Helpful Tips for Proper Funeral Etiquette

Attending a funeral service can be confusing, especially if we’re grieving. When someone we care about passes away, we want to commemorate their life. However, there isn’t a specific set of rules to follow for proper etiquette as each service is unique. Some services are very formal and somber while others can be more casual and lively. 


Funerals are emotionally charged, and therefore, complex. While we don’t really think about what to do or say, knowing what’s proper funeral etiquette can help you navigate the service more comfortably. Knowing what to wear, what to say, where to sit, and how long to stay isn’t easy so Funeral Caring USA will provide you with some tips to follow for proper funeral etiquette. Our goal is to list some fundamental tips for good etiquette so you can show you condolences to the grieving family with respect and dignity.

Arrive Early

Get to the funeral service at least 15 minutes before it begins. This gives you time to briefly greet the grieving family and find a place to sit. Make sure you speak softly and avoid attracting too much attention to yourself. If you happen to arrive late, quietly find a place to sit and try to stay a little longer so you have the chance to speak to other attendees. 

Dress Accordingly 

Most people believe that you need to dress in black to show sympathy and grief. However, this is not exactly true, black isn’t a requirement. Flashy and bright colors aren’t appropriate, so try to stay away from clothes with patterns, glitters, and sequins. Subdued colors and conservative clothing is the best way to dress to a funeral. If you want to dress appropriately, think about what you’d wear for a job interview. If the person you’re grieving is from another faith or culture, don’t be afraid to ask what to wear, the grieving family will appreciate your interest. 

Sign the Register Book

Arrive early so you can sign the register book with your full name and your relationship with the deceased. The family of the deceased will keep the guest book for years to come and may use the registry to send thank-you letters. If you’d like to write something more personal, then we suggest you bring a sympathy or condolence letter to the family where you express how much the deceased meant to you. 

Turn Your Phone Off

While you might think that putting your phone on silent is enough, we still get distracted by incoming messages and calls. It’s important to be present at the funeral and our phones can be a nuisance even if they’re on silent. If you absolutely need to have your phone with you, make sure you answer any message or call outside.