cremation services offered in Beltsville, MD

What Happens with Your Debt after You Die

After cremations as part of the cremation services offered in Beltsville, MD, families of the deceased have to wrap up the affairs of their loved ones. One of those may be debts that are owed to creditors.

If you die with life insurance or valuable assets, then your family will be in a good financial position and will be able to take care of all your affairs. However, any debt that you have accrued doesn’t die with you. If the debts you have are substantial, then they could wipe out any financial security that you left behind to take care of your family.

If you don’t have life insurance or any valuable assets that could be sold, then your family may be responsible for paying off any debt that you leave behind. This could be a real quagmire for them and affect their financial outlook for years to come.

Almost 73% of adults have outstanding debts that need to be paid when they die. The average debt that includes a mortgage is $61,554, while non-mortgage debt averages out to be about $12,875.

The question become whether your loved ones inherit your debt when you die. In many cases, surviving relatives do not individually become responsible for paying off your debts. However, your estate, which includes life insurance, property, and financial assets, is responsible for settling all the debt that you owe. If the debt is secured, such as that with a car loan or a mortgage, then the car or home can be sold and the proceeds used to pay off the loans. The only other option for the estate is to allow the financial lender to foreclose on or repossess the property.

In the case where a family wants to keep the family home that everybody grew up in, the person in the family who gets the house will have to finance a new loan in their name, making them liable for the debt that they are incurring.

If debt is unsecured, such as credit cards or an unsecured personal loan, then the estate is responsible for paying those off with any money that the estate has before anyone is named as a beneficiary receives their inheritance. If the estate does not have enough money to pay off unsecured debt, then the estate is declared to be insolvent and the executor will have to go through the legal system – probate – for determination to be made as to which debts should be paid.

Any other debts than these are the sole responsibility of the deceased, so they get discharged (meaning they don’t have to be paid).

If the debt left behind has a cosigner who is still living, then the debt will be the cosigner’s responsibility to pay. On some cosigned loan agreements, the lender requires that the debt is paid in full immediately after the borrower dies. This can present a real challenge for cosigners, especially if they are not beneficiaries of the estate and don’t have the money on their own to pay the debt off.

For joint loans, such as a married couple taking out a mortgage together for a house, the borrower who is still alive is responsible for the remaining debt.

If you want more information about cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can drop by our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

funeral homes in Beltsville, MD

Who Will Take Care of the Dead?

After funerals at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD, the deceased are taken to their final resting places, which could be at cemeteries in small, rural communities, where the population is decreasing because younger people move away in search of more opportunity and the elderly people who stay began to die.

When the population of one of these communities declines, the question of who will maintain the cemeteries in the community becomes an issue. Combined with weather challenges, climate change, economic hardships, and the oddities of human behavior, the problem of who will maintain these rural cemeteries becomes even more complex.

Family and church cemeteries are usually maintained through contributions of members or others who have relatives buried there. These are the most likely cemeteries to fall into disrepair when people move and people die. There’s no more money to maintain the cemeteries.

The people who maintain cemeteries are called caretakers. Some live near the cemetery they maintain, while others have a residence on-site. In rural communities, if the caretaker of record dies then no one knows who’s responsible for maintaining the cemeteries. Many times, no one takes over the responsibility and the cemetery gets overgrown and essentially disappears.

For example, in Nebraska, if no one in the community informs the legal authorities that the cemetery has been neglected or is abandoned then local governments don’t have too many options to make sure that the cemetery is maintained. A lot of people don’t know that they can report neglected or abandoned cemeteries to local authorities and some people think it’s disrespectful to the dead to complain about the state of the cemetery. Occasionally, another member of the community will take over upkeep of the cemetery without telling anyone (so that there can be someone to take over after them), but they may move or die leaving it to be neglected and abandoned again.

Rural cemeteries in New York state have their fair share that are need of maintenance, but they also have many that are very well cared for and provide beautiful green spaces for the neighbors around them. Some people love the relative quiet of living near cemeteries, while other people can’t abide the thought of living in near proximately to resting places for the dead.

