Funeral Etiquette

  • What to say?
  • Common expressions - "I'm so sorry", "My sympathy to you and your family", "I'm here if you need to talk".
  • What to avoid- "Time heals all wounds", "I know how you feel", "He's better off now"
  • Attending a Funeral or Wake.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early
  • Be conservative with your dress, lower your voice, take your place quickly and quietly.
  • Address the family to offer your condolences
  • Sign the guest book - the family won't remember who was there
  • Leave promptly - don't hold up the procession
  • After the Funeral or ceremony
  • Attend if you are invited to post service gatherings - it's important for the family to feel support
  • Offer help to the family for childcare, food, or travel arrangements if necessary
  • Maintain contact with the family. The bereaved may not feel the energy or desire to "get out there".
  • Continue offering support - even though the physical process is ended, it hasn't ended for the bereaved.