Home » Frequently Asked Questions » Funeral Etiquette

Funeral Etiquette

The standards for conduct before, during, and after a funeral

At Geils Funeral Home, we have been serving families since 1898 and we understand that one thing never goes out of style and that is proper etiquette while attending a funeral and the courtesy of being present for a friend or family member.

Helping To Make a Memory

It is important to keep in mind one’s religious, ethical, and personal opinions when attending a funeral as well as being aware of family or friend’s emotions during a difficult time.  This will help you better prepare for the event.

The following are some expectations for when you attend a funeral:

1. Offer an expression of sympathy.

This can be difficult if you are at a loss for words,however; often times offering a “I am sorry for your loss,” can be sufficient.  In any case, it is important to be present in the moment and to actively listen and show your sympathy and condolences.

2. If possible find out if there is a dress code

Dressing for a funeral in today’s world is sometimes hard to expect or difficult to plan for because sometimes anything goes. If you can find out from another family member if there is a dress code it will definitely help you in the end.  In some cases, the deceased has a request for example no black or suits, however; if you unaware of a specific dress code, it is often understood not to wear any bright colors and choose something modest.

3. Offer a Gift

It can be difficult to know what to give to a family member or friend when they experience a loss, however; at Geils Funeral Home, we encourage attendees to bring a card, send flowers, make a donation to a charity of the families’ choice, or even offer to bring dinner or check in on them at a later date.  In any case, if you do leave a gift, be sure to leave a signed card so that the family can send out thank you notes later on.

4. Sign the register book

It is nice to include your name but in addition your relationship to the deceased so that the family can stay in contact or reach out to you in the future.

5. Keep in touch

Sometimes the best thing you can do is check in on your loved ones who are mourning a loss, even if it does seem awkward for you.  At times, their grieving process doesn’t even start until after the funeral, so be sure to be attentive to their needs.

 

On the other hand, What Shouldn’t You Do?

Don’t linger or over-stay your visit

If you make a visit during calling hours there’s no reason your stay has to be a lengthy one.

1. Don’t be scared to find laughter in the moment

This can be tricky, but just be aware of the time and place of the moment and be open to share positive memories of the deceased.  This helps the families remember their loved one fondly and can ease their pain at the time.

2. Don’t feel you have to view the deceased if there is an open casket.

If you do not feel comfortable, you do not need to approach the casket. Do what you think is right for you.

3. Don’t allow your children to create a distraction or problem

If you can leave your children with a sitter then it may be easier to do so, however; if you feel they were connected to the deceased, you may wish to include them in the services.  Do what is best for you and your family.

4. Don’t leave your cell phone on.

Leave your phone in the car or turn it completely off before entering the funeral home.  It can be very distracting when someone is checking their phone during services rather than being present in the moment.

5. Don’t neglect to step into the receiving line.

Simply say how sorry you are for their loss, offer up your own name and how you knew the deceased.

At Geils Funeral Home We are Here to Help

If you have any special concerns about an upcoming funeral or memorial service, we’re here to provide the answers you’re looking for. With over 100 years of experience, we hope to help put your worries at ease and make the