Understanding the etiquette guidelines for funerals can help you feel more comfortable when attending services. Below are answers to common questions that can help you pay respect to the deceased and their family with courtesy.
What to Wear
Black is not required when attending a funeral or visitation. Guests attending should dress in good taste so as to show respect for the family and the occasion.
Religious & Ethnic Customs
Traditions and customs differ among various communities, ethnic groups, and religions, and it's often helpful to ask beforehand about any special considerations. The staff at Solimine Funeral Homes can also answer many of your questions and can point you toward resources that offer more information.
What to Say
Express your sympathy in your own words. Kind words about the loved one who has passed are always appropriate, and a simple “I'm sorry for your loss” or “My thoughts and prayers are with you” can be meaningful and comforting for the bereaved.
At a service with an open casket, it is customary to show your respect by viewing the deceased and, if you wish, spending a few moments in silent prayer. The family may escort you to the casket, or you might approach on your own. Viewing the deceased is not mandatory and you should do what is comfortable for you.
How Long Should you Remain at Funeral Home
You should use your own judgment on how long to remain at the funeral home or place of visitation. Families often learn new things about their loved one during a visitation; sharing stories and memories become a special part of the visitation.
Signing the Register
Be sure to add yourself to the register book, using your full name so that the family can identify you in the future. It's also helpful to add information about how you knew the deceased — through work, social clubs, school, etc. Occasionally families may request an address to be listed in the register book as well.
Flowers & Gifts
Sending flowers, making a donation or giving a memorial gift are all meaningful ways to express sympathy to the family of the deceased.
Turn Off Your Phone
If you choose to bring your phone to any funeral service, take a moment to make sure you have turned it off, or at the very least, on silent or vibrate.
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