What to Wear
The color black has long been associated with mourning and death in many cultures. In the past, wearing black clothing to a funeral was regarded as the only appropriate choice. Many people still choose to follow tradition and only wear black clothing to funerals. However, today’s society has seen a relaxing of the “rules” so that other clothing is now considered appropriate.
For both men and women, a good general guideline is to wear clothing that would be suitable for attending a business meeting or job interview.
For women, a dress, a skirt suit or a pant suit, a blouse (with sleeves) or a sweater combined with a skirt are all appropriate choices. Flat shoes or pumps may complete the outfit.
For men, appropriate clothing choices include a suit with a tie; pants and a collared, button-down shirt with a tie and a belt; and dress shoes or loafers.
When to Arrive
Plan to arrive on time and stay for the entire service. If you arrive late, slip in quietly and find the closest available seat.
Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before the service starts. If you are going to participate actively in the service as a pallbearer, or will be delivering a eulogy, reading a passage, or performing a song, this will give you time to meet with the funeral director to review the schedule and prepare yourself for your part of the service.
Where to Sit
Regardless of whether the ceremony takes place inside or outside a building, the first few rows of seating are reserved for family only. The immediate family sits in the front row and extended family members sit in the rows behind. The remaining seating is available for all other attendees.