Funeral Etiquette Guide – How To Behave, Dress Code + DO’s & DON’Ts

Funeral Etiquette Guide – How To Behave, Dress Code + DO’s & DON’Ts

Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette. Today’s
video is about Funeral Etiquette. Sooner or later, we’re all confident with
death and in this video, I want to help you navigate this tragic event with dignity and
respect. First of all, when you learn about the death
of a loved one or an acquaintance, it’s important to reach out to the intermediate family and
express your condolences. The best way to do this is through a letter of condolence.
No, this is not a Facebook message that says “I’m thinking of you”, “Love you” or a comment
on a website, this is a handwritten letter that is dropped in a mailbox. The core point
of this is that you have a sincere, honest message that lets them know that you think
about them and that you’re sorry for them. The format of the letter doesn’t matter but
it has to be a sincere message that swiftly expresses that you’re sorry and that you feel
with them. If you don’t know the person or if you simply don’t know what to say, you
can say something on the lines of “I was deeply sorry to learn about the death of your Uncle
John, please accept my heartfelt sympathy and you and your family are in my thoughts
and prayers. Historically, people also sent flowers because it helps to mask the odor
of death and the not so perfect embalming process. Today, people send flowers because
it’s a sign of respect, sometimes though, people find it’s a waste of money if they
have too many flowers and in that case, what’s always appropriate is to have a donation for
the deceased favorite charity. Sometimes, they have little cards at the visitation or
at the funeral service where you can donate the money. It’s really important to never
send flowers if the deceased is Jewish and if you want to learn more about Jewish traditions,
Buddhist traditions, Orthodox traditions or Muslim traditions, please check out our in
depth guide about funeral etiquette on our website. The next step is the funeral or memorial service,
it’s always a funeral service if there’s a body and a coffin. If that’s not present,
it’s called memorial service. This can also be the case if the body was cremated, we talk
about memorial service, not a funeral service. The traditional funeral service is slowly
but surely becoming extinct and it’s often substituted with a celebration of the person’s
life and it always depends on what the deceased would have wanted or what he wished for. This
event is not about you, so make sure you fit in and you adapt to what’s asked of you. A
death notice in a newspaper or online will tell you what’s expected of you. Sometimes,
there is food served and even liquor. Now, this is not the time to get drunk or misbehave.
Attend the service, converse, talk to the family and leave. At the service, you want
to be respectful at all times which means your cellphone and smartphone should be turned
off and you should be talking to anyone, you should listen and participate. It’s a tradition
at a funeral to have a eulogy which is a heartfelt tribute to the deceased. If you’re asked to
give a eulogy, you should think about how to talk about the person in a complimentary
and dignified way. This is not the time to talk about the of Uncle John or how much beer
he drank or what women he dated. This is about showing your last respect to a person, maybe
shared memories or things that made him a great person. Now one of the components of
respect especially at a funeral is dress code. Never wear jeans or a golf shirt, like slacks,
shorts or anything of that kind for a funeral. It’s simply disrespectful towards the deceased.
The proper attire to wear for a man is a dark suit which can either be a charcoal, navy,
black, a stroller would work too if it’s a daytime funeral. It is best combined with
a white double cuffed shirt, a simple black or dark tie, no patterns and if you want,
you can have a white linen pocket square. For shoes, you can wear black dress shoes,
ideally with leather soles, it can be Oxfords, Derbies, it can be Brogues, Cap toes, it doesn’t
matter as long as they’re black dress shoes. Of course, nobody wants to see your hairy
calves, so make sure to wear dark over the calf socks. If the death occurred in your
family, it is important to acknowledge the heartfelt sympathies in the cards you got.
You want to tell people that you are thankful that they thought of you and again, it is
best to express with a thank you card.This is a task that can be divided up among different
members of the family so you don’t have to do all of the,m. If you don’t know what to
say, it can be as simple as “Thank you for your support, I gained strength and encouragement
from all of you!” If people donated, you can write something like “On behalf of the family
of Uncle John, thank you very much for your donation to St. Elvis church.” A funeral is
a very sad event and it is important to support the family, that you are subdued, you understand
it’s not about you but about the family and the ones who are left behind and so you have
to do your best to support them and to show your respect and dignity. Thank you.

