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Attending a hearse passing 'funeral'

(82 Posts)
tiredoldwoman Sun 07-Feb-21 16:24:50

I want to attend one on Wednesday , I've never done this before . What is the etiquette ?
I read that some people clap but not sure if I like that idea .
I suppose just turn up and see what happens ?
I think I'll feel comfortable with just a respectful, quiet head bowing .

lemsip Sun 07-Feb-21 16:29:23

silence with a bow of the head has always been the way of funerals in my experience.

clapping? No.

Grammaretto Sun 07-Feb-21 16:36:50

Absolutely right tiredoldwoman do what makes you feel comfortable.
I marvel and was very grateful that so many turned out for DH's funeral in December despite the heavy snow under foot and constant rain.
I don't think anyone clapped but I waved to my DGC who watched the cortege from other DGP garden gate.

Chewbacca Sun 07-Feb-21 16:37:30

Applause at a funeral? Good heaven's! Whatever for? The deceased can't hear you and would probably wonder why his demise is being applauded as though he'd done something remarkable. And if I was one of the bereaved family, I'd be most uncomfortable with it. Seems inappropriate to me but... it takes all sorts....

Baggs Sun 07-Feb-21 16:44:16

When someone widely known in our village has died during the pandemic, people have lined the main street quietly to watch the funeral cortege pass by. Many of them would normally have attended such funerals but that hasn't been possible of late so this is another way of acknowledging the death respectfully.

chocolatepudding Sun 07-Feb-21 16:44:35

Slightly off topic but I attended a funeral where my friend had been an accordion player for the local Lady Morris dancers. After the church service the Lady Morris dancers lined up behind the hearse and danced along the road to the cemetery. All the traffic stopped and waited, and as I thought I will never see this again! This was in rural Suffolk.

grannyqueenie Sun 07-Feb-21 16:48:52

I attended a funeral like this last year. The family had asked friends to gather outside the church, at that time churches were shut. The newly widowed man got out of the funeral car with his 3 young adult daughters and said a few words about his lovely wife. The vicar said a prayer and yes, as the cars pulled away, we all clapped as a gesture of our support and an appreciation of their courage at such a difficult time. Knowing the family it felt completely the right thing to do.

tiredoldwoman Sun 07-Feb-21 16:50:48

What a delightful send off , danced to your final resting place . Beautiful story chocolatepudding , thank you .

kittylester Sun 07-Feb-21 16:54:13

Our next door neighbour's was one of the first lockdown funerals and no one was sure how to 'be'.

He was well loved by lots of people who came and stood on the road near his house. I'm afraid clapping took place as, I think, no one knew what to do. Waving him off seemed odd but it didn't seem right for him to just go.

I asked his partner afterward and she said she thought it was apt.

Maybe it depends on the personality of the deceased.

LadyHonoriaDedlock Sun 07-Feb-21 16:54:13

Clapping seems to be the thing instead of silence these days. It started at football matches because football crowds wouldn't shut up during silences for dead players.

Respectful silence should be more than enough. Grief is a private matter and I do rather deplore the trend towards having to be seen to be doing the 'right' thing on pain of being thoroughly traduced on social media.

Pantglas2 Sun 07-Feb-21 16:56:27

I attended my first one on Thursday and there was complete silence and have another tomorrow, so we shall see.

I once worked near a crematorium and one lunchtime we heard a New Orleans jazz quartet accompanying the hearse so we all stood outside in silence until they’d passed then clapped. The family acknowledged our applause with a wave as they drove in.

Anniebach Sun 07-Feb-21 17:12:39

I don’t like the clapping, do people have a thing about silence now.

Grandmabatty Sun 07-Feb-21 18:07:41

When dad died and we were following the hearse, men of a certain age stopped and took off their hats and bowed their heads as we passed. That was very moving. I'm not a fan of clapping at a funeral or on door steps.

Oldbat1 Sun 07-Feb-21 19:01:43

Just recently whilst out walking my dog a funeral left from a local housing estate. I didnt know who the funeral was for but the dog and I stopped walking. The family gave me a smile as they drove by.

annodomini Sun 07-Feb-21 20:03:04

I've been to quite a number of funerals, but never heard clapping and hope I never will. Respectful silence should be observed. I once attended a secular funeral where we all formed a circle on the lawn and if anyone had anything to say about the deceased, they said a few words. After this, the family left for a private cremation. I think my instructions to my family will be for something similar.

kittylester Sun 07-Feb-21 20:37:05

I'm feeling awful now - not that I started the clap.

When our lovely neighbour died those of us at the side of the road were totally non-plussed by not being able to do anything to mark his passing - in both senses of the word.
It wasn't wild applause.

Anniebach Sun 07-Feb-21 21:07:25

Kittylester you did do something, you stood in silent respect
at the side of the road .

I shudder to think that instead of the 2 minute silence whilst the poppies fall at the Festival of Remembrance there will be
clapping and at the Cenotaph on the Sunday

Nannarose Sun 07-Feb-21 22:00:21

When I was a child, standing quietly as the hearse went by was usual, but some asked for singing. Funerals then were usually quite small - folk couldn't get time off work, but the factories and workshops allowed them to go outside as the hearse went by.
I think that clapping has become more common now, and I think that if it seemed the right thing to do then it was fine - we are all finding our way in these different times. I have been to a few funerals (pre-covid) where we clapped, to celebrate a life or to speed a soul on its way.

I am a bit sad as someone we cared about in our village has just died. His family, in a 'no-fuss' sort of way are just going directly to the crematorium. I would have love to have watched the hearse go through our village to pay my respects - silence, waving or clapping - I and others would have just liked it, but of course it is up to the family.

One of my great-grandparents, who had Gipsy connections, followed the tradition of having his coffin carried around many of the places he had spent time. I am too young to remember, but the family's account of stopping outside different pubs was a standard of my childhood!

Nannarose Sun 07-Feb-21 22:01:58

I meant to add that there is a special Morris Dance for sending a soul to rest, but I can't remember it. I have seen it danced - very moving.

Anniebach Sun 07-Feb-21 22:26:52

The soul has left , it isn’t on a journey, Christ to the thief on the cross -today you will be with me in Paradise.

V3ra Mon 08-Feb-21 00:08:28

What about the practice of throwing flowers on to the hearse as it processes by? I think that's more intrusive.

I think I'd quite like a collective round of applause for a life well lived to see me on my way. Not for some time though...

Anniebach Mon 08-Feb-21 09:25:41

I didn’t know throwing flowers was done

geekesse Mon 08-Feb-21 09:43:25

Anniebach, when the hearse carrying the body of Diana, former princess of Wales, was driven to Althorp, people threw flowers. The same happened after the death of baby Alfie Evans.

4allweknow Mon 08-Feb-21 10:59:43

My goodness, clap at a funeral cortege, that is awful. Suppose the mourners at the Crematorium or graveside would do the same, very much doubt it. Perhaps if the person had been a famous footballer or the likes then fans would clap. Just a respectful nod of the head and quiet, are what's done. Don't gave to close the curtains these days.

timetogo2016 Mon 08-Feb-21 11:02:24

My sentiments also Lemsip.
Clapping is horrible imo.