Having to share the loss of a loved one offers a comforting setting to those attending a funeral. Following funeral etiquette can assure that everything proceeds smoothly on an emotional day.

What is proper funeral etiquette?

Do arrive on time. This means that you should arrive approximately 15 minutes early.

Do dress appropriately. Ensure that your clothes reflect the setting and that you don’t appear to look disrespectful. Funeral clothing no longer has to be traditional black, just don’t over-do it with any bright colours either. Navy is recommended.

Do act normal. You don’t have to force conversation with anyone. If you are overwhelmed by sadness, simply offer a hug (if this is appropriate considering social distancing times too).

Do offer your condolences to those closest to the deceased. This doesn’t mean that it should be your main goal for the day but if you see them, do offer your condolences.

Don’t sit anywhere. Where do you sit at a funeral? The front rows of seats are typically reserved for family and close friends. You are allowed to sit on any side (unlike a wedding), just make sure that there is sufficient space for the family.

Don’t take your baby to the funeral. It’s inevitable that a baby will cry during the funeral. If you were unable to get a babysitter and your baby starts crying during the funeral, leave the room discreetly.

Don’t touch your phone. You are at a funeral offering your final respect, this is not the time to browse social media or check emails.

Don’t feel uncomfortable with religion. If you are not a religious person, don’t put up a fuss about having to participate in religious practices. You can simply absorb the practices around you and be exposed to new customs without having to participate.

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