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FUNERAL ETHICS

Published: June 24, 2020
by Joy Herndon

We may be stepping on a few toes with this one. We have some suggestions for guests when attending a Funeral, Memorial or Graveside service.  

We love the signs that read “Welcome to our unplugged service. Please turn off all cellphones and be in the Moment with us!” Remember to put your phones on silent when you enter. Not only does it interrupt the service if it rings, the small tones for notifications and alerts are also loud in a quiet chapel. 

Taking photos at a funeral is completely acceptable. Some people use this as an opportunity to gather with old friends and extended family. They come together and reminiscence. Taking group photos when they are all together, and cleaned up, is great. HOWEVER, taking pictures of the deceased without the family’s permission is not OK. Please respect the privacy of the one who has passed and their family.

This community is great at sending condolences to the families. We enjoy seeing the flowers and plants that our local florists provide. We read each card and like to see the support. What we do not like to see is when people ask the family if they can have something. Even before the funeral, we have seen families approached about a plant or stand. Now, some items are sent to specified individuals, and that is great. They are welcome to those; we assist getting these distributed. But sometimes, just because an extended family member or friend likes a piece, it is just not the time to be asking.

Watch your attire choices. Funerals are a time to focus on the life that is lost, it is not a fashion show. As the temperature outside rises, sometimes we see skimpier outfits. Remember, it will most likely be cold in the chapel. We suggest you layer, or bring a jacket, light Shaw or wrap.

After the services, if you are not traveling with the family to the cemetery, please wait for the procession to leave before you pull out of the parking lot. There may be multiple exists, and when several cars are trying to leave at the same time, it’s difficult for escorts to safely get the procession on the road and keep everyone together.

Once at the graveside, try to keep your noise level down during the service. Cemeteries do not have sound systems, and the guests with hearing problems may already be having a hard time hearing the speaker. Keep the cellphones down at the graveside and wait to start up conversations until after dismissal.

We have a great community here. They support grieving families. These are just a few suggestions to keep in mind. If you are guilty of any of these, try looking at it from the perspective of the family. How would you want to be treated if it was your loved one’s service.

 
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