Etiquette Tips for People Attending Funerals

Business 7 February, 2022

Losing a loved one isn’t easy. Grief overcomes the closest family members, and they tend to congregate to celebrate the deceased’s memories to honour their life. Arranging for such a memorial can take its toll because it’s challenging to prepare for, and most people are overcome with their sadness to be focused.

If you need assistance holding the rites to honour your dearly beloved, you can coordinate with the experts and check out for other ways to remember the deceased. Their expertise in the field will help you get over the loss as smoothly as possible.

There are several questions about how people should behave when there’s a death in the family. It can be difficult to act appropriately, especially if you don’t know what people expect of the bereaved members. Here are a few etiquette tips for you to remember.

Who can attend?

Unless specifically requested by the family to be a private ceremony, anyone who knows the deceased and wants to express their condolences to the family can attend the wake. There’s no need for an invitation, but it would be good to advise the family that you would like to pay your respects.

Should children be allowed?

Children are a welcome respite from the family’s grief. They can make people smile and help ease the loss in their own way. If your child is old enough, it would be best to ask if they want to come and go to the wake. Toddlers and babies may be a handful, so you need to consider if the child has close ties with the deceased and can understand the gravity of the situation.

If you’re breastfeeding your child, you may situate yourself near the door, so you can make a quick escape if your baby gets antsy and there’s no space for you to feed them privately.

What should you wear?

The general rule of thumb for clothing to pay respects to the deceased is by wearing black or dark coloured clothing. For most cultures, white is acceptable, and dressing conservatively is highly urged. However, if the family has set a dress code, it will be best to follow their wishes. As long as you don’t wear brightly hued outfits, you’ll usually fit right in a wake.

Should you attend the wake even if you don’t belong to their religion?

If you’ve maintained a good relationship with the deceased, even if you share a different religious background, and you want to honour your memories together, attend the event by all means. However, if you’re uncomfortable with certain religious rites, you can distance yourself when it happens. Your presence is more important to the bereaved family than religious differences.

Where do you sit?

Tradition dictates that the first row of a funeral is reserved for the immediate family members. So, situate yourself in a comfortable space if you’re not within that circle. There isn’t a hard and fast rule about where you should sit, but do not sit too far from the casket or the other people in attendance.


Attending and paying respects to a beloved member of the family or a friend isn’t an easy task as you have to consider the proper etiquette to express your condolences adequately. However, you must learn to follow these social rules to pay your respects to someone you hold dear to your heart.