Funeral Etiquette – How to Show Support During Tough Times

It means a lot to friends and family when you follow proper etiquette during a funeral.

The most important thing you can do is sit quietly and do not get up during the service. Make sure to also offer your condolences to surviving family members.

Here are other pointers that will help you be a great guest at a funeral.


Black and dark grey are traditional funeral colors. Most funeral attire varies nowadays. You would like be okay in a number of different colors/clothes. Just make sure that what you are wearing is not flashy. Stay away from bright colors like yellow, orange and pink. All clothes should be pressed and clean, just like if you were dressing up for another occassion.

Arriving on Time

This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be amazed at how many people arrive late to a funeral. If the service does not have an usher, remember that seats closer to the front should be taken by friends and family that are most close to the deceased. If you enter late, you should enter from a side aisle instead of the center.


Children should be included in the funeral. It’s important for children to learn that death is a natural part of life. If you child gets restless, consider bringing toys or walking them out temporarily.

Smartphone Use

Using a smartphone during the service gives off the impression that you do not honor the deceased person. Turn your phone off or to vibrate. Glancing at your phone even for a second is a serious no-no. Photos should not be taken during the service. It is appropriate to take group photos after the service.

What Should I say?

It can be difficult to know what to say to family and friends of the deceased. When in doubt, be honest and authentic. Let the family and friends do most of the talking. You are there to listen to their feelings. Express your sympathy and offer kind words about the deceased person. Think of any good memories or kind phrases before you attend the funeral.

How to Support the Family After the Funeral?

Families have difficulty performing routine tasks like cooking in the days following a close family member dying. You can support families by cooking a good meal, then bringing it over. Offer to pick up the dish after the family is finished with the food. Ask around for what types of food other people have brought. You do not want a family stuck with 20 servings of fish and chips.