Funeral Etiquette

Whether you are planning a service for a loved one or paying respects to a friend or co-worker, funerals can be socially and emotionally challenging. Especially during a sensitive time, funeral etiquette can feel like an insurmountable set of unspoken rules. Our funeral etiquette pages can help. We cover everything from appropriate attire to what to say when offering condolences to navigating different service formats. We’ll offer insight into how you can be respectful and supportive of the grieving family while honoring the memory of the deceased. The information in our guide will help you navigate difficult situations with confidence and compassion. Our tips and advice will help you navigate difficult days if you are mourning and introduce you to the customs and courtesies associated with attending funerals, visitations, and memorials.

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Guide to Funeral Etiquette

Request our Funeral Etiquette Guide

Knowing what to say and do when a friend or loved one one had died can be difficult. Many times we just don’t know how to approach a person who is grieving or what to say when we do approach them. To help, we have created the Guide to Funeral Etiquette. The guide is full […]

Attending Funeral Services: Your Funeral Etiquette Questions Answered

The Day of the Funeral or Memorial Service Should you attend the funeral? Unless the obituary says it’s a private service, then you can assume the public is welcome, and you should go. Until you’ve lost a family member yourself, you won’t understand what a comfort it is to the family to see “a full church [and] the pews packed with people who also care for and remember the deceased. … The family knows that attending a funeral is inconvenient, and that’s why they’ll never forget that you came.” (from The Art of Manliness)

Etiquette for Attending a Virtual Funeral

The etiquette for attending a virtual funeral or memorial service is not that much different from that for an in-person ceremony. The use of technology adds a few twists, but it is still a serious occasion where people gather together to support each other and begin the journey through grief. Of course, it never hurts […]

Good Etiquette Guide for the Surviving Family – After the Funeral is Over

What to Do After the Funeral Service Acknowledgements (Thank You Notes) See Sending Thank You Notes Ashes (cremains, or cremated remains) Etiquette demands the utmost respect for human remains. We also feel an obligation to respect the final wishes of our loved ones. That does not, however, mean it’s acceptable to break the law, and laws are quite strict regarding the disposal or scattering of human remains, including ashes.

Good Etiquette Guide for the Surviving Family – Day of Visitation or Funeral

The following etiquette guide for the bereaved on the days of the visitation and service are listed in alphabetical order: Clothing/Dress You are not required to wear black to the funeral; however, showing respect and honor for your loved one’s memory does require wearing conservative clothing that reflects this sense of dignity and decorum. Bright colors and loud patterns may send the wrong message to your visitors and other mourners and family members.

Etiquette for the Surviving Family: Planning the Funeral

Arranging the Funeral Now that Your Loved One Has Died A funeral is a formal service of remembrance with the body present, in either a closed or open casket. Your funeral director or clergy can advise you on many aspects of etiquette relating to the actual funeral service. If your loved one hasn’t preplanned, you will need to make a number of decisions:

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