A funeral in Detroit is, as it is anywhere else, a place for decorum. A memorial service can celebrate the life of the deceased in the most joyful way imaginable, but when it comes to an actual funeral, a certain level of dignity is expected.
What does this mean? It’s not all that complicated, really. Attendees should sit quietly during the service. If the eulogist should happen to offer stories about the deceased that contain a certain amount of humor, it’s fine to laugh, but not raucously.
No one ever really wears black to a funeral anymore. If you’re attending a funeral, your everyday attire is probably fine, but remember that this is a serious occasion – in other words, belly shirts and jeans are probably not a good idea. If you’re a pallbearer, or otherwise taking an active role in the funeral, you will be held to a somewhat higher standard. A dark suit is a good choice. Also, make sure that your clothes are pressed and you’re well-groomed – essentially, look as you would for any other occasion of importance.
Being late is bad at any time. Being late for a funeral is practically unforgivable. If you absolutely have to be late through circumstances that were beyond your control, try to enter from a side aisle as opposed to going down the center. And if the processional has begun, wait outside.
When the coffin is brought in, the processional is led by the officiant. Then come the honorary pallbearers, two by two. The coffin is then brought in by the actual pallbearers, or by assistants from the Detroit funeral home. Then the family follows, unless they’ve chosen to be seated. Close friends are next, and the procession is complete. Family and pallbearers occupy the front rows, with friends occupying remaining seats according to choice. Once everyone is seated, the service begins.
A funeral service is always ended with a recessional, whether or not a processional took place. The officiant leads, followed by the honorary pallbearers, the coffin, and then the family members. Usually one or more of the deceased relatives remains at the back of the church or the Detroit funeral home in order to thank the attendees for coming.
When burial follows the service, anyone who has attended the funeral is welcome to attend the graveside service, unless it has been specified that it’s for family only. There is, however, no obligation to attend. There is no recessional at the end – attendees may leave when they choose.