Resources | Ken Ordenstein Funerals



Funeral Etiquette

The accepted customs of dress and behavior in a funeral have changed over time, but courtesy never goes out of style. Here’s what we’d like you to know about funeral etiquette.

Making the Most of a Difficult Time

It’s important to know what religious, ethnic or personal considerations you need to take into account. And it’s also important to be respectful of the emotions of close family members.

Here are a few things expected of you:

Keep kupuna and family safe.

Before coming to the funeral asses yourself.  Do you have a fever? Do you have flu like symptoms or a persistent cough?  Have you traveled out of state or been in contact with someone infected with Covid19 in the last 14 days?  It's best if you stay home.   Use our website to send condolences, stories, memories even pictures.                                                              

At the funeral home be prepared to: Have your temperature taken before entering, fill out a contact tracing form with your name address and phone number, wear a face covering,  physically distance - keeping at least 6 feet from others, avoid congregating, and wash your hands frequently..

Offer an expression of sympathy.Sometimes 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. Saying nothing is fine too. Your caring presence speaks volumes. Feel free to tell a story; "I remember the time...." Share a memory and speak of time you first worked together or met. Your stories and memories will be treasured like a nuggets of gold.

Find out the dress code.Understated Aloha attire is always acceptable. These days almost anything goes, but dress to respect the person and the nature of the event. Sometimes the obituary has specified the dress code; “no black” or 'aloha attire" are common requests so let that be your guide. If you can, stay away from wearing shorts,  slippers, or athletic shoes.

Give a gift.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.  Click on send flowers above.  It's quick, convenient and you can send it the family's home or the place were services will be held.

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.

Mention the name of their loved one.Don't be afraid to use the name of their loved one in conversation.  You won't hurt them by it, you'll help them heal.  They will bless you for it.Keep in touch.For most people the grieving doesn't end with a funeral. Telling stories about their loved one, even the circumstances surrounding the death will help them heal. They need you to listen to their stories.

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.

We are Here to Help

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 (808) 254-6222.