FUNERAL ETIQUETTE Although many services are customized to the family’s request, the service of honoring a loved one still maintains a respectful presence. Using good discretion and common sense, is the best model for this difficult time. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind. DO – Dress appropriately. Black no longer has to be the only color at a funeral service but it still remains a safe option. Feel free to wear any color unless the family requests something else. This is a serious occasion and your attire should reflect that by being clean, neat and pressed. DO – Arrive early. Tardiness is generally understood as impolite in any situation but this is especially the case when it comes to attending a funeral service. If you happen to arrive late, quietly enter from a side aisle not the center aisle. If the processional has begun, wait until the family is seated before entering. Usually the family sits on one side of the worship center and friends and acquaintances sit on the other. Or, family sits in front and friends and acquaintances sit in rear. DO – Consider a child’s age when deciding to take a child to a funeral service. Younger children can become restless and often have trouble staying quiet. Bring a sitter to the service with you so they can tend to the child or leave the younger children home. Older children can sit with whomever can offer them the most comfort. Generally, children do not wear all black. DO – Follow up with the family periodically after the service. DON’T – Hold up the line. It is understood that you may not have seen family and/or friends in a long time, but after a hug and a few words, please keep the line moving. Usually there is a time after the service where you are able to catch up with the family. DON’T – Be rattled by religion. It is okay if you do not share the same religious beliefs or customs. You should not feel forced to say prayers or perform ritual if you do not feel comfortable. Be respectful and listen. DON’T – Write a note of condolence in the guestbook. Simply write your name and address so the family can thank you and send a separate note expressing your sympathy.