Funeral etiquette: the dos and don’ts of attending a funeral

Funerals can cause a lot of mixed feelings. On the one hand, it’s sad to say goodbye to a friend or loved one, while at the same time you may find comfort in being with other people who knew them and having a chance to share your happy memories.

One aspect of funerals that isn’t discussed much is the stress that can be caused by not knowing how to behave during the ceremony. This particularly affects those who haven’t been to many funerals and may therefore be unsure of what’s expected of them.

If you’re planning to attend a funeral and you’re not certain of the etiquette, Rowley Funerals and our funeral home in Auckland can help. We’ve put together this list of dos and don’ts to follow when attending a funeral, so you can say goodbye without having to worry about inadvertently doing something inappropriate.

1) Don’t forget to let people know you’re attending

If you’ve been invited to a funeral and you’ve decided you want to be there, it’s really important to respond to that invitation. For health and safety reasons, some venues may have capacity limits, so showing up unannounced could cause problems. Also, it’s polite to let the family (or whoever is organising) know that you’ll be in attendance.

2) Don’t be late

It’s really important that you don’t arrive late, as not only will this be embarrassing for you, but many people will consider this disrespectful towards the deceased. Aim to arrive a short time before the service is due to begin, and leave yourself plenty of time to get there.

3) Do switch your phone off

Many of us carry our phones in our pockets all day, making it easy to forget it’s there. But the last thing you – and the other funeral attendees – want is for it to ring in the middle of the service. Switch it off or put it on silent mode before the funeral begins.

4) Do wear black

Unless you are told otherwise, black or other dark clothes are typically considered the most appropriate thing to wear to a funeral.

If you’ve found yourself with a funeral to plan and you’re searching for funeral homes in Auckland, Rowley Funerals are here for you. We know that organising a funeral can be a distressing time, so we’ll work with you to arrange the perfect send off for your loved one.

Step-by-step guide: Planning a Funeral

Planning a funeral can be an emotional and overwhelming process. However, with careful preparation and support, you can create a meaningful and personalized farewell for your loved one. In this step-by-step guide, we will outline the key stages involved in planning a funeral, helping you navigate this difficult time with compassion and respect.

1) Notify and gather support 

When a loved one passes away, begin by notifying immediate family members and close friends. Reach out to trusted individuals who can provide emotional support and assist you throughout the funeral planning process. Share the news with relevant parties, such as employers or organizations, to make necessary arrangements. Having a support system in place will help alleviate some of the burden and allow you to focus on the necessary tasks.

2) Choose a funeral home and director 

Select a reputable funeral home that aligns with your needs and values. Meet with the funeral director to discuss your preferences and gather information about available funeral services Auckland. They will guide you through the legal requirements, assist with paperwork, and offer advice on various funeral options, including burial or cremation, caskets, urns, and memorial services.

3) Determine the funeral type and logistics 

Decide on the type of funeral or memorial service you envision. Consider factors such as cultural or religious customs, personal preferences, and budget. Discuss the desired location, date, and time with the funeral home. Coordinate details such as transportation for the deceased, seating arrangements, audio-visual presentations, music, readings, and speakers.

4) Personalize the ceremony

Create a personalized ceremony that honours the life and memory of your loved one. Consider their hobbies, passions, and achievements when selecting readings, music, or rituals. Include eulogies or speeches from family members or close friends who can share heartfelt stories or memories. Display photographs, memorabilia, or a tribute table that represents their life journey. Personal touches can provide solace and help attendees celebrate and remember the unique individual your loved one was.

5) Communicate and invite attendees

Inform family, friends, colleagues, and community members about the funeral arrangements. Utilize various communication channels such as phone calls, emails, social media, or newspaper announcements. Include relevant details such as the date, time, location, and any specific requests or instructions. Consider creating an online obituary or memorial page where people can leave messages and share their condolences.