Funeral & Cemetery Etiquette

Let us guide you through the ins and outs of your  experience.

Funeral Etiquette

There’s more to it than what you wear. Certainly the accepted customs of dress and behavior in a
funeral have changed over time, but courtesy never goes out of style. Perhaps you’ve got special concerns about an upcoming funeral or memorial service? We’re here to provide the answers you’re looking for. Call us at (218) 727-6869

Making the most of a difficult time
Part of that compassionate attention to detail involves knowing what religious, ethnic or personal considerations you need to take into account. And the other part is being respectful of the emotions of close family members.
Here are a few things expected of you:
• Offer an expression of sympathy. Often we are at a loss for words when encountering something as final as death. Simply saying “I’m sorry for your loss” is usually enough. Be respectful and listen attentively when spoken to, and offer your own words of condolence.
Find out the dress code.                                                                                                                        Honestly, these days almost anything goes, but only when you know it’s the right thing. If you can’t learn the wishes of the family, then dress conservatively.
Give a gift.                                                                                                                                                       It It doesn’t matter if it is flowers, a donation to a charity or a commitment of service to the family at a later date; as always, “it’s the thought that counts”. Always make sure to provide the family with a signed card, so they know what gift was given, and by whom.
Sign the register book.                                                                                                                            Include not only your name, but your relationship to the deceased: co-worker, gym buddy, or casual acquaintance from the golf club. This helps family place who you are in future.
Keep in touch.                                                                                                                                               It’s sometimes awkward for you to do so, but for most people the grieving doesn’t end with a funeral.
But, what shouldn’t you do?
Don’t feel that you have to stay. If you make a visit during calling hours there’s no reason your stay has to be a lengthy one.
Don’t be afraid to laugh.
Remembering their loved one fondly can mean sharing a funny story or two. Just be mindful of the time and place; if others are sharing, then you may do so too. There is simply no good reason you shouldn’t talk about the deceased in a happy, positive tone.
Don’t feel you have to view                                                                                                                        the deceased if there is an open casket. Act according to what is comfortable to you.
Don’t allow your children to be a disturbance.                                                                                           If you feel they might be, then leave them with a sitter. But, if the deceased meant something to them, it’s a good idea to invite them to share in the experience.
Don’t leave your cell phone on.
Switch it off before entering the funeral home, or better yet, leave it in the car. All too often, we see people checking their cell phones for messages during the services.
Don’t neglect to step into the receiving line.                                                                                       Simply say how sorry you are for their loss, offer up your own name and how you knew the deceased.
Don’t be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake.                                                                    Everyone does, and you can be sure that an apology may be all that’s needed to mend and soothe. When it’s all over, always remember to continue to offer support and love to the bereaved. The next few months are a time when grieving friends and relatives could need you most. Let them know
that your support did not end with the funeral. Perhaps you’ve got special concerns about an upcoming funeral or memorial service? We’re here to provide the answers you’re looking for.

Of course you want to respect those grieving when you attend a funeral service. But, we understand that it’s sometimes confusing to figure out what this actually means. What do you say? What do you wear? Do you give the mourner a gift? How can you help them?

We want you to feel comfortable and relaxed when you’re at our cemetery. Here’s how you can feel at ease and help us respect these sacred grounds.

Visiting the Cemetery

Here are some of the Dos and Don’ts for visiting Sunrise Memorial Cemetery Funeral Home & Cremation cemetery.


  • Watch over children to ensure their safety.
  • Follow our cemetery guidelines.
  • Respect cemetery visiting hours.
  • Follow the marked roadways.
  • Be respectful by keeping quiet around visitors who wish to reflect.


  • Take photos of other visitors or funerals.
  • Litter.
  • Walk over fresh graves
  • Disturb flowers or plants on the grounds.

Showing Support

There are no right or wrong ways to show support. You are being a source of support by simply coming to the funeral service. However, another great way to show support to the family is through sharing memories and stories of their loved one. You can also offer gestures of support by purchasing flowers or small gifts, such as a card, food, books or personalized gifts that reflect memories of the deceased. To get some more tips, check out our section on grief support. To find beautiful gifts for a loved one, visit our store.

More Resources

Cemetery FAQs
Cemetery FAQs

Everything you need to know about funeral and cemeteries.

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Grief Support
Grief Support

How to truly support yourself and others at a time of grief.

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Cemetery Etiquette
Cemetery Etiquette

Let us guide you through the ins and outs of your cemetery experience.

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Local Resources
Local Resources

Local resources for all your support and planning needs.

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