Funerals are an inevitable and necessary part of our life. Each of us has to attend the service and it is important to know in advance how the funeral is going, what is appropriate and what to expect at a Funeral. Usually, there is a person in charge, who tells the mourners what to do and when. But still, it’s better to be ready for anything.
First, remember that you need to arrive at the funeral well in advance. The fact is that it is often difficult to find a parking space, which means that you risk being late for a service. As for entering the church, chapel or crematorium, here customs vary.
Sometimes it is customary at the funeral to let the mourners enter first. They take places and wait for the family and the coffin to come in first. In others, the family is the first to enter and the coffin is carried in, only then the mourners are allowed to enter.
As for the rows in the hall, here the rules are the same for all funerals. First rows are taken by relatives and close friends. Behind them, everyone else settles down and the side doesn’t matter.
Sometimes it happens so that the family may ask you to carry the coffin. In this case you should definitely accept the offer, because it means that you have been honored. Just listen carefully to the funeral director instructions, he will tell you what to do.
At some funerals you might be given a Program when you arrive, there you will find information about the service order. In case the guests are to sing anything at the funeral, there you will find the lyrics. Also, it might have the address of the place you might be invited afterwards.
By the way, you might be asked to make a donation, the requisites will be written in the Program too. Or you may witness a space funeral where the deceased remains are shot into space rather than being buried.
So, what else to expect at a funeral? Sitting or standing, praying or singing at the funeral – all that is individual for each service. You might be asked to say or write anything, or place a flower at the coffin.
Funeral ceremonies differ from each other, because each family wants to make the ceremony unique and unforgettable. You can’t be read to everything, so just be you and don’t be afraid to find no words or not cry even if everyone around is. Just be supportive and calm, and don’t forget to take a tissue with you.
At the end of the service remember that the family and close friends leave first. If you want to, now you can talk to the family and show them your respect. Bring the flowers with you, but keep in mind that flowers are not typical for some religions, check that beforehand.
After a funeral you should expect that there might be some kind of a family and friends gathering. But it’s not allowed to come there without an invitation. Some families prefer to mourn in a small circle of very close people.