• A Brief Introduction to Funeral Etiquette

    Grieving Young Woman

    If you have questions about how to behave or what to say at a funeral, you’re not alone. Many people go for long periods without attending a funeral, so questions about what to expect are normal. When you’re unsure about how to approach a funeral service, contact the funeral home . They will be able to explain what to expect. This advice will also help you better understand funeral etiquette:


    Black and dark-colored clothing are traditional for funerals , but they are no longer the only acceptable things to wear. In some cases, families may request that guests dress in a way that honors their deceased loved one. If you’re not sure how to dress, remember that this is a solemn occasion and that choosing a conservative outfit is best. Opt for business or church clothes, like a suit or dress. Keep in mind that makeup and hair should also be toned down.


    As a general rule of thumb, seating is distributed according the nature of the relationship with the deceased. If you are paying respects to a co-worker or acquaintance, stick to the back of the room. In some cases, there will be an usher at the funeral to assist you in finding the right seat. If you’re feeling unsure about where to sit, it is best to err on the side of caution and sit towards the back, unless you are told otherwise.


    At the end of a funeral, the guests leave the room in reverse order, with those in the front following behind the casket and the rest of the seats emptying front to back. So if you are in the back of the room, you will leave last. Family of the deceased will usually remain in front of the ceremony site to thank people for attending. If there is a burial service afterwards, funeral attendees are welcome to go, unless the family has asked that it be private. However, funeral attendees are not obligated to go to the burial service.

    Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward is here to ensure that all memorial services run smoothly. Contact us with questions or to find out how we can help you with funeral planning by calling (510) 471-3363. 

  • Finding the Right Flowers for a Grieving Loved One

    Stargazer Lily

    Giving flowers is a considerate way to show support to a grieving loved one and that you’re keeping him or her in your thoughts. Traditionally, certain flowers and arrangements are given in sympathy. The rules are relaxing on these guidelines, but it can be helpful to know some of the customs associated with sympathy flowers and funeral flowers. Here are some tips for selecting the perfect floral arrangement:

    Ensure Flowers Are Welcome

    Although flowers are customary gifts for a grieving loved one, they are not always the right choice. In some cases, families prefer that a donation to a charity be made in lieu of a gift of flowers. You can find this information in the obituary or by calling the funeral home. Flowers are also not appropriate for Jewish families sitting Shiva. For Shiva, send desserts or baskets of kosher food instead.

    Understand Sympathy Flowers vs. Funeral Flowers

    To select the right flowers, start by deciding if you wish to send sympathy flowers or funeral flowers. Sympathy flowers are sent to the home of the bereaved and tend to be small bouquets, centerpieces, or arrangements. Funeral flowers are sent directly to the funeral home to be displayed at any visitation or memorial service held. Funeral flowers tend to be much larger wreaths and arrangements. They may also incorporate a tribute to the deceased, such as a sash that reads, “Beloved Friend.”

    Choose Appropriate Flowers

    Lilies and roses are often incorporated into sympathy and funeral flower arrangements. However, it is acceptable to choose other flowers, particularly if the deceased has a favorite type. Note that sympathy flowers don’t have to be solemn colors. Bright, spring colors can suggest a sense of renewal and hope.

    Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward is here to help you choose the proper floral tribute to present to a lost loved one. You can even order flowers and other sympathy gifts directly from our online store . To learn more about all our funeral home services , please call (510) 471-3363.  

  • How to Talk to Children about the Loss of a Loved One

    Helping your child deal with the loss of a loved one can be extremely challenging, not least of all because you are going through a difficult time yourself. It is normal to have concerns about what to share with a child and what to hold back. This video offers some amazing advice.

    Although it may be tempting to try to make everything OK for your child after a loss and shield him or her from the grief, it is important to allow him or her to experience grief. Acknowledge that it is natural to be sad and even angry, but that you can get through it together. Encourage your child to vocalize his or her feelings by talking to your child about some of your own emotions.

    At Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward, we have grief support services that can help your entire family find peace in your time of loss. Find out more about our funeral home by calling (510) 471-3363.