As a guest at a funeral
There are no generally valid guidelines for funerals as such. Each occasion is planned respecting the wishes and traditions of the relatives and the deceased. The circumstances also sometimes change during the event. You don’t have to think too much about whether or not you know how to behave properly. The occasion is often equally new to everyone and raises questions. What is important to the relatives is the content of the event and the fact that people have come and are participating.
Condolences, expressions of condolences and greetings should be left to the memorial service. In this way, relatives are given the opportunity to calm down during the blessing ceremony. Speeches will also be given at the memorial service.
In the chapel and church, the relatives of the deceased sit on the right side. Other friends, acquaintances, colleagues and spouse’s relatives sit on the left side. Space is reserved for close relatives in the front seats. There is no need to worry if you have sat on the wrong side. Sometimes it is better for the benches to be filled evenly from the front.
Flower arrangements can be lowered either in the chapel, church or at the grave. The relatives have agreed on the practice in advance with the clergy. If a printed booklet has been made for the occasion, the practice is usually announced there. The closest relatives lay their flowers first, then relatives, and after that colleagues, friends and other attendants. If people are not sure of their turn, it is good to be flexible here so that there is no unnecessary waiting.
Lowering the flowers
Those leaving the flowers hold a few seconds of silence next to the casket. After this, the farewell text is read out loud. The flower or flower arrangement is placed next to the casket on the stand or floor reserved for it. You silently nod and greet their relatives and leave. Those sitting on the left side leave their flowers on the left side and those sitting on the right side on the right side of the coffin. Here, too, it is good to take equality into account, so that the flowers come evenly on both sides of the coffin. No flowers are placed on the coffin. If the flowers are placed indoors, texts are no longer read on the grave, but the flowers are instead silently placed on the grave mound.
Leaving the church or chapel
The music finale is listened to while sitting still. The pallbearers move to the coffin when the final music ends, often the ward master or the priest asks the pallbearers to come to the casket. The pallbearers carry the coffin out and the next of kin are the first to join the procession. After that, the deceased’s relatives join the procession from the right, followed by those sitting on the left side of the aisle.