Funerary customs aren’t the same. They usually vary from country to country, and even, from family to family. A Christian funeral Singapore will not proceed the same way as a Taoist funeral or a Buddhist funeral in Singapore, and so on. But, while the customs may always differ, there are couple of things that are universal when it comes to funerals.
Below are a few do’s and don’ts of funeral etiquette to make sure that you pay your condolences the right way.
Do dress conservatively
You’re not going to a party and you’re definitely not going to be the centre of attention there. Or, at least, you don’t want to be.
Proper funeral attire should be neat and clean. As a general rule of thumb, stay away from anything that can distract other people or attract attention to you. Darker colours are always a good idea. You can even go all black if you feel like it.
Don’t sit at the front – and try not to cause a scene
Unless you’re a family member, close relative, or part of the deceased’s circle of friends, you’ll want to sit towards the middle or the far back.
Also, once you’re there, if you do have to cry, do try to go to the bathroom or lobby. You might have every right to mourn the death, but this is the time for those closest to the deceased to mourn and grieve – not yours.
Do relax and laugh when it calls for it
A lot of people are too uptight when it comes to funerals. Although it should indeed be a solemn occasion, if someone goes and pulls off a funny joke during the eulogy, you have every right to laugh. Of course, as always, practice discretion, and if you can, try to follow the family’s lead.
Don’t use your phone
There are many instances and important events where you definitely have to use your phone – a funeral is not one of them.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a Christian funeral Singapore or anything. Your phone should stay inside your purse or your pockets throughout the ceremony. Taking it out (unless it’s an emergency) and worse yet, taking a photo, while the ceremony is ongoing is downright rude and disrespectful.
If you do have to take a photo, especially if there are friends and other family members that you haven’t seen in a while, do it in the lobby or outside, away from the mourners.
Last, but certainly, not the least, if a funeral service contains religious elements that are in line with your faith, try not to worry too much. You’re not exactly obligated to participate or partake. Just stand there, listen, and take the time to reflect on the life of the deceased and that of your own.
There’s really no right way to act during a funeral, but there are plenty of ways where you can go wrong. Giving your condolences, respecting the deceased, and being present, both figuratively and literally, are some of the proper ways that you can pay your respects properly to the deceased and their family.