Funeral Etiquette Tips for Australians

How exactly does one behave at a funeral? Funerals in Australia have their own written and unwritten etiquette rules. Here are some of them:

Respect the Wishes of the Organizers

Not all funerals are conducted similarly. However, you must conduct yourself respectfully at all funerals you attend. The funeral process has changed in recent times. Some families may not adhere to certain commonplace or old funeral customs. Local funeral directors, like funeral directors Melbourne, offer multiple options inspired by modern customs rather than old ones. It’s their wish, and perhaps even the wish of the diseased to hold a funeral a certain way. Even if you don’t like how something is conducted, you must not voice your opinion at the funeral.

Wear Appropriate Clothes

In Australia, most funerals are held in the Western tradition so wearing black is common. Guests do not have to wear black per se, but guest must wear conservative clothing in muted or subdued colours. Don’t wear casual jeans and a tee you might wear to a barbeque. Don a semi-formal outfit that is not gaudy or ostentatious. Avoid bright colours like yellow, red and orange. If you are attending the funeral of someone who is from an Asian culture, and was not Christian, it’s more respectable to wear white.

Don’t Show Up Late

The funeral is not like a party. Don’t show up late unless you have a really good excuse, like getting in a car accident on the way. Arriving late is disrespectful to the family. Also, you might lost parking space by showing up late. If seats are limited, you might have to stand in the back. So, for everyone’s best interest, arrive on time.

Don’t Forget to Turn Your Phone Off

Do you really want to be the person who has the cell phone ring during service inside a quiet church? Probably not. So don’t forget to turn off your phone. Don’t let it be that you have to answer a call in the middle of a funeral. It’s extremely disrespectful and disruptive as well.

Show Condolences in a Message

It’s appropriate and even proper to send a deepest sympathies message before you attend the funeral. Sometimes it’s very difficult to know what to say face to face to grieving spouses, children or other family members. A pre-planned and well-written message is the best way to show your sympathy without accidentally telling the wrong thing in person.

Bring Flowers

It shows respect and kindness to bring a small gift, like flowers, to a funeral. You should contact the funeral home or a friend of the family to know if a certain gift you have in mind is appropriate and won’t offend the grieving family.

Be Respectful to Other Cultural and Religious Practises

Australia is a highly diverse nation, so you will most likely end up attending funerals of people of other religions and from cultures you are unfamiliar with. If this is the case, Google the culture or the religion to find out what the funeral practises will be like. You can ask friends as well. When you show up and don’t understand what’s going on, you can still remain quiet and respectful. Do not quiz attendees about what is this and that. The funeral is not the right time for that.

Follow the above tips and you will be fine at any funeral.