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Funeral Etiquette: Proper Rules When Paying Your Respects

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Death is something that not everyone understands and can easily process, so being at a funeral service can make some people feel uncomfortable. Here is what everyone needs to know when it comes to displaying the proper etiquette at a funeral.


While you are not required to wear black at a funeral service, it is typically the most commonly worn color. Darker toned clothing such as navy blue or brown is also acceptable. It is not advised that you wear brightly colored clothing or any clothes with patterns. Solids are best. In addition, casual dress such as jeans or tennis shoes is not recommended. Instead, men should wear suits or at minimum a dress shirt and tie, and women should wear dresses, skirts, or dress pants with a blouse, unless a specific dress code is requested by the family or the deceased. 


The family of the deceased will most likely be going through an extremely difficult time during the funeral service and burial. It is always kind to say hello, give a hug, and pay your respects, but this really depends on the individual situation. Sometimes your presence alone is enough to help provide strength to family members. Not all family wants to speak to people at the time of the funeral, so be sure to respect their wishes. Flowers and a card are appropriate, and then perhaps a follow up call or letter later is best. 


Not everyone can obtain a babysitter during the time of a funeral, but it is absolutely essential that any children attending be kept quiet and well behaved. If you are bringing an infant and they start to cry, quietly remove them from the service as soon as possible. This etiquette rule also applies to small children who may become anxious and loud. Children are usually welcome at funerals, but as a sign of respect, they should be able to sit still through the service.


Some families also have a period of visitation where people can come to visit them at their home and pay individual respects. This is usually indicated on the funeral program. If it is not indicated, it's best to contact them later and ask if they'd like you to visit. Having the moral support of others is integral during this difficult time. Many people choose to bring a home cooked meal to family members, but be sure if you do this that you bring something they can easily warm up and that they will eat.

By showing proper etiquette when it comes to funeral services, you can reassure loved ones that you are there for support. For more information, talk with a place like Serenity burial service in Edmonton.