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Funeral Home Etiquette

Funeral homes in Hayward, CA are intimidating. For starters, it’s never easy to go through a loss. However, it can be even harder to know how to act in a funeral home. From how to dress and where to sit to what to say and everything in between, its hard to know exactly what the proper etiquette is, especially when it comes to being respectful of the proceedings and family members.   

Use this guide to help you navigate funeral home etiquette. 

  • Attire - Funeral homes are serious places, and your attire should be as well. Unless otherwise noted or dictated by culture, keep your clothing conservative and in darker colors.  

  • Seating - The first two rows of seats are oftentimes reserved for the close friends and family, but other than that the seating plans are usually open. Try and remain seated throughout the service, unless dictated by the MC. This same basic rule applies to a graveside service, as the chairs right by the grave are typically reserved for family.  

  • Distractions - Turn off your phone. If you don’t want to turn if off completely, at least put it on silent or Do Not Disturb for the duration of the service. If you must take a call, do step outside as looking down at your phone or checking messages inside the funeral home is disrespectful. Along those same lines, people often do not bring children to funeral homes for fear they will be a distraction or disruption. Use your best judgment with your child, but toddlers and babies should generally stay at home with a sitter. 

  • Religion - Funeral homes can be religious places during services, and this may make some people uncomfortable. If the ceremony has religious aspects that do not match your own or make you uncomfortable, simply remain silent and respectfully engaged. Remember, you are there to honor the deceased not make a religious statement. 

  • Communication - There might not be many chances for you to speak with the family of the deceased at the funeral home, but if you do have an opportunity be sure to take it. All you need to do is express sympathy for their loss. If you knew the deceased well and feel it’s appropriate, you may say something more personal about the deceased. However, keep it short and simple as the family most likely has lots of other guests to attend to.  

Do keep in mind that the above are general guidelines and do not necessarily apply to every funeral home experience. Use your best judgment, and always try and follow the family’s lead when it comes to etiquette. When in doubt, lean in towards the conservative side. 

Do you have more questions about Hayward, CA funeral home etiquette or services? Deer Creek Funeral Service can help. Pay us a visit at 1700 Norbridge Ave Ste D Castro Valley, CA 94546, or give us a call at (510) 317-7890 for more information about funeral homes, or what we can do for you.  

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