Research from realtor.com shows that, in rural areas, homes in zip codes with cemeteries have an approximately 12% lower median price than homes that are in zip codes without cemeteries. However, this decrease in property values is a great concern for rural homeowners. This is because community services, such as education funding, are tied to the value of property, and when a tax-exempt cemetery is neglected or abandoned, then the overall value of all the properties around it decreases, making less funding available for the communities.

Many other rural cemeteries in other states face more challenges. Some cemeteries are maintained by an association, but the associations are seeing donations drop because of weather disasters and poor economic conditions, so the associations are either abandoning the cemeteries or asking relatives of the deceased who are buried there to volunteer to maintain the cemeteries. Some rural cemeteries get neglected or abandoned when property owners give access rights away to businesses or to the state. Once access to the cemetery is cut off, the cemeteries fall into disrepair.

If you want to know more about cemetery upkeep at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.

cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD

What Funeral Directors Do

Funeral directors arrange all cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD. We often don’t think about all the things that funeral directors do when we’re dealing with the death of a loved one, but the services they provide make the whole funeral process so much easier to bear and deal with.

Our lives start to intersect with funeral directors after a loved one dies because one of their responsibilities to provide transportation for people who have died from the place where they died to the funeral home. In the very early history of funeral homes, transportation was done using ambulances or hearses. This let neighbors all around that someone had died. Now, with more attention to discretion and privacy, transportation is provided primarily using unmarked minivans. However, hearses are still used when the casket is being transported from the funeral home to the cemetery.

Funeral directors also set up a meeting with the deceased’s family to make funeral arrangements. Most of the time, this meeting happens within a day or two after the death of a loved one.

At the meeting to make funeral arrangements, funeral directors a lot of questions about what the deceased and/or the family wants for the funeral. They make sure that every need of the family is met during the funeral process. If the deceased is being cremated, the funeral director will find out if the family would like to have a funeral service before cremation or a memorial service after cremation.

If the family wants a funeral service before cremation, the funeral director will help them plan every detail of the funeral service.

Most of the time, families have someone in mind already that they want to oversee the funeral service. This may be a clergy member, a close friend, or even another family member (anyone can oversee a funeral service).

However, if the family does not have anyone, the funeral director will oversee it. The funeral director guides the family through the order of the funeral service, including any readings, eulogies, and music they choose. The funeral director will then make sure that the service happens exactly as the family wants.

If the family wants the funeral service livestreamed or digitally recorded, the funeral director will provide these services as well.

If the deceased is cremated, the funeral director oversees the cremation process. They’ll make sure the deceased is accurately identified and tagged before cremation begins.

If the deceased is being buried, the funeral director will make all the burial arrangements with the cemetery, and will make sure that the grave is opened before burial and closed after burial. In addition, they will make sure gravestones or grave markers are ordered and placed in the cemetery after burial.

There is a ton of paperwork associated with funerals. Funeral directors handle all of it, including getting certified death certificates, getting burial and cremation permits, writing obituaries, if the deceased or the deceased’s family doesn’t have one written, and getting them published either online or in newspapers.

Funeral directors also supervise the embalming of the deceased. This procedure includes ensuring that the deceased looks as much as possible like they did when they were alive, ensuring that the body is cleaned and dressed in the clothing provided by the family and ensuring that hair styling and manicuring is done.

If you want more information about cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can drop by our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD

What is an Ethical Will?

Before funerals at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD, more and more people are choosing to leave ethical wills to their surviving family members. As people start to contemplate their own mortality, they also start thinking about what they want to leave behind for their families, including their children and grandchildren.

Perhaps they get their medical, financial, legal, and digital affairs squared away so that there are no ambiguities and everything runs as smoothly as it possibly can when someone is facing the end of life, and then dies. That is a tremendous gift to leave family members, because it takes care of the practical parts of the end of life and dying..

However, there are other things that are very important to pass on to future generations. One of these is our moral code – the principles we believe in and practice, to the best of our ability, in our lives.

All the stuff we leave behind will eventually be gone, either because it breaks, it gets old, or it gets depleted. Things are finite and always come to an end. But our moral code, also known as our ethical legacy, is an intangible gift that we can give to our families that is unbreakable, timeless, and is in abundant supply. It may be the most valuable thing that we leave to our families after we die.

