Funeral Etiquette 101

By: Louis Bruno
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Funerals can be an overwhelming and emotional time for every party involved. There are rules and etiquette that some people are unaware of, thus adding to the already intense and emotional atmosphere. Through out this article, we will take a look at few tips to help you get through this difficult day.



This is the one that is most often forgotten about. In a society that is so technology dependent, it is hard for people to shut off their phones for a few short hours while they pay their respects to the deceased. There is nothing more disrespectful then a cell phone going off midservice, or the person next to you playing games on their phone. To avoid any disrespect, turn off all technology before entering the service.


Offering Condolences

This may be the hardest tip out of the five. At times it can seem difficult to find the right words to say to the immediate family. Before you go up to the family to offer your condolences, try to think long and hard about what you are going to say. Try to avoid clichés like “at least they are in a better place now” because it diminishes the suffering that they are going through. The family wants to hear happy memories that you may have shared with their loved one. If you are still unsure of what to say, offer your condolences and help, then move on.



Whether or not to bring your children at the funeral service, is one of the most debated points of funerals. If your child is at an age where they can sit quietly through a service and understand what is going on, there is no reason why they shouldn’t be there to say their goodbyes to someone they loved. If you have an infant, it is best to try and keep them at home as the crying, although unforeseen, can be a distraction from the service for those in attendance.


Where Do you Sit

Often, the dilemma of where to sit at the funeral service is the hardest for people who have never attended a service. Traditionally the first few rows are reserved for immediate family that will normally come in when the casket arrives. If you are not part of the immediate family, try to sit closer to the middle or back of the room.


If you have any further questions on proper funeral etiquette, please feel free to contact us at Charles J. O’Shea Funeral Home and Cremation Service. 



Leave a comment
Please enter the letters you see in the image.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Pre-Planning: The Time is Now

It’s rare to find a person that proactively thinks about their death and how their funeral service should be conducted etc. If you are in good health you may feel that the concept of pre-planning a...

Techniques for Handling Challenging Anniversaries after a Death

Anniversaries are important milestones in a person’s life. For example, a marriage anniversary is a special day to celebrate a lifelong commitment. Such events ensure you don’t take life for grante...

Online Grief Support Resources

Dealing with the death of a loved one can be a long, painful, and lonely process. Many people are forced to ignore their own grief and be brave for the more vulnerable members of their family. This...

Should I or Shouldn’t I Go to the Funeral?

When someone you know, passes away, there are times when you are unsure of whether you should attend the funeral or not. This is especially true if you had a complex relationship with the deceased ...

What Do Funeral Directors Do for a Family?

When a family member passes away, there are a number of things that have to be taken care of. You need to inform family and friends about the demise, start organizing and making arrangements for th...

Memorial Service Ideas for Families who Choose Cremation

Many assume that they can’t have a proper visitation or memorial service if they choose cremation instead of a burial. That’s not true as you can plan a visitation, wake, or a memorial service even...

How to Cope with the Holidays Without a Loved One

As the holidays are meant to be celebrated with family and friends, they can serve as a stark reminder of a recent loss of a loved one. These family gatherings and holiday parties can quickly chang...

Understanding the 5 Stages of Grief

Around 30 years ago, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross described something called the “5 Stages of Grief” in her book “On Death and Dying.” Since then, people have started to use this guideline to understand h...

The Importance of an End of Life Conversation with your Loved One

It’s not easy to discuss end-of-life events with a loved one. Most people don’t want to contemplate the thought of a loved one passing away and leaving them behind forever. Most experts believe tha...

5 Funeral Etiquette Tips You Need To Know

Funerals can be tricky to navigate and it can be hard to know how to act, how to give the most comfort to the grieving family or what you are supposed to do! Everyone grieves differently and in the...