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FAQ: Funeral Etiquette

As we slowly emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, many of us will soon be attending memorials that have been postponed. If it’s been a long time since you last went to a funeral, you may benefit from a refresher about proper funeral courtesy. This will help to ensure that you don’t become a distraction, and that the service goes smoothly. Here are some of the commonly asked questions about funeral etiquette.

What is appropriate funeral attire?

While black is the traditional color for funerals, you’ll want to look closely at the invitation for any specifications. Some services call for a less formal atmosphere, in which case you’ll want to dress accordingly. And, in some instances, the service may even have a more upbeat, party-like atmosphere. However, as a default, it’s generally best to dress formally and in dark colors.

Where should I sit?

If you were very close to the deceased, then you may have a spot in the first two rows. Otherwise, you’ll want to sit further in the back so that close family and friends are able to sit up front. And if you show up to the funeral at the last minute and after everyone else has seated, you’ll want to stay toward the very back and make as little disruption as possible.

Should I arrive early?

Yes, you should plan to show up about twenty minutes early. This way, you can do your part to ensure that the funeral proceeds on schedule.

Should I bring my child?

This largely depends on your child’s age and how likely it is that they’ll remain quiet through the entire service. Older children are typically fine, but it’ll be best if you can arrange a sitter for infants, toddlers, and other kids that are likely to make noise.

Are there any other ways to avoid being a distraction?

One of the biggest funeral faux-paus is forgetting to turn off your phone before the service and then receiving a call or message. Before heading inside for the service, make sure that you and your family members have all turned off your phones.

If you need assistance with planning a service, be sure to get in touch with a reputable funeral director. For a funeral director in Everett, Lynwood, Mukilteo, Monroe, Sultan, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Tulalip, Arlington, and Marysville, WA, the trusted name is Funeral Alternatives of Snohomish County at 1-888-381-6993. Funeral Alternatives also provides funeral services in Seattle, Bellevue, and King County. Feel free to contact Funeral Alternatives with any questions that you have about planning a memorable service.