We all know of people who lived by an ethical code, but who failed to pass it on to their families, so it died with them. We also see the results of not having an ethical will in successive generations, as scandals, disasters, and even total ruin because they didn’t have an ethical legacy that they were accountable to and responsible for continuing and passing on to future generations.

These examples are a good reason to think about writing an ethical will. While this isn’t a legal document, it how you’ve tried to live and how you would like your family to live after you die. It’s your personal code, which involves relationships and ethics. If you’d liked to see a good example of an ethical will, consider reading the book of Proverbs in the Bible.

So what’s in an ethical will? The framework involves a mission statement that explains the code we’ve tried to follow in living our lives. Included within that are the lessons we’ve learned from our relationships, our experiences, our successes, and our failures. Life is full of lessons. Those can provide us with a perspective on our lives, while they can give guidance to our families that we leave behind when we die.

An ethical will should state what we deem to be the most valuable and important in life. It states what we stand for and what we will not turn from nor compromise on. These are our core values, which we want continued to be followed after our deaths.

Although the term ethical will is new, people have been doing this for a very long time. It may have taken the form of a letter written just before someone died or it may have been a series of conversations in the months, weeks, or days before dying. While not everyone has always done it, many people saw this as the last gift to their families and they made it happen.

If you’d like to know more about ethical wills at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.

cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD

What Happens During Cremations?

Cremations are among the cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD, but many people don’t exactly know what happens during cremations. A good overview of the cremation process will highlight the steps involved.

With cremations becoming an increasingly popular choice among Americans to dispose of remains instead of the traditional underground burial, it’s important first to understand why. There are many reasons. One interesting historical event, the Great Recession of 2008, is a big contributor to the rapid rise of cremations instead of underground burial. Additionally, cremations have a much smaller impact on the environment and they take up less space than a traditional gravesite.

The practice of cremating the dead has been around almost as long as humans have existed on earth. In the ancient Greek and Roman cultures, cremations were held as events that honored brave, famous, or heroic people. Armies who were fighting in foreign lands cremated their fallen soldiers, then took the cremation remains (cremains) back home to bury in their native lands.

Until Christianity was adopted under Constantine as the official Roman religion, the majority of people were cremated when they died. However, because Constantine wanted to distinguish Christianity from pagan practices, many of which worshipped their gods by burning people alive, the practice of cremation was replaced by underground burial.

That tradition remained intact in the Western world until religions essentially lifted the taboo on cremations, giving people the choice of the type of final disposition they wanted.

There are some interesting things about cremations that many people don’t know.

Cremation containers don’t actually contain ashes. The remains of cremations – all that’s left after the cremation process – are bones. These are pulverized to the consistency of sand and returned to the family.

Only one body is cremated at a time in a cremation unit. Cremation units, which perform the cremation process, can hold only a single casket or container at a time.

Crematories are responsible for making sure the family gets the correct cremains. All crematories follow a standard procedure to make sure this happens. Each body is tagged with a flame-retardant tag as soon as it gets to the crematory. The family is required to identify the remains before cremation. The tag remains with the body throughout the cremation process and is attached to the container with the cremains that is given to the family.

Cremations generally take between two and three hours because of the intense heat sources applied that allows a body to burn that quickly.

Cremations are hot, with temperatures of 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. The process and heat application makes sure all organic compounds in the remains are burned up.

Cremains of an adult can weigh between six and eight pounds, which is approximately the same weight as a small bowling ball.

Funeral services can be held for someone who is being cremated. Funeral homes routinely arrange funeral services for people who are being cremated. The funeral service can be held with or without the body of the deceased present.

Cremains can be buried in cemeteries. About 10% of cremains are buried underground in gravesites. Many cemeteries are now creating urn gardens, a landscaped section of land specifically designed for the burial of urns.

Cremains can be buried in back yards. However, just because it’s legal, you should check to see if there are any local ordinances governing the burial of cremains.

If you want more information about cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can drop by our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD

How to Give a Memorable Eulogy

At funerals in funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD, close friends and family members are often chosen to deliver eulogies for a deceased loved one. Eulogies are very special tributes that highlight the deceased’s life and offer insights into their character, temperament, and what made them so special.

