Etiquette for Visitations and Funeral Services in Chicago, IL: What to Know

November 28, 2018 12:43 am Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s never easy to attend funeral services in Chicago, IL. While these events are helpful and necessary for those who are grieving, it can be difficult to know how to act or what to say. How can you properly offer condolences? Should you offer a gift? What should you wear?

Nearly everyone has wondered about the proper etiquette for visitations and funerals. If you’ve ever had questions, use the following etiquette guide to help ease the awkwardness of the next service you attend.


  • What they are: The visitation is held prior to the funeral to allow friends and family members a chance to offer sympathy for the family’s loss. This service is typically held at the same location where the funeral will take place. It is sometimes scheduled the day before the funeral, or it may be a period of time prior to the funeral service on the same day.
  • Who should attend: If you cannot attend the funeral, it is okay (and good) to attend the visitation. Visitations are typically open to anyone who knew the deceased. However, if the family decides to limit attendees to relatives and close friends, be sure to honor this request.
  • When to arrive: If you attend a visitation, it is proper to arrive at any time during the visitation hours. Once you have spoken to each of the family members, it is okay to leave, but you can stay longer if you wish.
  • What to say: When speaking with the family, keep your voice low and try to say something positive. Keep it brief. If the person doesn’t know you, be sure to introduce yourself first and explain how you knew the deceased. Once you’ve offered your condolences, be mindful if others are trying to do the same and don’t monopolize the person’s time.
  • What to wear: Even though this is not the funeral itself, you should still dress in funeral attire. Don’t try to stand out. Keep your outfit simple and solemn.
  • What to do: Do not take pictures. If you would like to give a sympathy card, this is appropriate, but do not expect it to be opened on the spot. Place it on a designated table or quietly give it to its recipient.


  • When to arrive: Get to the location 15 to 20 minutes before the funeral service in Chicago, IL is scheduled to begin. If you are running late, slip in quietly to the back row.
  • Where to sit: The first few rows at the service are reserved for family and close friends. If you don’t fall into this category, sit in the middle or back of the room.
  • What to do: If you will be traveling to a graveside ceremony after the funeral service in Chicago, IL, follow instructions given by the funeral director. You may be given a tag or sign to place in your windshield. You should also turn on your headlights to indicate you are part of the procession.

At Your Service

If you have additional questions about proper etiquette at funeral services in Chicago, IL, please contact the helpful staff at Marik-Baken Funeral Services Ltd. Locally owned and family operated, our funeral services are dedicated to helping you through difficult circumstances. Reach out to us today.

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