While many people are nervous about attending a funeral, many more are anxious about the committal, or graveside service. This is because they may not know what the proper attire or etiquette is for such a service. As directors of funeral homes in Hallsville, TX. we understand and that’s why we are going to share what you need to know about committal service etiquette.
What is a Committal Service?
Committal services are held after the funeral or cremation and will take place at either the gravesite, or a crypt where the body will be laid to rest. These services tend to be much more brief than the funeral or memorial service. Typically the committal service officiant will recite prayers or readings, a eulogy will then be read, and finally, the body will be lowered into the ground or placed in the crypt.
What is the Proper Attire for a Committal Service?
Most likely you will be attending a committal service directly following the funeral. This means that you will be wearing the same outfit you did for the funeral. Funeral attire is a more dressy look that includes suits and ties for men and nice dresses or pant suits for women. One thing to consider is that since the committal service will be outside, you may want to take a nice jacket in colder weather, or wear lighter, breathable fabrics if the service is held in the middle of the summer.
Participating in a Graveside Service
Many times there may be opportunities where the guests may participate in the service. This may be by joining in and signing selected songs, reciting call-and response type prayers, or even taking part in shoveling dirt or placing a flower on top on the casket. If you feel comfortable, you are welcomed to join in anywhere it is permitted. If you do not feel comfortable (or simply do not know the words to a song or call-and-response prayer) it is okay not to participate.
Where to Sit
Knowing where to sit can being feelings of anxiousness as you want to make sure you sit someplace appropriate and not take a seat away from a family member or such. Normally, when you arrive to the location you may notice chairs arranged around the gravesite. Do not sit down right away as these chairs are reserved for family and others who may need to sit, such as the elderly. If there are chairs remaining once everyone has been seated, you may sit down. If no chairs remain, simply stand behind be the chairs.
Do You Have to Attend the Committal Service?
If you have attended the funeral and the family announces the details for the committal service and invites everyone to go, you should try your best to attend and show your love and support. However, if you simply cannot attend due to time or other commitments, or if they family wished to have a private or limited committal service, after the funeral you can offer your condolences and leave. As directors of funeral homes in Hallsville, TX., we understand the passing of your loved one can be an extremely difficult time. Please know that we are here to help you in anyway we can. So contact us today if you need help or would like to get more information about our pre-arrangement.