Most people can get a little nervous when they’re asked to give a eulogy because they don’t write or speak for a living. Additionally, because they’re grieving too, it can be hard to hold it together emotionally when talking about a loved one who has died, even when the stories and memories are positive. The other thing that can make people anxious about giving eulogies is that they don’t want to disappoint or embarrass the bereaved family.

The most important thing to remember about a eulogy is that it is less about delivery than it is about being heartfelt in remembering the person who has died. It’s telling the story of someone’s life in a very personal way. The eulogy should highlight how the deceased made in a difference in the world while they were here. It should showcase their milestones, their accomplishments, and their relationships, among which yours was a close one.

There are several things that should be included in a eulogy.

The first thing should summarize the milestones in the deceased’s life, including their birth, education, career, and important relationships, including marriage, children, and your own.

A eulogy should also detail the positive attributes of the deceased. You can give insights into what the deceased was like as a person (for example, gentle, humorous, thoughtful, kind, honest, and gracious, and so on).

Most of all, a eulogy should provide good memories of the deceased. These are for the family and will give them a lot of comfort, as well as laughter and happiness, to ease the grief of their loss.

Eulogies often highlight something that the deceased was known for. If the deceased loved literature or history, for example, a memorable eulogy will show how those were integrated into the deceased’s life. Eulogies are not meant to cover every detail of a person’s life.

Don’t try to give the eulogy from memory. Write it out. Start with a draft, give yourself some time, then go back and edit it. Have another person to read it and give you feedback on what changes they would suggest. Let someone read it out loud. This is an easy way to hear what needs to be edited or clarified.

Once you’ve finished writing the eulogy, let someone edit it for grammar, spelling, and punctuation. This can prevent you stumbling in giving the eulogy because of typos, run-on sentences, or incomplete sentences.

Practice giving the eulogy, remembering to speak clearly and in a slow, measured rhythm. Eulogies are generally about 10-15 minutes, so practicing giving it will help you stay within that timeframe. Practicing giving the eulogy can also ease the anxiety of public speaking. The best ways to practice giving a eulogy are in front of a mirror or in front of your family or friends.

Now you’re ready to deliver a thoughtful and memorable eulogy to the deceased that will honor them and give comfort to their family.

If you’d like to know more about giving eulogies at funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.

cremation services offered in Beltsville, MD

A Look at Current Funeral Trends

Among the cremation services offered in Beltsville, MD are some of the newest trends in funerals. The funeral industry, as a whole, is undergoing epic changes.

People are dying as they always have, but they are taking more control over how their lives end. More people, facing certain death with terminal illnesses such as cancer or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are choosing to die at home. They are bringing in palliative and hospice care at the appropriate times, but they do not want to die in a facility or in the hospital.

Although the essential elements of grief over the death of a loved one will never change, the way some people are translating or processing that grief is changing. There are new ways and avenues available to remember a loved one.

One of the current funeral trends is cremation jewelry and cremation art. Although cremation jewelry has been around for centuries, it has really become popular as a way to have a loved one close by at all times. A small portion of the cremation remains are placed into a locket, which can be worn on a necklace, a ring, a broach or any other type of jewelry. The jewelry can then be worn at all times so that the deceased loved one is always with the family members.

Additionally, cremation remains are also becoming a popular art medium. One of the current trends is for tattoo artists to mix some of the cremains with the inks that they are going to use for a tattoo. The tattoo may be one that memorializes a loved one or it may just be a tattoo that reminds the person who’s getting it of their deceased loved one. Another current trend is to use cremation remains with paint and create a painting, either a picture of a loved one or picture of something else, using the paint mixture.

Both of these trends show a desire on the part of the family members who were left to have their loved ones with them in a more personal way than just sticking an urn upon the mantle in the living room.

Another current funeral trend is that as cemeteries run out of space horizontally, they are contemplating going vertical. Much like the concept of columbariums, some cemeteries are considering building structures up to hold caskets. One such structure has already been built in the crowded city of Singapore. Named Nirvana, the structure contains red carpeted VIP rooms, and curved walls painted in comforting colored swirls. It has 40,000 niches that can hold caskets. The bottom floor has a café for visitors to frequent before or after they visit their deceased loved one.