100 Replies to “Funeral Etiquette Guide – How To Behave, Dress Code + DO’s & DON’Ts”

  1. Ayyyyy that's rfk in the background picture

  2. during my Grandma's eulogy, I remember reading literally the whole paper the Priest gave me.Ofc I did'nt know any better back then ,but it would have seemed like something directly out of a Leslie Nielsen movie.Ah old times,how we miss them.

  3. Would a dinner jacket be appropriate? I suppose the lapel facings would seem off at such an event but if that's the only black suit you have would it pass?

  4. Hello, about the clothing, Is it proper for me to wear a black vest over a black shirt with a black tie? Or should i try to modify/change something?

  5. Oddly this year I became much more interested in clothes and because of your channel and others like it I went out and bought a navy suit, black tie and white shirt, quality black leather Oxford shoes. My father saw me in this outfit and some months later passed away. I wore this same outfit to his funeral I'd like to thank you for curating this information so intelligently.

  6. My brother in law showed up at his mom's funeral wearing khaki pants, golf shirt and tennis shoes. Even his stoner brother managed to show up in a black suit. He's 61 years old now and he has never owned a suit!

  7. Your videos are always very informational and generally are not funny ones (like Aaron, for example). But this one, being a funerl etiquette one – I laughed my ass off, at the part with uncle John's farts. :))

  8. And please, please don't tell a surviving 28 year old daughter to get regular mammograms at the graveside service of her 58 year old mother who died from breast cancer. This actually happened to me and five years later it still sticks with me. 😕

  9. Do look sad. Do say they were a great person, regardless of the veracity of that claim. Don’t take a selfie with a finger in the deceased nose. Don’t try to work them like a puppet.

  10. Very well done and in a respectful manner. My deepest respect for your work and very pleased to be your follower.

  11. If someone doesn't own a suit, is it appropriate to wear charcoal grey dress pants and dark navy blazer?

  12. My criticism here is that you're only describing the proper etiquette for a typical Anglo funeral. We're an integrated society now and each ethnicity has it's own decorum and protocol when it comes to funeral etiquette.

  13. In my aunt's funeral most of the people there didn't wear black but they still showed respect to her by saying their condolences. I wore a black shirt and jeans since I couldn't find my dress pants.

  14. I totally agree with most except for the how to dress, people are dressing more casual nowadays. I have shown up over dressed in comparison to the others. If I'm not sure, I will ware business attire with a jacket and tie. I can always leave the jacket and tie in the car.

  15. Sehr schönes Video! Ich fande es sehr gut, dass sie so ernst geblieben und respektvoll damit umgegangen sind, Herr Schneider!
    Grüße aus Stuttgart
    ~Dario Marić

  16. 2:00 Even though I have a very WASPish name, I am Jewish. However, I didn't know that flowers were foreign to Jewish tradition. There is so much that I don't know about my own religion.

    In a society like the U.S.A., a lot of Jewish people probably send & receive funeral flowers without even questioning it as so many of us have adopted so many customs of our neighbors.

    I am so sad. My sister died yesterday after a long & valiant struggle with breast cancer. Her funeral will be at a Reconstructionist synagogue tomorrow. Since that denomination is not as strictly observant of Jewish Law as is the Orthodox movement, flowers might be accepted there; I am not sure.

    A dear friend, Yisroel Altein will take me to the train station tonight. He is an Orthodox rabbi. I will ask him about this issue.

  17. Thank you for this informative video. I put an inappropriate outfit back in my closet and pulled my black suit. Much appreciated.

  18. Good point about not sending flowers to a Jewish person’s funeral. However, I doubt any Jewish families that I know would take huge offense. Make it easy on yourself and send a polite card.

  19. If you really do not own a suit, at least wear a buttoned, collared shirt with a tie, dark trousers, and some kind of shoe which is not a pair of flip-flops or sneakers.
    I have seen teenage boys dressed like this with dark sneakers – for a young teenager or child, I think that’s acceptable.
    For women and girls – a dark or subdued colored dress or ensemble that covers the upper arms, is not tight, low-cut (or backless!), and which covers your legs at least down to your knees.

  20. I have a serious question.
    I lost my Oma, my Dad his Mutter. Me and my Vater love bright ties, neither own black nor own a black sport coat. Worse, all my Vater's are light coloured summer sport coats. My Vater being allergic to wool and advanced in age certainly not going to go out and purchase or be able to rent. I have a Schwarz Grün sport coat, would this be acceptable for him?
    I want him for once in his life to be dressed appropriate (he a mere splinter compared to my log), as this might be the last family gathering while he is alive, plus take off one stress in his difficult time.

