Funeral Etiquette


Funeral rituals in every culture are there to help us grieve together with the love and compassion of family and friends. All the aspects of planning a funeral with a funeral director, mourning and celebrating the life of the deceased, and providing support to those who grieve help us cope with the loss and give hope for the living.



If ever there were a time for decorum to be upheld, it is at a funeral, memorial, or graveside service. A processional accompanied by a Dixieland band may be a time to celebrate joyfully the life of the deceased, but the service itself requires a respectful presence.

It’s simple: Sit quietly and don’t get up during the service. The exception is when you have a cough that won’t stop or you have to quiet a crying or unruly child; in both cases, quickly go to the vestibule or lobby. If a eulogy or tribute to the deceased is sprinkled with humor, it’s fine to laugh, though not raucously.


Because the nature of funerals and memorial services varies so widely today, attire isn’t limited to just black or dark gray. The exception may be when you’re a pallbearer or honorary pallbearer, in which case a dark suit is the usual attire unless the family requests something else. Remember, though, that it is a serious occasion and your attire should reflect that, especially if you are participating in the service. At the very least it should be clean, neat, and pressed as for any other important occasion.