Two other funeral trends that are currently gaining traction are green burials and pod burials. Green burials feature the deceased being buried in a container that is completely biodegradable. Some cemeteries are starting to add green burial spaces to their cemeteries.

Pod burials are a type of green burial. The pods are organic and biodegradable, which allows the body to naturally decompose, releasing the nutrients that nourish new life like plants and trees.

Another current funeral trend is toward expanding available products for pet cremations. With the explosion of pet care products, veterinary services, and pet care apps, it’s clear that we Americans love our pets. They become like family members, and losing one or having to put one to sleep can break our hearts. However, whether we choose to bury them or have them cremated, there are many products out in the marketplace that allow us to do it in style.

If you want more information about cremation services offered in Beltsville, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can drop by our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

funeral homes in Beltsville, MD

How Funeral Traditions Link Us to Our Past

With funeral traditions at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD, there are links to our past and there is a familiarity that is warm and supportive, which is exactly what a bereaved family and the mourners who join them when a loved one dies needs.

While some people are eschewing funeral traditions and substituting them with alternative rites, the reality is that funeral traditions fulfill the emotional needs of both the family that is grieving and the mourners who are grieving with them. This is an important step in both the grieving process and in moving forward without somebody that you love.

The ceremony, whether it’s a funeral service or a memorial service, to honor a deceased loved one is composed of familiar words, symbols, music, and actions. It is predictable. In fact, it’s the only thing that’s predictable after someone dies. It helps us to know what to do when we don’t know what to do.

In the 1800s, English Prime Minister William Gladstone said, “Show me the manner in which the nation cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the tender mercies of its people, the respect for the laws of the land, and their loyalty to high ideals.”

Funeral rituals care not only for the dead, but also the living. They have a rich tradition that goes centuries back and generations back, and they are the thread that connects us to those who’ve gone before us.

Some people say they don’t want a funeral or a memorial service. The reality is that the funeral service or the memorial service is less about the person who has died and more about the people they leave behind. It is an essential part of helping a bereaved family to accept the loss of the loved one and take the first step forward toward a life that won’t have that person as a part of it.

Without a funeral service, there is no closure. Funeral rituals, which include communal support, consolation, comfort, and encouragement, give a grieving family the closure they need to emotionally move forward. When those funeral rituals aren’t done, the family of the person who has died, as well as their friends and associates, is left with unfinished emotional business.

This can take years to sort out and to make peace with. This can place a heavy burden on everyone because the funeral rituals were skipped or were replaced with a substitute that did not take care of nor address the emotional needs that a grieving family has.

One of these emotional needs is to be able to say goodbye to a loved one. This practice is embedded in the funeral ritual of visitations. The family gets to spend time alone with their loved one before other mourners come through to pay their respects and to offer consolation. This time gives the family an opportunity to say goodbye. There may be tears. There may be small mementos that are placed in the casket. There may be speeches from the heart, not said were not able to be said when the loved one was alive, but said now as part of the goodbyes.

If you’d like to know more about funeral traditions at funeral homes in Beltsville, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.

cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD

The Fall and Rise of Cremations

Cremation is one of cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD. in the ancient world, except for Egypt (where the deceased were embalmed and entombed), China (where the dead were buried in the ground), and Judea (where the deceased were buried in sepulchers), cremation was extensively used for funerals.

The primary reasons that cremation were used included making sure that the body wasn’t desecrated by animals or other humans – ground burial consisted of digging a shallow hole, putting the body directly in the hole, and covering it with dirt – and to prevent the spread of highly-infectious diseases like bubonic plague. In times of war, cremation enabled armies to take their fallen soldiers home for proper funeral rites.

The Roman Empire used cremation exclusively until the end of the fourth century. As Christianity was adopted by the Empire, earth burials became more common. This was, in part, because cremations were associated with pagan rituals. It was also because of the belief that the body could not be resurrected if it was cremated, as if God somehow, despite creating the entire universe from nothing, didn’t have power to resurrect someone who’d been cremated.

