www.cremationservices.com - Cremation Services

Funeral Etiquette

"I don’t know what to say."..

It is hard to know what to say when you are attending a funeral or visitation, whether it is for your close loved one or the loved one of a friend, there are certain rules by which you should abide. Funeral etiquette covers the manner in which you should behave while attending a funeral. One of the most basic elements of funeral etiquette is how you should behave. Overall, you must behave, whether an adult or child, in the same reverent manner that you would when in a church or other sacred facility.  

The death of a loved one is often a sorrowful event and each individual will handle it and their emotions differently which is why you should take care to be respectful of others in attendance no matter how they behave. Being quiet is not the only element you must observe. It is important that when you walk into the room and leave the room you remain as quiet as possible. If you must carry on a conversation with someone you should do so outside of the funeral room.

What is Funeral Etiquette?

What Should I Wear?

When you are attending a funeral, whether it is for your loved one or a friend, Funeral etiquette is more than what you wear, it’s also how you act. You should always dress modestly while attending a funeral with colors appropriate to the particular style of the service. 

What Should I Wear?

  1. What do I wear to a funeral?

Although wearing black is not a requirement for all funerals, you should opt to wear clothing that is conservative. You’ll want to appear dignified and respectful, so stay away from bright colors and patterns which can send the wrong message to the mourning family.

  1. Where do I sit at a funeral?

The first and second rows of seats are typically reserved for the close family and friends of the deceased. All other attendees should sit in the remaining rows. If you arrive late, be respectful by sitting in the back as to not disturb others. Once you are seated, it is important to remain seated for the duration of the service.

  1. What should I say at a funeral?

Less is more. Do not feel the pressure to overexert your condolences onto the grieving family by saying more than is necessary. A simple “I’m sorry for your loss” or “My thoughts are with you” are sufficient enough to express your support. Those who are suffering from the loss may also feel isolated. Acknowledge their pain by saying something like “This must be so hard for you,” to show that you care for them which will help them feel less isolated.


  1. When should I arrive at a funeral?

A good rule of thumb is to arrive 10-20 minutes early to allow for a few moments to interact with other guests before the service begins. If you arrive late, do not walk down the center aisle to take your seat. Instead, use the side aisle to find a seat near the back as to avoid interrupting the service.