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Funeral Etiquette

Funerals are a very difficult time. You want to show how much you care, and support the family, but sometimes it can be hard to express your feelings properly. Here are some guidelines to help you. First visit with the family at the funeral home. Here you will not ‘catch them off guard’ and they’re prepared to accept the condolences of friends and colleagues. The amount of time you spend isn’t important, what is important is that you show those grieving that they’re not alone by your presence, caring gestures, and words of comfort. How you express your sympathy will vary greatly and can involve a handshake, embrace, or words of comfort such as:

  • “I’m so sorry”
  • “Mary was a very good friend and I will miss her”
  • “My deepest sympathy”
  • “It was good knowing Mary”
  • “Let me know if there is anything I can do to help”
  • Share a memory

Sometimes a visit isn’t possible. Here are some other ways to express your sympathy and show you care:
  • Email
  • Food for the Family
  • Flowers
  • Memorial Gifts
  • Mass Cards
  • Phone Calls
There are many ways to show that you’re there for them in their time of need. Grieving is a very individual process, but someone who is grieving appreciates knowing that someone else is thinking of them. Simple gestures of love and care truly help.
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