Our dear friend, Posey, is in the funeral business. At Duchess Diaries, we love etiquette almost as much as we love vodka, so when Posey sent over funeral etiquette tips, she made our day. Such a tough subject, hopefully Posey’s tips will guide you. And, if you need her help, you can find her in Who’s Who.
Things to Know Before You Attend a Funeral/Celebration of Life
You read an obituary, or have been notified that a Funeral or Celebration of Life is being held for a member of a friend’s family, a co-worker, a good friend. If the time, date and location of the service are printed in the obituary, this is an invitation to attend. A funeral is the only major event in which no RSVP’s are expected.
As a guest at a service…The Do’s and Don’t’s
- – Do turn off your cell phone prior to entering the service.
– Do be on time, even a bit early, sign the guest book and take a seat.
– Do have a tissue handy.
– Do realize that the guest book may be closed just minutes prior to the beginning of the service indicating it is time to take your seat.
– Do take note, when sitting on the aisle, if the seats are visibly filling up around you, slide over to accommodate others.
– Do not speak during the service.
– Do honor the family’s request for a memorial contribution to a charity in their loved ones name. The amount is not revealed, so do what is comfortable.
– Do not text or email during a service, ever.
– Do send flowers if no memorial contributions are designated.
- – Don’t be late. If you are,” Do be quiet.”
– Don’t explain about why you are late.
– Don’t complain about the parking situation. The day is not about you.
– Don’t stop and read the guest book when people are waiting behind you.
– Don’t insist on special seating. The deceased and his or her loved ones are special this day, not you.
– Don’t send flowers to a service for someone of the Jewish faith.
– Don’t grouse should there not be enough Service Bulletins/Memory Folders available. There are no RSVP’s to the service; the family and the funeral home/church have to approximate the number of guests in attendance.
If you don’t feel you need to attend a service, but want to help…offer to sit in the family’s home while they are attending the service. Offer to pick up or deliver out of town family to the airport. Pick up dry cleaning. Take someone shopping for clothing or a haircut prior to the service. Have their car washed. Notify surrounding neighbors to the family’s loss. Little things mean so much.
Many thanks Miss Posey. You are a blessing.