Funeral Dress Etiquette

Funeral Dress Etiquette

Being aware of specific religious or cultural differences can be helpful when attending a funeral. Bookmark and Share


In Western, Christian society there was a time when funeral etiquette ruled that everyone wore black to a burial or memorial service.

Now it is no longer required that you wear all black.

Your dress should be appropriately conservative and respectful for the family and others in attendance.

Most men choose formal clothes like a suit, and would normally wear a black tie if they have one.

However, if the deceased is a family member and the rest of the family have made the decision to wear black, perhaps you would consider falling in with them as this is not the appropriate time to make a stand about what is proper funeral dress etiquette.

Funeral dress can vary even between the various branches of Christian customs, it is best to go with the funeral etiquette requirements laid down by the bereaved family's belief system.

If you are not of the same belief as the bereaved family - make enquiries and make sure you are appropriately dressed so as not to offend anyone.

Some Christian churches require one to cover their head, if you cannot find a person to ask if it is a requirement, just take a scarf with you in case it is needed.

This is a requirement in the Greek Orthodox Church and in some Catholic Churches.


Depending on the religious sect, head coverings may be required as part of the funeral dress code.

The Funeral Service takes place at the Synagogue where prayers, eulogies and sermons will be conducted.

For Orthodox services both sexes are required to cover their heads, yarmulkes for men and scarves for women.

For Conservative services, only men are required to wear yarmulkes.

And for Reformed services, the choice is optional.

Most Synagogues will provide the head coverings if required.

Black and dark coloured conservative clothing is the most respectful attire.


The funeral service takes place in a Mosque where shoes are required to be removed.

Women and men sit separately in designated seats.

Women are obligated to wear a headscarf.


Wearing black or dark colours is not required.

But it is appropriate to wear conservative clothing.

However, the colour red is frowned upon at funerals.

If the funeral service takes place in the Temple, it is required to remove your footwear.

Make sure this is an easy task and if you are wearing socks that they are presentable..

The funeral dress of the family is usually white because it is the colour for grieving.

The family will sit at the front of the room and accept condolences from those in attendance.

Those attending the funeral service are required to pay their condolences to the deceased and the family prior to the service at the funeral home.

During the funeral service a family member will initiate the service by offering a eulogy and present a life history about the deceased.

Chanting sacred words will then take place.

First a direct family member will ignite the incense and make a ritualistic offering.

Hindu Funeral Dress

It is the funeral custom for family members to wear white.

Those attending the funeral should wear dark conservative clothing.

Although sending flowers is not traditional, it is acceptable.

You may also be interested in...

Funeral & Religious Customs

Funeral Service Etiquette

Funerals & Children

Funeral Etiquette

Funeral Flowers


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