That’s the rudest thing you can do at a funeral, experts warn! Never do that at a funeral!
By avoiding this one act, you can ensure that you are paying the utmost respect.
Funerals are always an emotional experience. Unfortunately, we all have to attend at some point, and we try to say and do the right thing when we are there. It’s hard to know what to expect until you arrive, but you have to prepare for grieving relatives, friends and acquaintances – who you have to deal with with a certain level of decorum. That’s why it’s important to know the proper etiquette for attending these somber events and what you absolutely should not do. Read on to find out what rude behavior you need to avoid at a funeral.
When at a funeral, put your phone away
There are many situations where talking on the phone is a faux pas, such as at the dinner table or in work meetings. Considering you’re there to honor a deceased person, funerals should also be a cell phone-free zone. “Talking or talking on the phone during the funeral service is one of the biggest disrespectful things you can do at a funeral,” says Myka Meier, founder of Beaumont Etiquette and an etiquette expert. It’s important to be as present as possible.
“Silence your phone, turn it off or just leave it. You can’t do any good with it in this situation. Wir your attention on where you are and the people you are with,” Daniel Post Senning, author and spokesperson for the Emily Post Institute, tells HuffPost.
It’s also a non-photo zone.
That, too, falls under phones. Sometimes it’s appropriate to capture a moment, but sometimes it’s not. It’s important to distinguish between the two, especially at a funeral, which generally means you should save the photos for another occasion. Diane Gottsman, national etiquette expert and founder of The Protocol School of Texas, tells HuffPost that in the age of smartphones, “capturing the moment and posting it on social media” has become commonplace. The only exception, she says, would be if you have family permission.
Dress appropriately for the occasion
Your closet may be full of bright colors, flashy patterns and eye-catching clothing, which is great – but for a funeral? Not so much, at least in the Western world. “You should make sure you dress respectfully, especially if the funeral is in a religious institution like a church,” Meier says. That means dressing more modestly and choosing muted tones.
But there are exceptions when it comes to funeral fashion. If it’s a celebration of life, your most cheerful looks may be desired. Other cultures also have different rules, so check with the family before attending the funeral.
Be supportive above all else.
No matter what, the grieving person will likely be comforted just by the fact that you came. They will appreciate you standing by them during this difficult time. However, should you find a moment to make their day a little easier, they will likely thank you for it later, whether it’s holding the door open for their family members, talking to funeral attendees, or bringing them bagels and lox to their home if they are Jewish and holding shiva.