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.