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We are frequently asked questions about funeral etiquette.

Once you are aware of the service, the first question you might ask is “should I attend?” Unless the obituary specifically states that this is a private service, the answer to this question is yes. The family has lost someone near and dear to them. They need the love and support of both family and friends. If you know the deceased or a family member, your attendance will be appreciated.

What if the deceased is of another faith? That should make no difference. You are there to honor the deceased. In this case, the faith issue is not as important.

Promptness is also important. Plan to arrive early. Anticipate situations where the parking is limited and plan your time accordingly. You don’t want to be noticed as someone who arrives after the service has started.

Be conscious of the need to be respectful. It is not appropriate to chat with your neighbor during a service (even if it’s an old friend). And be sure your cell phone is turned off.

If there is an open casket, pay a respectful visit, and pray briefly for the deceased and the family.

If you are a friend of the deceased, but do not know the family, be specific when you introduce yourself to them. Example; “I’m John Smith. Your husband and I worked together at XYZ Company three years ago”.

How should you dress? Many people wear black as a sign of respect. A more general bit of advice is to be sure and dress conservatively.

Crying is to be expected under these circumstances. But if it becomes out of control, excuse yourself and avoid being a distraction during the service.

Our goal is to provide The Perfect Farewell for the deceased and his or her family. Your part starts with proper etiquette.

Read more from the Christman’s Chronicles.