Solemnity is expected at any funeral service. Behaving in an appropriate manner conveys your respect for the decedent and the mourning family. But if you’ve never been to a funeral before, it’s easy to commit etiquette mistakes inadvertently. Before you depart for the funeral home, take a few minutes to remind yourself of appropriate behaviors.
Avoiding the Receiving Line
One common mistake is to enter a funeral home for a visitation and to immediately take a seat to reflect upon the decedent’s life. The appropriate etiquette is to join the line of mourners. It’s customary for each mourner or couple to pause before the casket for a few moments. Some may choose to kneel and pray, but this is not necessary. After paying your respects, continue past the casket to the family members in the receiving line. Shake their hands or give them hugs if you know them well. Express your condolences and perhaps say a few words about how you knew the decedent. Then, you may take a seat or join others in quiet conversation.
Wearing Inappropriate Clothing
The traditional rule of wearing an all-black outfit to a funeral has been relaxed in recent years, but it’s still important to dress in a formal manner. Wear dark, modest clothing that does not call attention to yourself. Choose minimal makeup and jewelry, and wear closed-toe shoes.
Forgetting to Turn Off a Cellphone
It’s best if you leave your cellphone and other electronic gadgets in the car. If you bring them inside with you, it’s essential that you turn them off first. You should never take out your cellphone to check for messages or missed calls while you’re inside the funeral home, house of worship, or cemetery.
Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park provides compassionate services to families who have lost a loved one and to those who are pre-planning their funeral needs. At our funeral home in San Mateo, we work closely with each family to ensure the funeral service exceeds expectations. You can reach a funeral director at (650) 349-4411.
Visiting a funeral home for a wake and going to a house of worship for a funeral service do not have to be frightening events for children. Attending a funeral with your children helps them to develop empathy and to understand the importance of giving support to others in their time of grief. However, children should never be forced to attend a funeral if they do not feel comfortable doing so.
Ahead of the funeral ceremony, sit down with your child and use age-appropriate language to describe what will happen during the service. Explain whether there will be an open or closed casket and what these terms mean. Discuss appropriate behavior during the funeral service. For example, your child must remain quiet and at your side during the service. Then, ask your child if he or she feels comfortable attending the ceremony. Reassure him or her that you don’t mind if your child would rather not attend.
For more than 50 years, Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park has provided gracious funeral services and burial plots in San Mateo. Families can reach us at (650) 349-4411.
Funeral services aren’t always arranged after a loved one has passed. Sometimes, it makes sense to pre-plan a funeral, such as when a loved one has entered into hospice care. There are plenty of misconceptions about hospice care, such as that it shortens life or that it’s akin to “giving up.” Watch this video to find out the truth about hospice care.
You’ll learn that hospice providers focus on supporting quality of life for the patient and his or her family. Hospice provides medical services that are intended to address pain and other symptoms, but are not intended to treat the illness. With hospice care, your loved one can enjoy the remainder of life with dignity.
Skylawn Funeral Home and Memorial Park offers funeral pre-planning services in San Mateo. If your loved one has a life-limiting illness, we invite you to explore our grief support services and funeral services at any time. Call (650) 349-4411 to learn more.
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