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Tips on Etiquette

We've compiled a guide on how you can respectfully offer your condolences at a funeral or cemetery. For additional questions, please reach out to our staff.

 


 

Funeral Etiquette

What to Say and What Not to Say

What to Say and What Not to Say

A simple “I’m sorry for your loss” is appropriate when offering your condolences. Say what feels right in the moment. Avoid phrases such as “they are in a better place” or “this is God’s plan” because they may not hold these views.

What to Wear

What to Wear

Learn what the dress code is beforehand. Now that funerals are more personalized, not everyone will want their guests to wear black. If there is no dress code, assume that you should dress conservatively, without bringing attention to yourself.

Religious and Ethnic Customs

Religious and Ethnic Customs

If the family has religious or ethnic customs different than your own, it is helpful to find out any special considerations before the service. You can ask us for advice and additional resources if you are unsure.

Paying Your Respects

Paying Your Respects

When there is an open-casket, guests are expected to visit the casket and pause for a moment of silence. You will know if the family will show you to the casket or if you are to approach it on your own. If you are uncomfortable viewing the deceased, you do not need to view them.

Giving Flowers and Gifts

Giving Flowers and Gifts

Typically, guests will send flowers, donate money, or give a memorial gift to the family of the deceased. Sometimes the family will make special requests depending on their situation.

Signing the Register Book

Signing the Register Book

Use your full name when signing the register book. You can also add your relation to the deceased.

Avoid Cellphone Disruptions

Avoid Cellphone Disruptions

To avoid any disruptions, silence or turn off your phone before entering the funeral home.



Cemetery Etiquette

Follow the Cemetery’s Rules

Follow the Cemetery’s Rules

Follow any of the rules posted on the signs around the cemetery. This includes cemetery hours and flower restrictions. They are written to help all guests have a peaceful experience visiting their loved one.

Be Respectful of Other Mourners

Be Respectful of Other Mourners

Give everyone their space and privacy, especially if a funeral is happening.

Respect the Graves and Monuments

Respect the Graves and Monuments

It is disrespectful to touch the headstones and monuments, as this can damage them. Never remove any of the items placed by the gravestone that could be left by a family.

Lower Your Voice

Lower Your Voice

Many mourners want quietness when they are visiting grave. Speak softly and quietly and have your phone silenced or off.

Keep the Cemetery Clean

Keep the Cemetery Clean

Never litter or leave behind your trash. Either find a garbage can or bring it with you.

Look After Your Children

Look After Your Children

Keep your eye on your children when at a cemetery. Do not allow them to be loud or run around.



Thank You Cards & Acknowledgment

Thank you cards are appropriate to mail one to two weeks after the service to the following, (if applicable):

  • Those contributing to memorial organizations or churches
  • Those who sent flowers or Mass cards
  • Pallbearers
  • Friends and neighbors who helped in special ways
  • Those who brought food
  • Those who sent cards (optional)
  • Church group or church which assisted with food or in other ways helped
  • You may want to send a note of appreciation to the clergy and those who participate in the service (music, readings, etc.).


Additional Notes:

  • It is not necessary to send acknowledgment to people who sign the register book.
  • Customary ways to sign thank-you cards are: The Family of (deceased’s name), (Deceased names)’s Family, or your name.

Scarpelli Funeral Homes, P.A.
108 Virginia Ave., Cumberland, MD
15205 McMullen Hwy, Cresaptown, MD
Phone: (301) 724-4600


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