Funeral Etiquette

This section is intended as an overview of funeral etiquette which is generally observed throughout the UK. Please contact us if you have any specific questions that are not answered here.

Can the deceased be visited ahead of the funeral?

Visits to the Chapel of Rest at our funeral homes are generally only permitted for immediate family members or close friends. Anyone wishing to visit the deceased before the funeral can do so only with prior permission from the immediate family member(s) who are organising the funeral and a visit is always subject to an appointment being made with us.

Do I need to inform the organiser of the funeral that I plan to attend?

It is usually not required to inform the organiser of your intention to attend a funeral, unless you have been specifically asked to do so when invited. Occasionally it may be required in order for the organiser to determine the catering required for the wake.

Who attends the funeral?

Unless otherwise specified, funeral services are generally open to friends and colleagues, and anyone wishing to attend may do so. However, if a funeral is declared to be a private event by the family then their wishes must be respected.

Who travels within the funeral car?

It is usually only the immediate family members who travel within the funeral car following the funeral cortege.

Must I wear black?

Black has long been the traditional form of attire for funerals however in more recent times it is increasingly acceptable for attendees to deviate from this. If in doubt, please check with the funeral organiser in advance.

What are the seating arrangements within the Church?

It is generally accepted that priority seats, at the front of the service, are to be reserved for immediate family members. Those with small children usually choose to sit nearer the back so that they can avoid disrupting the service should the child become restless.

What happens after the service?

After the coffin has been carried out following the funeral service it is transported to the crematorium or place where it is to be buried. If welcome to attend, the congregation make their way to the place where the cremation or burial is to take place. After this there is often a more informal drinks reception or wake hosted by the family of the deceased.

Is everyone welcome to attend the cremation/burial after the service?

This will depend upon the individual circumstances. We advise that you check with the family or person organising the funeral in advance.