When a loved one dies, family and friends gather to mourn and say their goodbyes. This is what most funeral services are all about, though for some it could be an uncomfortable affair. Depending on the custom and beliefs of a certain household of a certain family or the individual, funeral etiquette may vary. But whether the vigil or viewing is being held at the deceased’s home or in a funeral home, these are some general tips on what to do before, during, or after funeral services.
Before the Service
Contact the deceased’s family or the funeral home
If a person isn’t sure if the service is open to people other than immediate family members, he should give them a call or contact the funeral home to ask. Usually, family and friends are invited, but just to be polite, a person should make it a point to contact the family to let them know that he is coming to see his friend or relative off as well.
Be sure to dress appropriately
In many Western societies in the ancient times, black is the color of mourning (while red or white were the colors for Eastern funerals). While family members would be required to wear black in the past for a period of time to show that they were indeed mourning, it’s no longer mandatory today. If a person is going to any funeral services, he should still be mindful of what he wears. Any color is allowed, as long as it’s not an explosion of bright colors. Somber, darker hues are generally accepted as appropriate, as with dark suits or dresses. If a person is not sure about the dress code, especially if the customs and beliefs of the deceased are different, perhaps a quick search online would help. Some religions impose strict dress codes.
Attending the Service
Arrive early or on time
It’s impolite and disrespectful to the deceased to arrive late to any funeral services. Arriving 15 minutes early will allow a person to express his condolences to the deceased’s family as well as see the deceased one last time. A person should remember to turn off all electronic devices that may interrupt the service.
It’s good to give a bit of comfort to deceased’s loved ones, but some people are at a loss of what to say. Some ideas to start on are how sorry a person is for the news, how much he loved or cared for the deceased, or what kind of good memories the deceased brought.
Participate in the funeral service
Even if a person doesn’t necessarily believe in the deceased’s faith or is not all too familiar with the funerary customs, he should make it a point to participate in the service as much as possible. This usually helps the deceased’s loved ones in their grieving and will show just how much a person cared for their departed one.
After the funeral service and on the way to the burial site
Offer a ride to guests who may not have a ride or are from out of town
If the burial site is a long way from the funeral home or church, it’s a gesture of kindness to give a ride to those guests who don’t have one or are from out of town.
Check in on the deceased’s family once in a while
In the next few weeks, a person should check in on the deceased’s family to see how they’re coping with the loss. Ask if they need anything or if they want anything done that they can’t take care of right now because they’re in mourning. It’s important that the family knows that someone cares.
Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel has been the premier North Knoxville Funeral Home since 1948.To know more information visit www.gentrygriffey.com.