Attending a funeral FAQs

What should I wear?

We normally associate wearing black with going to a funeral. But it is increasingly typical for families to express a preferred dress code. Our advice is to look out for information from the family in a notice published either in newspapers, online or in the funeral director window to advise you of their preference.

How long does a service last?

Typically a service in most churches or crematoria lasts around 20-30 minutes. A formal mass may take a little longer and we would expect this to be nearer an hour. Finally, burials can vary in length as they are weather dependent.

What's the rule about shaking hands with the family?

There is no "rule" as each funeral is different. The key is to be guided by the family. Often the celebrant leading the service will clarify if a line-up is expected after the service or at a separate event later. Do bear in mind that if the service was well attended, timescales may dictate what sort of line-up can be done. For our funerals, we can provide attendance cards for mourners to express their condolence which are collated for the family to read at a later date.

Where should I sit?

Family and close friends typically reserve the first couple of rows in a service. We recommend sitting nearer the front than the back of a service space in order to support the family and enabling late arrivals to discreetly fill back rows.

Where should I send flowers?

Often a family will express a preference for flowers - or charity donations in lieu of flowers. We recommend you keep an eye on notices posted in newspapers, or online or in the funeral director window so you are able to follow their wishes.