Tips for Funeral Attendees

September 7, 2019

Turn off your phone

We’ve all experienced a mobile phone going off when it’s not supposed to: the sudden harried fumbling on behalf of the phone owner; the other mourners politely pretending that the service hasn’t been interrupted; the speaker valiantly pressing forward. Nobody wants that embarrassment. Make sure your phone is switched to silent or turned off before the service starts.

Share an order of service

It’s always a bit of a guessing game how many people will come to a funeral. Sometimes families underestimate the impact a loved one has had on the lives in their community. As such, there may not be enough orders of service or bookmarks for every single person. Please be understanding when this is the case and take one order of service per couple or small group.

Move to the middle of the aisle

Especially in smaller venues or when a large attendance is expected, sitting in the aisle of an otherwise unoccupied row of seats can be an inconvenience to fellow mourners. Move to the end of the row (or the middle when there is access from both sides) and save yourself the trouble of having to move later or having other mourners climbing over you.

Allow the family to move

As funeral directors, it is our duty to keep things moving. We don’t want people, least of all the bereaved family, standing around out in the elements, especially in extreme weather. It’s tempting to try to catch the family after the service or burial to pass along your well-wishes but if they’re obviously trying to make their way to a car, allow them to move on. Most times there is the opportunity to talk in comfort afterwards indoors at refreshments.

Turn your headlights on

Turning your headlights on during the cortege lets general traffic know you are part of the procession. In NSW there is a rule that states that a driver must not interfere or interrupt a funeral procession; while no equivalent law exists in Victoria, some on the road will show respect by slowing or stopping to allow the cortege to stay together.