Cremations in Altoona, PA are hard enough on their own, but once you add in the stress of knowing how to act they become downright difficult. From how to dress and where to sit to what to say and everything in between, its hard to know exactly what the proper etiquette is, especially when it comes to being respectful of the proceedings and family members.
Use this guide to help you be better prepared for how to act during a cremation or memorial service.
- Attire – No matter where the service takes place, a cremation is a serious event. Your attire should be serious as well. Unless otherwise noted or dictated by culture, keep your clothing conservative and in darker colors.
- Seating – The first two rows of seats are oftentimes reserved for the close friends and family, but other than that the seating plans are usually open. Try and remain seated throughout the service, unless dictated by the MC. This same basic rule applies to a graveside or scattering service, as the chairs right by the grave are typically reserved for family.
- Distractions – Turn off your phone. If you don’t want to turn if off completely, at least put it on silent or Do Not Disturb for the duration of the service. If you must take a call, do step outside as looking down at your phone or checking messages during the service is disrespectful. Along those same lines, people often do not bring children to the cremation for fear they will be a distraction or disruption. Use your best judgment with your child, but toddlers and babies should generally stay at home with a sitter.
- Religion – Memorial services and cremations can be religious, and this may make some people uncomfortable. If the ceremony has religious aspects that do not match your own or make you uncomfortable, simply remain silent and respectfully engaged. Remember, you are there to honor the deceased not make a religious statement.
- Communication – There might not be many chances for you to speak with the family of the deceased at the service, but if you do have an opportunity be sure to take it. All you need to do is express sympathy for their loss. If you knew the deceased well and feel it’s appropriate, you may say something more personal about the deceased. However, keep it short and simple as the family most likely has lots of other guests to attend to.
These are common rules that should guide your actions. However, they don’t always apply to every funeral. Use your best judgment, and always try and follow the family’s lead when it comes to etiquette. When in doubt, lean in towards the conservative side.
Cremation Specialist of Pennsylvania, Inc, located at 728 Main St Avoca, PA 18641, offers a wide range of Altoona, PA cremation services. Please give us a call at (844) 427-3672 to learn more about proper cremation etiquette, or for more information about what we do.