Being on your best behavior while attending a visitation or a service at a funeral home is of paramount importance, but when nerves and stress kick in, it can be easy to forget the exact manner in which to behave. Sure, you know that turning your cellphone off and keeping your voice hushed are a must, but there's more to funeral etiquette than these two common-sense concepts. By familiarizing or reacquainting yourself with some important funeral etiquette rules, you'll avoid the potential embarrassment that can come with behaving inappropriately and your thoughtful actions can inspire those around you to follow suit. Here are three rules to keep in mind.
Pick A Seat Based On Your Relationship With The Deceased
When you attend a funeral, you'll want to be able to hear the words of the person giving the eulogy, as well as the remarks made by the person leading the service. This desire can lead you to a seat toward the front of the room, but it's important to note that the first couple rows of seating are typically reserved for family. Many funeral homes mark these rows accordingly, but even if they're unmarked, find somewhere else to sit unless you're a direct family member. Generally, those closest to the deceased person will occupy the rows that immediately follow the family section. If you barely knew the person and are visiting solely to pay respects to the surviving family members, opt for a seat toward the back of the room.
Don't Give A Sympathy Card In Person
It's admirable to want to hand a sympathy card to the bereaved family, but doing so just gives the family one more thing to think about during the visitation or service. Instead, upon hearing about the death, be quick to write a thoughtful note of sympathy and mail it to the family. On the topic of notes, remember that the guestbook at the funeral home is simply an area for noting the names of the guests who attended. It's not a place to write a message of condolence.
Avoid Lengthy Conversations
It's easy to find yourself talking excessively when you're stricken with grief, but being verbose at a funeral isn't appropriate, especially when you're talking to the family. In general, your exchange should be brief and sympathetic with a focus on expressing your sympathy, saying that you're thinking of the family and even offering a way that you can help in the days or weeks that follow. This exchange isn't a time to share cliches or talk at length about the nature of the death.
For more information, contact companies like Corleto-Latina Funeral Home.