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Adams & Swanson Funeral Home


Facts To Know When Picking Dress For Funeral Mass

Catholic rites for the dead are quite formal and filled with ritualistic prayers and recitations. For those who are not part of this religion, there may be some confusion as to how they should behave when attending these services. There are some general guidelines about how one should dress when going to a funeral mass.

As the second of three services performed for deceased Catholics, the Requiem is a formal affair. The main reason for holding it is not just to honor the one who has passed and to say prayers for their soul, but also to provide support and comfort to all who suffer the grief of loss. In general, it should take approximately ninety minutes for this occasion.

Religious based events require that individuals show respect in the way that they dress. Casual daily wear like blue jeans, sweats, shorts, tees and tanks are inappropriate for this type of occasion. The basic rules of etiquette state that clothing for these services should be conservative and such as one would don for a business meeting or church.

Suits with ties, or a nice dress pants and shirt combination in neutral tones are appropriate choices for men. Ladies wearing skirts or dresses should opt for articles which sport hemlines at least long enough to keep the knees covered when sitting or standing. Conservative pantsuits are acceptable but bold patterns, bright colors, deep necklines and bare shoulders are not.

In Catholic service of this type, men are not to wear hats inside the building. Women, however, are encouraged to cover their heads with a hat, scarf or veil out of respect. Some chapels and parishes may even have veils available for those who do not have them since this is not a common daily practice.

There are certain ritualistic actions such as kissing icons, statues and the priest's hand included in these procedures. As a matter of courtesy and respect, those wearing lipstick should make a point to blot it off to avoid leaving transfer. For a Catholic funeral mass, dressing conservatively and modestly is expected.


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