Funeral Etiquette

At Heritage Cremation Society, we strive to make the mourning process as smooth as possible. Etiquette is often a concern for funeral guests who just want to be respectful to the family, so we would like to offer some guidance in areas that most commonly raise questions.

Dress to Show Respect

Avoid bright colors that can distract from the occasion. Darker colors are usually the safest. We occasionally have clients that ask everyone to wear a color that was significant to the deceased. This is a nice way to honor the person that has passed as well as support their family. In addition, consider your cultural background when deciding on your wardrobe for the day. If a traditional garb is worn by guests at funerals in your culture, certainly wear what is comfortable.

Choosing a Seat

The first few rows are for family and close friends. If you are neither, we welcome you to sit in the middle or back of the seating area. If coughing or crying overwhelms you during the ceremony, you are welcome to move to the lobby or restroom to compose yourself.

Sometimes a Simple Gesture Means More Than Words

You may not know what to say to the family and friends of the deceased and that is ok. There is really no need to say anything. A simple hug may do. You could even offer them a drink of water or tissues if you see they have been visiting with the receiving line for a long period.

If you would still like to say something but you aren’t sure what, here are some suggestions:

  • I am sorry for your loss
  • She was so loved by anyone that knew her
  • She will be missed very much
  • She had the kindest heart
  • He gave so much love to the people around him

If you would like to talk, remember to keep your voice at a soft tone.

Nice Gestures for the Family

Family members always appreciate flowers or cards sent preceding the service at their home or work or sending to the funeral home. You may also get word that the family would prefer donations for funeral costs or medical bills in lieu of flowers. This can go a long way in helping the family through the tragedy.

Avoid Being Disruptive

It is ideal to show up about 10 minutes early for services so you can find a comfortable seat with your loved ones. If you cannot avoid being late, please enter a row from the outside aisle to be as unobtrusive as possible.

Silence Your Phones

Before the ceremony begins, please have your electronic devices on silent. Please be respectful of all by keeping your phone put away at all times. It is acceptable to take photos after the ceremony, but please ensure you are away from the mourners.

Leave Small Children with a Sitter

It is probably best to leave babies with a sitter. We welcome older children (perhaps 6 and up) to mourn with their family at this time. You are the best judge of what your child can manage, but don’t underestimate their strength. Occasionally, children read, sing, or play an instrument at the ceremony. If this is something the family and the child would like, it is a very special moment for all.

If you have further questions or if we can offer further support to you or someone you know during your time of grief, please feel free to reach out to us.