Some people are lucky and haven’t had to go to a funeral before. There are some general rules for behavior at funerals that, while not surprising, are important. There are variations in some practices by ethnicities, so living in a relatively ethnically diverse town like Middletown, NJ can cause some pause, but the general rules for a funeral are the same.
You don’t have to wear black. It’s assumed you do, what’s more important is to dress respectfully. If you don’t own a suit or a sports coat a white collared shirt will look more at place than a black tee shirt. Obviously avoid anything that looks too cheery or upbeat. It probably goes without saying but Hawaiian shirts are a “No”.
Be respectful; don’t expect to be the center of attention regardless of who you are. Even if you’re a child of the departed don’t be surprised if someone else is looked after more, it happens, it’s not about you. On the flip side if you’re there for someone try to give your respects to everyone.
Wakes are generally the most somber event. The funeral in Middletown itself may happen in a church or similar you can expect normal church rules to apply. If it’s a religion you don’t know the practices of follow along, but feel free to (quietly ask) someone next to you. For example if it’s a Catholic Mass communion might be given. If you’re not a Catholic it’s generally considered poor form to take communion. However if you go along with it and do something reserved for members of the faith most people will be understanding for your ignorance.
There may be a reception of sorts afterwards, depending on the family and ethnicity this may look a lot like a party. It is acceptable to tell jokes and enjoy yourself. Obviously don’t tell jokes at the departed’s expense, and if there’s a particularly upset family member be respectful. However it’s a good time to tell stories about who ever passed and reconnect with family members.
There really aren’t a lot of specific rules to a funeral attendance. The main thing is to be respectful at all times. For the people having just lost someone close to them it’s an awkward time and it’s also one that can bring some rough feelings to the surface. If you don’t know what to say, don’t worry no one ever does “I’m sorry for your loss” will do in any circumstance. Other than that just make sure you show up on time. Learn where the funeral home and the church are and if it’s outside of Middletown make sure you know the directions.
Funeral Middletown – If you’re not attending the funeral but planning one you have a larger set of concerns, let the people at John P. Condon Funeral homes in Middletown help you out. With five generations, they can help you arrange the funeral to suit your circumstances.