Having good manners is essential, and for highly emotional times such as funerals, the last thing you want to do is add unnecessary stress to the bereaved by being rude. To help you avoid awkward situations, here’s a list of things you should and shouldn’t do when attending funeral services.
- Offer your heartfelt condolences. Let the immediate family of the deceased know that you are with them in their grief. A little kindness goes a long way.
- Put your phone on silent mode. Funerals are serious occasions.
You will want to keep the atmosphere solemn as other people are grieving and they’d rather not be distracted by ringing phones.
- Wear conservative clothing. Preferably black. Refrain from wearing flashy clothes with bright colors or distracting patterns. This is not the time to be showing off your fashion sense.
- Do what is asked of you. Whether it’s singing a song or saying a few words of comfort, do whatever you can to help. When people are in pain you can’t expect them to do all the things that need to be done.
- Participate in religious customs. Even if you don’t adhere to any religion, when you attend religious funeral services it is best to just be quiet and participate. Stand and sit when they do and when they pray just bow your head and remember the deceased. At the end of the day funerals are not about beliefs, but saying goodbye to a loved one. Do not let your discomfort towards religion draw you away from giving your sympathies.
- Make jokes. This is singularly the most insensitive thing you can do at funerals.
- Gossip. Funerals are about paying your respects to the deceased, not for talking about other people’s business.
- Speak ill of the deceased. If you have nothing nice to say it is best to just stay quiet.
- Discuss politics. Or any other topic unrelated to the situation. Keep the mood somber until the end.
- Draw attention to yourself. Funerals are not about you.