When you are attending visitations and funerals at funeral homes in Macomb, MI, there are many long-standing rituals and customs that you are expected to know and follow.
With all the ways we are able to gain knowledge in today’s world, the amount of information concerning proper behavior at visitations and funerals may seem overwhelming. In addition, the different kinds of memorial services that are available today can often add to the confusion when you want to pay your respect to someone who has died.
What you need to remember most is that losing a loved one is one of the most stressful times in their family’s life, so having guidelines to what is accepted behavior for visitations and funeral services can be helpful when you’re planning to attend.
The first guideline is that you need to understand the type of visitation and service you will be attending. The funeral home that is making the arrangements for the family will include this information in the deceased’s obituary. You will be able to see what services are being held, where they are being held, and the dates and times they are being held.
One thing that you’ll want to pay close attention to is whether all of the services are public (anyone can attend), some of them are public and some are private (people attend by invitation only), or they are all private. You need to show respect for what the grieving family wants and not, for example, go to any service that is private unless you are specifically asked by the bereaved family to attend.
Visitation and funeral service arrangements will vary (depending on the family’s wishes, the location of services, the faith of the deceased, etc.) from person to person, but the funeral home will always publish the pertinent details of the arrangements on their website and in the obituary or funeral notice.
Once you know the time, location, and type of service, then the most important rule of thumb is to practice kindness and courtesy. This means you should respect the wishes of the family, that you should observe the hours that have been set, and that you should dress appropriately.
If the family has made specific requests about attire (i.e. no black, casual, etc.), it will be noted in the deceased’s obituary.
However, there are a few other guidelines that you need to be aware of when you’re attending a funeral.
If there is a visitation before the funeral, you can pay your respect to the deceased and offer the grieving family your sympathy. Visitations are usually held at the funeral home, and the time and duration of the visitation is posted in the deceased’s obituary.
As soon as you get the visitation, be sure to sign the guest register and speak with the bereaved family first. If this is the first time you’re meeting them, introduce yourself and tell them how you’re associated with their loved one.
Otherwise, greet them quietly and offer them your condolences. If the visitation or funeral service includes a viewing, you are free to decide whether you are comfortable viewing the deceased (no one will judge you if you’re not).
With the funeral service itself, be sure to give yourself adequate time so that you will be seated before the service begins. Bear in mind that the first few rows are typically reserved for the immediate family of the deceased. If the service is held graveside, the chairs that are set up are for the immediate family as well.
For more information about funeral etiquette at funeral homes in Macomb, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.