It can be tricky trying to determine what you should wear to a funeral service. While you may be of the opinion that the life of the deceased person deserves to be celebrated, it’s important to remember that people will be mourning at a funeral. Your aim of attending the funeral is to pay your respects, not to draw attention to yourself. In this guide, you’ll find out everything you need to about dressing right for a funeral.
Choose the right color
Blacks, dark grays, blues, and whites are considered appropriate colors for a funeral, although black is the most common. This will, of course, differ based on the culture so be sensitive to this and stick to plain colors. You should avoid bright colors like red, pink, yellow, and orange as these are not usually funeral colors.
For women, modest outfits that don’t grab a lot of attention are ideal funeral attire to wear. These include things like dark dresses, pant suits, sleeved blouses and tops, dark suits, and dress shoes.
For men, stick to conservative options that can’t go wrong such as white shirts, dark dress slacks with sports coats, ties that aren't flashy, and dress shoes. Remember, dress to blend in and dress based on how formal the funeral service is.
It’s a good idea to avoid wearing scented body lotions or perfumes as people at the service may be allergic. The last thing you want is to set off an allergic reaction in someone coming to pay their respects.
There’s nothing wrong with finding out what you can wear from the funeral director or immediate family member of the deceased. This will show them you’re being respectful and help you dress appropriately.
Some funerals may just be different
While black and other plain colors may work well for most funerals, some funerals can truly be different. Relatives of the deceased should inform you in such cases and you can dress appropriately to honor the wishes of the deceased.
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The final goodbye or send off for your loved one is important in almost every culture. This is what makes funerals important for individuals. While hosting a traditional funeral in a funeral home may be an option, many people opt for a small, private funeral for their loved ones. This has become even more common with the pandemic, where there is a need to limit the number of people attending the funeral.
Small, private funerals aren’t open to anyone from the public mourning the deceased person. They’re only open to close family members and friends who have been invited for the funeral service.
Beside health concerns and following protocols during the pandemic, private funerals are popular because:
How do you plan a private funeral? To plan a private funeral, you should:
With the convenience that private funerals offer, they’re definitely becoming an option.
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Live streaming funerals may not have always been the go-to option for families of the deceased, but the restrictions on travel and gatherings imposed due to the pandemic have made it so.
Live streaming is a great way for relatives and friends who aren’t around to pay respect to the deceased. It also creates a safer environment and is a convenient option, especially when a funeral has to be conducted soon due to religious practices or medical needs. Not only will live streaming a funeral help to reduce expenses associated with the funeral, but it will also give families a recording of the services that they can keep close to their hearts.
Here’s what you need to pay attention to while live streaming a funeral.
Check out the funeral home services
Several funeral homes are equipped with the technology and resources to offer live streaming services. In such cases, all you have to do is pay for the live streaming service and let them handle the rest. Some funeral homes may even offer it for free as part of the funeral service itself, so find out which funeral homes offer such services.
Look for a professional
As a relative of the deceased, you’re going to want to spend your time actually being present at the funeral service instead of worrying about the technology and live streaming. You are, after all, mourning the loss of a loved one, so hiring a professional will give you peace knowing that the live streaming is happening as planned without you needing to actually do anything about it.
Get organized if you’re going to be video sharing
If you decide to live stream the funeral yourself, you need to plan ahead so that there are no interruptions during the service. This means making sure you have a high quality video recording equipment like a DSLR camera or camcorder, choosing a high quality microphone that will keep background noises out, picking the most conducive video sharing platform, and informing relatives and friends to join via the link provided. Don’t forget to record it so that you have a copy for yourself.
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Both burials and cremations require certain approvals and disclosures. Funeral homes must have the appropriate paperwork before carrying out the funeral process.
The following documents should be produced for a hassle-free funeral arrangement.
The Ordeal Of Grieving And Foraging For Documents
Imagine the harrowing experience of a dear person's departure and the compulsion to search for vital documents. People have energy only to mourn and not to undertake serious tasks. Everyone can avoid such a disastrous situation with a little planning.
How to arrange the paperwork for a funeral
If you are the person in charge of carrying out the funeral, find out whether the deceased person had made any arrangements. If you can get hold of the details, the procedures will be very easy. In a different scenario, inform the experienced employees of the funeral home about your predicament. They will give proper guidance for a smooth funeral.
