Funerals and Memorial pages
It is often difficult to find the right words when a friend or acquaintance has suffered a death in the family. One reason for this is that we do not have to deal with death in our everyday lives, and therefore we become tongue-tied or anxious when faced with it.
Expressing one’s support or sympathy in some way is the most important thing. Most people who suffer a death in the family think that the worst reaction is if no one says or does anything, acting as though nothing has happened. However, often, you do not have to say anything at all; a hug may be enough, or simply say that you cannot find any words, but you are sorry for their loss.
The dress codes for funerals can be difficult to understand, especially for those who have never been to a funeral before. Sometimes the dress code is stated in the obituary, but how should one dress when there is no dress code specified?
Traditionally, funerals in the UK required dark, formal clothing, such as a suit or skirt and jacket. This option is still always a safe bet, no matter what dress code is stated in the obituary.
However, as funerals have tended to become more celebrations of life, the dress code has changed to become more colourful and casual. You may be able to infer this from the wording used in the obituary or funeral announcement.
Sometimes “light attire” is mentioned. If this is the case, suitable colours are beige, light grey or light blue. Avoid strong colours unless expressly stated.
If you are unsure, you could ask the family or friends of the deceased, or speak to other people who are going to the funeral to see what they are going to wear.
A funeral can take place in many ways, but some things are shared between almost all funerals.
- Family members or close friends give a speech or read a word of remembrance over the dead.
- A prayer is read (at religious funerals).
- Hymns or other songs are sung.
- A soloist or band performs a particular song or piece of music.
- A wake is held after the service, usually at a different location, for family and friends to spend time together remembering the deceased.
If you want to know more about the funeral in a specific religious denomination, such as a Muslim funeral, you can use the search function on our website.