Cremation came back onto the scene in the middle 1800s. This was because physicians realized that diseases could be spread by bodies just buried in the ground, while cremation ensured that any potential spreading of diseases was eliminated.

In England, Queen Victoria’s surgeon, Sir Henry Thompson, endorsed cremation as a sanitary means of disposing the bodies of people who had died. With acceptance in the highest levels of English society, the Cremation Society of England was formed in 1874. The first crematorium in England was finished in 1879. However, it was not used until 1885, when the English courts finally made cremation legal. Despite the fact that cremation was now legal in Great Britain, only three cremations were done in 1885.

In America, the first crematorium was also built in the middle of the 19th century. Americans were skeptical about cremation, considering it a radical idea. Like England, cremation came to America because of the fear of desecration of bodies and of the spread of highly contagious diseases. Even in the middle 1800s, many bodies were buried without caskets, so the concerns about desecration and the spread of disease were valid.

Advocates of cremation in America also saw the practice as a solution to burgeoning cities running out of cemetery space. Cemeteries in America were originally located miles from populated areas. This was in an effort to contain the spread of diseases and to keep water sources pure from decomposing bodies.

As the country grew, bigger cities spread outward until cemeteries were right across the street or next door to business and residential structures. Cremation advocates suggested that making cemeteries smaller and putting more distance between the living and the dead could free up prime real estate for more growth and keep the public health safe.

It wasn’t until the early 20th century, though, that cremations were done more regularly in the United States. Still most Americans chose ground burial over cremation. Even though cremations were done more often, they still had a stigma attached to them. Additionally, because most cremations were direct, without any kind of service to honor the dead and to comfort the family, the grieving family and other mourners didn’t get to participate in traditional funeral rituals.

If you want more information about the cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can drop by our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD

Funeral Faux Pas to Avoid

Faux paus happen at funerals at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD more often than you might think. It’s not that people are intentionally committing them. Instead, they simply don’t understand what is acceptable and unacceptable at funerals.

There are unspoken rules about conduct and dress at funerals. These are in place as a way to show respect to the deceased and to the grieving family. Though you probably won’t be called out for making one of these unintentional errors, it can be embarrassing, seemingly disrespectful, and hurtful to the bereaved family.

One thing that’s considered a faux pas when attending a funeral is to take pictures of the grieving family or their loved one who has died. With the advent of social media, taking pictures at any event is almost second nature.

However, a funeral is the one place where no pictures should be taken. This can be challenging, because funerals often bring together family members who are seldom in one place at the same time. If you choose to take photos, they should be somewhere other than the location of the funeral service. Preferably, family members should arrange to meet somewhere else if everyone wants family pictures taken.

Under no circumstances should you take pictures of the deceased. Although many funerals are recorded or live streamed with an open casket during the funeral service, it is still considered disrespectful to take pictures of someone who is died.

Using a cell phone during the funeral service is another faux pas. While we’re attached to our smartphones seemingly all the time, we should put them aside out of respect for the deceased and the bereaved family while we’re at a funeral service. There is no phone call, text message, or social media post that can’t wait for about an hour.

The optimal thing to do is to leave your cell phone in the car. That way you won’t be tempted to answer a call, answer a text, or post messages on social media. However, because cell phones have become a necessary accessory, if you do bring it into the funeral home, you should put it on vibrate so that it doesn’t ring or ding during the service.

A third faux pas at funerals is wearing bright or sexy clothing. Black is the traditional color that is worn at funerals. If you don’t have anything black, then gray, navy, or dark brown clothing is acceptable.

A funeral is a somber occasion, and wearing bright clothing suggests that the funeral is a casual event to you and that you don’t have respect for the mourning that the family of the deceased is experiencing. Additionally, bright clothing takes the focus off the family and puts it on you, which is also considered disrespectful.

Clothing should be modest because you do not want to draw attention away from the grieving family to yourself. Sleeveless dresses or blouses should be covered by a sweater or jacket. Clothing should not be form-fitting, nor should it be suggestive. Ladies should wear flat shoes without open toes.

However, if you’re attending a funeral where the deceased has a different cultural tradition than that in most American funerals, you should talk with the family member to find out what is appropriate to wear.

If you’d like to know more about funeral etiquette at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.