Attending a funeral is never easy, it does not matter whether you are going to attend it for the very first time or you have attended many ones before. It takes courage to accept the truth of life. Holding your emotion and sympathizing with grieving family members is a difficult task. Along with this courage, you must know some social guidelines that help a person in consoling the mourning family members and friends. These social norms or guidelines are also known as funeral etiquette.
Let’s know about the most important funeral etiquette that one must follow while attending a funeral ceremony.
Attend a funeral at the given time.
Time must be your priority always whether you are attending any social gathering. But great discipline regarding time is mandatory when you are going to attend a funeral. When you arrive late at a funeral, you disturb the whole gathering which is not good etiquette. Not only reaching the funeral is important but leaving the ongoing ceremony at a fixed time is also very important. If you want to leave the funeral due to an emergency then choose the last rows and the coroner’s seats to sit.
Usually, the first two rows in the sitting area are reserved for family members and close friends. Hence you should avoid these first two rows to occupy.
Choose carefully, what are you going to wear to a funeral.
Selecting the right costume when you are going to attend a funeral is also not an easy task. You have to keep many things in mind while choosing this like, your attire must not be very pompous or fashionable, the colour should also subtle and soothing etc. Some people think that black is the only color for the funeral but that is not true. Usually, people avoid wearing bright colors at the funeral. You can wear white, cream, peach, sky blue etc light colours. Women should avoid any kind of heavy jewelry if they are going to attend this vulnerable moment of a family member’s or friend’s life.
Some people choose that their ending should be celebrated as they celebrate their life so before demise they urge their family and friends to wear colourful costumes at their funeral. In such a case, you must respect the last wish of the departed soul by wearing a bright and colourful costume instead of picking a gloomy and dull colour to wear to a funeral.
How to express yourself at a funeral when you are meeting with the family members of the deceased person?
At most funerals, close family members make their presence at the entrance to receive the people who are going to attend the ceremony. If you are going to visit a funeral in which you do not have a very close relationship with the departed person then you must follow the etiquette of introducing yourself with your name and then telling them how you know the deceased person. After giving a short introduction, express your grief about the passing of that person. You should avoid taking too much time in expressing yourself. Let the other people also take part in sharing the grieving family members’ pain.
While leaving the funeral you should not forget to meet with the .mourning family members and sympathize with them with your kind words.
Try to avoid all kinds of disturbance creators.
The funeral is a very sensitive ceremony in the life of any person. It takes a lot of courage to accept the truth and patience in processing that immense pain and grief. Any kind of disturbance and your wrong behavior can enhance the pain of grieving family members and friends. As an example, if you forget to put your mobile phone on silent mode, any kind of notification and call can lessen the gravity of the ongoing ceremony. It shows your nonsincere attitude towards someone’s pain and grief. Apart from that, you should try to talk calmly.
A loud voice and fumbling words can hurt the sentiments of mourning people. You must avoid using mobile phones at funerals until it is very necessary. Capturing the moments without the consent of family members does not come under funeral etiquette hence you must keep yourself refrain from such activities.
Offer the mourning family persons something that can heal their souls.
People often bring something that soothes the aching heart, disturbed minds distressed souls. It could be a flower bouquet that they offer to the departed soul as a sign of paying reverence and honour. Some soothing words or a short speech can also be a medium of offering respect to the departed soul. These words will also help grieving people calm their stress and mental agony.
While expressing yourself through a short speech you should choose plain or simple words to convey your thoughts and emotion. It must be full of loving memories that you have made with the departed soul. When you are consoling grieving people, do not try to force them to not cry over their unbearable loss. Every person takes a different period in dealing with their pain. You should not compare their loss with your or any other person’s past loss.
What should you do at the end of the funeral?
At the end of the funeral, the host family provides a guest book in which every person who has attended the funeral sign there and write a few words in the loving memory of the deceased person. You can write your name, relation with the departed person and a short condolence note for the bereaved family members.
All the funeral etiquette or social guidelines are not only limited to the people who are attending the funeral but the hosting family should also follow some rules. The family can offer a short note or thank-you cards at the end of the ceremony to show gratitude towards the people who shared their pain and unbearable loss. The right way of behaving at the funeral can heal the disheartened people.