Attending a Funeral? What to Expect

We often hear from mourners who are anxious about attending the service of a loved one. This anxiety can even prevent those who are grieving from attending services, especially if they’ve never been to a funeral before or it’s been many years. They worry that they won’t know what to do when they get there; that there won’t be anybody to sit next to if they don’t share friends with the deceased; or that there will be pressure to stay for the burial or the reception afterward.

Here’s everything that you need to know in order to feel comfortable and confident in attending the service after you’ve lost somebody important to you.


Arriving at least thirty minutes before services start will help you find parking and seating. Sometimes, there are more mourners than seats. In this case, funeral home staff will ensure there are accommodations for everyone who arrives, although some attendees may have to stand and some may have to listen to the service from outside or other remote areas.


It’s okay to attend without bringing anything; there will be no pressure to bring a card. If you do bring a card, there will be a designated place to leave it when you come in the door – usually a basket.


There is no dress code for mourners, and most families express that they would never want somebody who is grieving to skip the services because they don’t have anything to wear. While most mourners aim for subdued clothing – dark colors or earth tones – it’s okay to come as you are. Sometimes, families will have special requests (wear bright colors to celebrate, for example or the deceased’s favorite color), which are shared ahead of time.


At open-casket funerals, mourners have the opportunity to see the deceased and say final goodbyes. Some mourners choose to view the body while others choose not to you. It’s up to you.


In most cases, the burial and reception are open to those who would like to attend. There is no pressure; many people leave after the service, while those who are interested in staying do so.

To learn more, visit Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery today. We’re happy to help during this difficult time.

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