Getting A Death Certificate
There is no need to elaborate on the requirement of a death certificate. The funeral home will help you to get it by issuing the basic document. This will reach the health department through a doctor authorized to verify similar matters.
Funeral homes need the below information to prepare the death certificate:
Go to an experienced funeral home
The best solution for a smooth farewell to your loved person's soul is approaching a reputable funeral home. They will understand your grief and the situation to guide you through the rough times.
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When a death occurs, especially if it is an unexpected death, it can take time to make the necessary funeral arrangements, gather the funds for funeral expenses, or wait for family members, relatives and friends to reach from different cities or countries. There could be multiple reasons why you may not be able to conduct a funeral soon after death, and in such cases, just how long can you delay the funeral for?
In the U.S., funerals are usually held three to seven days after the death of the person. Sometimes, it may take even two weeks to have a funeral. It depends on your personal situation such as availability of funds, your religious beliefs, the final wishes of the deceased, etc.
No laws on when funeral should be held
If you need to delay a funeral, for how long can you delay it? In the U.S., there is no law that states the minimum or maximum number of days you have after someone’s death to hold a funeral. This means that you can delay a funeral for as long as you need to.
However, as soon as someone dies, their body starts to decompose, which is why holding a funeral ceremony is usually time-sensitive. But thanks to modern preservation processes like embalming and refrigeration, families of the deceased have more time to make funeral arrangements. If you have a freezer or a refrigeration unit to preserve the body, it is even possible to delay the funeral indefinitely.
Personal beliefs and religious considerations
Some religions require the body to be buried within just a day or two. If the deceased belonged to such a religion or if their personal beliefs are in alignment with this, it is best to make arrangements that honor their last wishes.
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While the nation prepares itself to face the brunt of the COVID-19 outbreak, the question arises – how does this pandemic affect funeral homes? They deal with death, a job that often survives the impact of recession.
COVID-19 is having a significant impact on the way the funeral homes function and conduct their business. While they already have measures in place to prevent disease, they still have to implement stringent protocols. The reason is to comply with the directives of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).
New directives from the Texas DSHS
Texas DSHS, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has been working to respond to the outbreak. The commissioner of Texas DSHS, Dr. John Hellerstedt, announced on March 19, 2020, that this was a public health disaster.
As per the latest directive, businesses in the state have to follow sanitation, cleanliness, and hygiene practices, to curb the spread of the disease. It doesn’t permit social groups to have more than 10 members at a time. Also, it mandates that every individual maintains a minimum distance of six feet from other people. The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) released a guide to inform funeral homes on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Impact of COVID-19 on funeral homes
Due to these directives, funeral homes now only permit small gatherings, with 10 people or less, with most of them being family members. Businesses are switching to live streams on the inter, to overcome the restrictions on the number of individuals who can attend the service.
Some families are postponing the funeral service, due to the challenges posed by the outbreak. Another obstacle that funeral homes are facing is to coordinate with cemeteries and churches, to find out whether they are open.
These businesses have always been ready to deal with infectious diseases by taking measures to ensure that everyone is safe and secure.
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With the coronavirus pandemic disrupting life as we know it, we have had to make significant adjustments in our lives during the past several weeks. Some states and countries are in lockdown, while others are urging people not to go out.
These distressing times have made funerals very difficult. Whether you have lost a loved one to the virus or because of other reasons, you are denied long-serving traditions to which you are accustomed for saying your last goodbyes. Planning a funeral in normal circumstances is already difficult, and this current situation adds a whole other layer of stress.
Here are some tips that you may find helpful if you have to plan a funeral during the coronavirus pandemic.
While planning the funeral, it’s best to avoid meeting people in person and the best thing to do is work out everything over the phone, email, or video chats. The good news is that today, most funeral homes, as well as other businesses in the industry with whom you may need to get in touch, can coordinate with you over the phone and email, which makes the process much easier.
At this time, large congregations of people are not allowed. So, one thing you can do is live-stream the funeral so that people won’t actually be physically present. There are plenty of live-streaming devices you can use, which are user-friendly, easy to set up, and can be accessed with ease from a phone, tablet, or laptop.
Nowadays, even before the pandemic, more and more families are opting to hold memorial services for their loved ones a few months after their death. This gives them more time to mourn properly and also reduces the stress of planning. While this is more ideal for cremation, if you are opting for burial, you can plan a small funeral now and plan a larger event for a later date.
