at the place of service. If you are not sure, check with the family or the funeral director.
End of a service?
When the service comes to a close the minister will then leave. Everyone will then stand to pay their final respects at the instruction of funeral director. The casket, depending on the service, will then be lowered, carried out or taken out of view by the closing of the curtains.
The casket may remain on view for loved ones to say one last goodbye before they leave. Friends will then leave first, followed by the remainder of the funeral attendees unless instructed by Funeral director. If it is a burial the casket will be taken to graveside for the committal.
After the funeral?
After most services, the family or friends organising the funeral will provide a get together, with light refreshments either at a home or in a private function area such as a pub or hotel. This is an opportunity to show support to the family and share fond and happy memories of their loved one.
If you have any other questions or would like more information about funeral etiquette, Memories will be able to offer you all the help and support you need.