Greenbelt, MD cremations

Funeral Viewing and Service Protocol

Funeral viewings and funeral services are often a part of Greenbelt, MD cremations. It’s important to understand what the proper protocol is at both funeral viewings and funeral services, because these are long-established ways to honor the deceased person and to provide comfort and support to the family that has lost a loved one.  

For funeral viewings, you should not arrive at the funeral home before the announced starting time for the family to receive visitors. Often, the family will arrive earlier and spend some time with their deceased love one. This is very personal and can be very emotional, but it gives the family some time to compose themselves for the funeral viewing and the funeral service, and it should not be interrupted by visitors coming to the funeral home early.  

Funeral viewings are less formal than funeral services, but it’s still a somber occasion, so loud, boisterous behavior among the mourners is inappropriate and disrespectful. It doesn’t mean you can’t share a light moment with the family, but just joking and laughing loudly with other people who are there is not acceptable behavior.  

With a funeral viewing, the family will be up in front of the room with the casket nearby. Mourners line up to brief talk with the family – please make sure you say something to everyone – and offer their condolences. Even if you are very close to the entire family or to a particular family member, don’t spend too much time talking to them because they or the one person you’re close to will miss being able to talk with everybody in the line, and this can lead to hurt feelings if somebody feels they were slighted.  

Once you’ve gone through the line for the viewing, head to the back of the room and, if you’re staying for the funeral service, find a seat as far back as you can and as close to the end of a row as you are able. You can talk quietly with other mourners, but this is not the time or the place to catch up on all the news from someone you haven’t seen in a while or to discuss work with a colleague.  

Seating for the funeral service, except for the family, always starts at the back. Depending on how large the family is, there may be one of several rows reserved from them in the very front, usually on the right-hand side of the room, where the casket is. If the funeral service is closed-casket, the family will be taken to a private area while the funeral home staff close the casket, and then brought back in for the funeral service.  

Mourners should seat themselves in such a way so that no one has to walk over them to get an empty seat. Generally, the seats should fill in starting with the one furthest from the center aisle, which is where people enter the rows to sit down. This is just a simple courtesy.  

Refrain from talking during the funeral service. The funeral service is usually a solemn service, and talking is not only disruptive, but it is also disrespectful to the deceased and the family of the deceased.  

If you need more guidance on funeral viewings and services before Greenbelt, MD cremations, our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can help. You can visit with us at our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

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