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A funeral is a solemn service where people offer their last respects to the departed soul. You attend a funeral to offer condolences. It is advisable to dress modestly and conservatively. The purpose of dressing at a funeral is not to call attention towards yourself due to your attire.
Wear conservative colors and styles. Wearing all black is not always necessary. Simply wearing dark solid colors can also suffice. Avoid all bright colors or prints such as bright floral prints or wild prints.
Dressing Etiquette for Women
Women attending a funeral service can wear blouses and skirts. Dresses and pantsuits that don’t accentuate curves, legs or cleavage should be worn. Showing off too much skin in the form of plunging necklines and short hemlines is usually not acceptable. Wearing minimal accessories is another dressing etiquette that should be followed. It is advisable to wear low heeled shoes or flats. Keep the hairstyle and makeup natural and simple.
Dressing Etiquette for Men
Men should not wear a graphic or printed T-shirt to a funeral service. A conservative suit is an appropriate choice for such occasions. Men can also wear pants with a blazer or just a buttoned shirt with slacks. Men should avoid wearing a sports cap. Anything that is conservative and doesn't draw attention can be worn. Also keep the hairstyle simple. Usually pall bearers are asked to wear certain attire.
Although a person is expected to dress in a conservative manner, there can be religions or cultures that follow a different set of rules and dressing norms pertaining to a funeral service. If the deceased person belonged to a culture that is totally different from yours and you are unsure about what to wear, it is a good idea to ask. Some cultures consider a funeral as a celebration of life where the family of the deceased may even ask people to wear festive clothing.
If the deceased person was a veteran, then a military uniform can be an acceptable dress code for the funeral service if currently active in the military.
Dressing appropriately for a funeral shows respect for the deceased while preventing undue drama.
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When a funeral ceremony and the place of burial are in different locations, the casket is transported to the cemetery. This is called a funeral procession. Even if you haven’t participated in one, you have probably seen it. Usually several cars follow each other and are escorted by special motorcyclists. Funeral processions should be respected with proper etiquette as it is a solemn time for those who are laying their loved ones to rest.
Here are a few tips that you should follow if you are taking part in a funeral procession:
Don’t be late and follow instructions
Make sure you are on time so that you don’t miss out on any important instructions for the procession. Usually the funeral director or whoever is in charge will give instructions such as who should go in which car, the positions in line of each of the vehicles, and what to do once you reach the burial site.
Turn on your headlights
Before the procession starts, you need to turn on your headlights. This is a way of letting people know that your car is part of the funeral procession. If you are the last one in the line, you might be given two flags and/or be asked to flash the hazard lights. This lets other drivers on the road know that the procession has passed, and they can carry on with their normal speed.
Maintain the speed
Make sure that you maintain the speed of the group. Usually the cars will go slowly, and each should stay in line and follow in the procession. Your vehicle should not be too far from the one in front of you as well. Most of all, pay attention to the vehicle in front of you.
What to do when not in the Funeral Procession
Please be respectful of the person who has passed away and the family. When travelling in the opposite direction of the procession pull to the right of the roadway and stop. This also allows the motorcycle escorts to do their job efficiently and safely. Don’t begin travelling again until the last car in the procession has passed you. And when travelling in the same direction, do not pass the cars in the procession.
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A wake is typically a Catholic tradition where close friends and family members stay up all night with the body of the departed, usually at home. The belief is that they can protect the deceased from evil spirits. A priest or deacon may be present to read scriptures or recite the rosary and food and beverages can be provided.
Another way to celebrate a wake is to conduct a service, usually with prayers and scripture at the funeral home. Following may be recitation of a rosary and then eulogies.
A wake is often held a day before the funeral.
A viewing is an opportunity for friends and family of the deceased to say goodbye and pay their respects. It is different from a wake or funeral because it is much more informal and unstructured. People can stay for hours, or they can just drop by. They can also share their thoughts and feelings with other mourners and offer support to each other.
A viewing is usually held in the funeral home on the day of the funeral itself, or even the day before. The body of the deceased is often displayed so guests can say goodbye in a personal and intimate manner.
A funeral is a formal service that provides loved ones to say their final goodbyes. It is usually hosted at funeral homes, churches, or the home of the deceased. Burial is part of the ceremony and can be public or private. There is no set period during which a funeral should be held after death. While some people have it a day or two after the person has passed away, some choose to have it a week or two later. It can be done with the body or cremated remains present.
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