  21. I know that many young people feel awkward about how to clothe themselves for a funeral. If money is a problem, remember that no one is going to give a damn about the quality of your clothes as long as you show that you have made an effort to look respectful and that you behave respectfully. These are the things that count above all others, and will win the approval of everyone by themselves. It is an occasion when we must never dress to attract attention or in any other way display an entirely inappropriate concern for ourselves. What people will appreciate most is the maturity we show by keeping a low profile, and fitting in.

  22. Well presented Sir. I am a funeral director and I appreciate this. It’s amazing to me how so many people today don’t dress for a funeral and yes, it does matter.

  23. In sweden it is tradition to wear a white tie with a white shirt instead of a black tie if the individual is very close to you. Thoughts on this?

  24. Very well said. Thank you for doing a nice professional video like this. Its a very hard time.

  25. I dont want ANYONE to wear dark colors in my funeral i would let them wear what ever they want i not sad to imma play cupcakke in MY funeral

  26. I disagree about the dress attire! During summer months it is acceptable to wear light colored suits or dresses. I do agree about the Jeans and T-shirt…..

    Black clothing is reserved as an old tradition. Black wreaths on the door and mirrors covered. This is a morbid Victorian color used at a funeral.

  27. WRONG!!!! At my mother in law's funeral I got plastered. They had to carry me out, I was so done. So yes, at some funerals it's very appropriate to get wasted. As a side note, the music alone in this video made me cry.

  28. What about white? I have a white blazer and black shirt and pants, with a white tie. I've been to a funeral before in it and got some dirty looks, but the person who passed away's favorite color was white. Jw, is white as your suit's primary color appropriate?

  29. Is there a difference in the case of a memorial?  Clothing, behavior,letter of condolence, and so on..   No mention of it made or referenced to.  thank you

  30. I disagree with the Facebook side of things as I recently lost a very young close friend who was always using social media

  31. I wonder if it’s 👌🏻 to recite poems about 💀. My parents told me that white 🧤 represent ✊in Western Orthodox traditions for funerals. What do you 🤔?

  32. Dress attire? I hate to tell you this but these days when it comes to funerals people are wearing jeans etc. casual attrire

  33. I watched this video the first time back in November when my grandmother passed. The only exception was to wear my maroon and white striped tie because my grandmother loved the tie. I just want to say thank you Rafael for this video

  34. Thank you. I will be more than prepared for my fathers funeral this Mon. 18,2019 he was 79.
    I want his service tasteful and elegant. Your video helped me tremendously. 🎈

  35. I would add that I have read that an important part of funeral etiquette is for friends of the deceased not to obtrude too much on the immediate family, but to keep a respectful distance, unless invited otherwise.

  36. Very important topic which I dealt with last year. We had a memorial service before a cremation and no funeral. We were honored that people came by in whatever they were wearing as many came to/from work. It is a small town and some people actually took time off work. Many didn't know to sign the guest book or to turn off their phones. The deceased had hated flowers and specifically requested no flowers at the service, he requested donations to his church. We assured the funeral home listed this in the announcements and when people contacted them for details. I was surprised that many ignored this and even called and argued with his widow. He had requested closed casket and they bullied her into open casket, which cost her and extra USD1000. Thankfully the chaplain who did the memorial service also knew the deceased request (he had many visits before the man's passing) and the situation and took the flowers to the church so the widow would not have to deal with them. A couple family relationships have still not recovered. I suspect that people are not learning about how to deal with the situation, it needs to be discussed more often.

  37. A friend of mine just passed recently, I'm 17 and I don't own a suit or even know where to get one, any help please

  38. I went to the funeral of a total stranger last week.

    When nobody was looking I stuck a lit cigar in the deceased’s mouth.

    The family was horrified!!!

  39. Great Video of Funeral Etiquette

    In our South-African culture,on the day of the Funeral,the coffin or casket of the deceased arrives either at the House,or Church,and then it is opened for viewing for at least 1 hour or 30 minutes,and then it is closed before it leaves the House to the Church,or before the opening procession inside the Church.

  40. I’ve just been to my pals funeral today it was very sad and your video helped me to prepare for the service 👍

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