A funeral is a ceremony held in honor of a deceased person at a cemetery or funeral home in Cranbury, NJ. It is typically attended by the person’s family and friends and may include a religious service, eulogies, and the burial or cremation of the person’s remains.
A memorial service is similar to a funeral service but is held after the person’s body has been cremated or buried and may not be immediate.
Etiquette for funerals and memorial services can vary depending on the person’s religious and cultural beliefs, as well as the preferences of their loved ones. Generally, try to be respectful and considerate of the grieving family and friends. Here are some guidelines that may be helpful:
Black clothing was the go-to choice, as darker colors are considered appropriate for funerals. Still, other colors may be acceptable as well. Some families indicate the colors they want guests to wear, which makes the choice easier. Unless otherwise requested, you generally want to avoid wearing overly casual, revealing, or flashy clothes.
It helps to get to a funeral or memorial service venue on time or a few minutes early. If unsure of any service detail, the funeral home, place of worship, or the deceased’s family, will usually have a point person with whom you can confirm arrangements.
You may have expressed your condolences to the family before, perhaps over the phone. But it doesn’t hurt to offer your sympathies again in person on the day of the funeral. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, especially if there’s a line of people waiting to do the same.
You can offer your condolences to the bereaved with a simple handshake, a hug, or a brief conversation. If you are close to the family, you may want to offer words of support or share a fond memory of the deceased.
During the service, pay attention to the cues of the family and the officiant, and follow their lead in participating in any rituals or prayers. You can ask the funeral home or the family ahead of time about considerations to prepare for, especially if you are of a different religious or cultural background.
Whether or not you understand what is going on at the service, you should always aim to be respectful at a funeral or memorial service. Silence your cell phone and avoid talking or whispering during the service. If you are attending a religious service, follow the rules and customs of that religion.
Sending cards, flowers, or donating are popular ways to commiserate at funerals and memorials. If you cannot attend the service, you may want to send the family a sympathy card or letter to offer your condolences and show your support.
If you send a card, it is thoughtful to sign your card. You can also send the family some flowers or donate in their loved one’s name. If the invite doesn’t specify their preference, you can call the organizers for what is appropriate. It is not uncommon for families to request that donations be made to a specific charity or organization in lieu of flowers.