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What to Say in a Funeral

Arjun Kulkarni Sep 29, 2018
There is a faint trace of awkwardness associated with attending funerals. One needs to maintain a sense of calm and decorum at an event like this. If you are at a loss of words, this SocialMettle post has suggestions on what to say at a funeral.
A funeral is an event where your words, your conduct, and your etiquette has to be absolutely perfect. It can seem a bit unnerving to someone who has never been to one before, or is attending the funeral of a distant relative or acquaintance.
Keep in mind that people of different cultures and faiths have varied customs to be followed on such occasions. In case you are unaware about them, it is advisable to observe others and mold your conduct accordingly.

How to Conduct Yourself


► If this is the first funeral you're attending and do not know what to do, it is best to keep to yourself and avoid mingling. Remain quiet and subdued.

► If you need to say a few words to the grieving family, be sure to keep it short and simple. Allow them to steer the conversation.
► If you are asked to do a eulogy, do it, but again, keep it short and simple. Just say how much that person meant to you and how you'll miss him and get it over with.
►All the while, look sad. Any sign of humor or even a faint smile stands to be misinterpreted. If this is your first time attending a funeral, perhaps it is pertinent to stay away from the immediate relations of the deceased.


► Most people tend to feign emotions by overdoing it. It is irritating for the grieving family and for the others.

► Do not talk too much. The best thing to do is say what you have to and then move out of the picture.

► Do not hover around the immediate family of the deceased. The grief is theirs and they'll handle it just fine.
► Do not engage in a conversation, especially one related to business or relationships or anything related to illnesses which the deceased may have suffered from.

► Do not ask the family of the deceased about the cause of death.

What You Can Say

► I am extremely sorry for your loss.
► If you need anything, we're always here for you.
► (Name) was a wonderful person.
► Please accept my condolences.
► You and your family are in our thoughts.
► You have my deepest sympathy.
► He/She will be missed.
► Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
They say actions speak louder than words, so you could probably carry flowers with a condolence card instead of having to go ahead and actually say some words.
It can so happen that you'd still be unclear about it because you care about not hurting anyone's feelings. In that case, sometimes, instead of worrying what you need to say to a family which has lost someone they truly loved, perhaps it is best to keep your silence.