Funeral etiquette

Would someone like to compile a step-by-step list of behaviour at a funeral from entering the funeral home/corpse house to departing from the burial plot and other such mannerisms that are required?

I have always found attending funerals a very socially awkward experience. I hope that this thread will provide us with the information and advice to be excellent funeral attendees.

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Great idea for a thread Mr Totti

  1. Remove any headwear upon entering the funeral home. (yes that includes you too Michael Healy Rae you pig ignorant cunt).

  2. Pause briefly and awknoweldge the corpse (assuming open coffin).

… Carry on…

Mr Totti are you talking about a dublin funerals or a rest of Ireland funeral

As for etiquette ‘‘I’m sorry for you trouble is usually fine’’

If a neighbour dies around here there isn’t a stroke done for 3 days

Mumbling something with a sorry in it is good etiquette I think.

Down the country it is customary to go to the funeral home But not in Dublin unless you are close family.

Should you introduce yourself to the members of the family that wouldn’t know you (e.g. I was a work colleague of xxx). Generally I don’t, opinion lads?

If you know nobody in the queue (I.e. You only knew the dead man ) then you could make it known to someone how you knew him, but if you know one of the mourners then I wouldn’t introduce myself to anyone else

There are a number of open questions to be considered.

Funeral Home… Before or after prayers do you walk past the coffin and sympathise with the mourners?
What do you say, especially to hysterical females you dont really know?
If you have sympathised in funeral home or at wake in home are you in the all clear for same at church ?
If offered a drink at wake, do you always have a half one even if its 10am? (yes is my approach)

If you have already sympathised at the funeral home I’d tend to leave it at that - but I’m no expert, hence the thread.

I would only ever smypathise the once.
I would err on the side of caution and have the drink. Was at the house the night a neighbour died recently (not the wake). The family don’t really drink so when they were filling up the whiskey it almost a full glass. Left the place in a hoop.

I’d agree with that analysis. If turning up at the church though I think it’s no harm to shake the hand of people you don’t know in the top row, but if there is a bit of a bottleneck I often go direct for the person I know and just shake their hand. Either is fine I think.

In later years I have learned to sit as close as is reasonable to the front at the removal so that you’re not queueing for hours to shake the hands

you can’t really not have the drink. If you get too much whiskey you can always pour it into a flower pot or of course the coffin - if open

Hey Fagan, never waste whiskey.

I don’t really say anything usually, nothing much more than a nod and a mumble. I find repeating "sorry for your troubles’ eight or nine times in a row makes it an even more awkward experience if anything. It’s not as if the family care or remember what you say anyway.

True. I like Fagans tactic of cutting to the chase and skipping random family members…

Tricks like this come with experience.

Eye contact and a solemn hard jaw with a reassuring hand shake are all part of a succesfull trip through the mortuary.

Wakes deserve a thread of their own… as does grave digging. As someone mentioned here already, if a a neighbour passes away you can write off that week more or less.

Experience is vital. But I think this thread will prove to be a great help to younger forumites.

If you or your recently deceased loved-one was a member of the INLA, always ensure to have a few pairs of spare cheap sunglasses handy as one of the colour party nearly always forgets theirs. It’s traditional for the colour sergeant to be given a bottle of whiskey as a thank you afterwards too.

At a funeral home I’d generally mumble something about “I worked with…” or “I’m a friend of…” to the other mourners if the queue is slow moving just to not seem ignorant. But certainly wouldn’t be introducing myself at the church anyway.

The double handed clasp handshake is a good one to express real sympathy when you get to a mourner you actually know.