A cremation service should be treated as seriously as a funeral. In fact, some people have the service with the body present before cremation, while others want the cremation to take place prior to the memorial service. A lot depends on what the family prefers in their time of mourning or on instructions that the deceased person left before they passed away. Whatever the case may be, here are four things you should never do at the service (and one that you should).
Never State That Death Is All Part of a Greater Plan
Grand generalizations may offend some people because it goes against their own beliefs or opinions. Sayings like this can upset others who simply cannot fathom how the loss of their loved one could be a part of a bigger plan or "for the best" in any way. When you make grand, sweeping statements that seek to justify the huge loss of a person's life, you may be simultaneously minimizing the grief that people feel. Keep such thoughts and opinions to yourself. There is a time and place where you may express them, but that is not at the cremation service.
Never Take Photographs or Video Footage
While this may seem like etiquette everyone should naturally observe, a lot of people make the faux pas of taking selfies at funerals and cremation services these days. No matter how increasingly common it may become, it is never okay. It can upset the family and cause extra stress on top of their obvious worries. It's not worth it. Your phone should be turned off before you even enter the building so you don't even face the temptation.
Never Ask How the Person Died
If you do not already know how the person passed away, do not try to figure that out at the cremation service. If you truly need to get answers about the death, do so before or after the service. Keep your curiosity under wraps at the cremation service itself.
Do Be Proactive
When you go to the cremation service, you are going to be among mourners who may be under the greatest stress they've felt before. The pain can sometimes be palpable. One of the things that you can do is take charge and offer specific ways of helping at the cremation service and beyond. Offer to help with plans for the service or offer people rides to or from the service. During the service, you may ask if the closest family members would prefer that you greet guests and help them to their seats.
Finally, keep in mind that there are no hard and fast rules about etiquette at cremation services. However, your behavior can make things easier or more difficult on your loved ones during what may be the toughest time of their lives. Keep these tips in mind when preparing to attend a cremation service.
If you have questions about what is and isn't generally appropriate, contact a professional such as Final Care Cremation Services and ask.