The top 5 Funeral Etiquette Tips

By: Greg Hurd
Tuesday, February 7, 2017

It is important to be prepared for funeral services, especially if this is your first time attending a service. Funerals are a time where everyone in the room is going through some form of emotional pain. Our funeral directors here at Hurd Funeral Home have comprised a list of the five most important etiquette tips to remember for the day of the service.


Turn off all media

During a funeral service it is important that there are no interruptions. If your cell phone were to go off in the middle of the service, it is incredibly disrespectful for the family of the deceased and every one else in attendance. It may not be intentional that you forgot to turn your phone off, but if your phone goes off in the service it is taking away from the attention that is supposed to be directed on the life of the deceased. To avoid any troubles, turn your cellphone completely off before entering the funeral home. It seems that in an era that is glued to our phones and technology, that this would be an impossible task, however it is the respectable thing to do, to dedicate an hour or two of your uninterrupted time to the deceased and their family.


Be Punctual

Punctuality is extremely important when attending a funeral service. They are on a timeline that is dictated by the immediate family and it takes away from the service when someone is late to arrive. It’s an interruption to the service, and takes away the focus from the family. Why not arrive early, express your condolences and be ready for when the service is going to start. It is already a time of anxiety and pain; you can eliminate any added stress by being punctual. 


Dress Code

The typical dress code for funerals is that people in attendance wear black. However, in some circumstances the funeral may specify that all black is not necessary. Try to keep your outfit, simple yet put together, and nothing to flashy that would distract or shift the focus onto yourself.


Sit Near the Middle or Back

This may be one of the biggest confusions, yet most important etiquette tips. Remember that the first couple of rows are assigned for the immediate family. If you are still unaware of where to sit, try waiting until you notice that most of the immediate family has already taken a seat.  If you are part of the immediate family, then ask other family members where they are seating and follow them to their seats.


Expressing Condolences

When it is your turn to express your condolences to the immediate family, sometimes this can be the most challenging part. If you do not know what to say, try to think of one of your favorite memories that you shared with the deceased. The family would appreciate more of a message from the heart than a cliché phrase, such as “at least they aren’t suffering anymore”, which could end up inflicting more harm than good. When you speak from the heart, the bereaved can feel that and will appreciate what you have to say.


When you attend a funeral service, it can be a difficult and an emotional time, whether it is your first or multiple service. However, we hope this article has helped you through some of the anxieties associated with the proper behavior for a funeral service. If you have any more questions on this topic, please feel free to contact our directors at Hurd Funeral Home.



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