What is Proper Etiquette for a Funeral Procession?

If you’ve never encountered a funeral procession, either as a participant or as a driver on the road, you may not know what to do when it happens. Just as with wedding ceremonies, there are ways that things are done during a funeral, and the procession is sometimes a big part of the service, especially if the burial is happening on different grounds from where the funeral was held. Here’s what you need to know about proper etiquette for a funeral procession. 

Proper Etiquette for Drivers

If you’re on the road and come across a funeral procession, the number one thing to remember is to be courteous. The procession members are in mourning, so helping the processional go as smoothly as possible is ideal. Here are a few tips: 


Treat the entire processional as you would an ambulance or firetruck: always yield the right of way, even through intersections, until it has passed. 

2.Pull Over

While it is not a legal requirement, pulling over when safe to do so is good funeral etiquette. Politely allowing the procession to pass on smaller roads ensures the party’s safety. 

3.Be Quiet

Show respect to the mourners and the deceased by refraining from making a lot of noise. If your radio is on loud, turn it down. Don’t honk your horn or rev the engine. 

4.Don’t Cut

Even if you’re in a rush, you should wait until the entire procession has passed by before moving through an intersection or heading to an exit lane. Doing so interrupts not only the processional itself but also the members’ ability to mourn. 

5.Wait for the End

The final car in the processional will be marked with flags to indicate the end of the processional. It will also have its hazard lights on to signal to drivers that the funeral party has passed. 

Proper Etiquette For Participants

If you are a participant in a funeral procession, you shouldbe aware of how the event will go. This will make sure that things run smoothlyand there are no interruptions. Here’s what you need to know: 

1.     Be Respectful

As with drivers, participants should also maintain the utmostrespect during the drive to the burial grounds. Radios should be kept off orvery low, and you shouldn’t honk the horn or use your phone for the duration ofthe drive. 

2..     Use the Lights

Even if it is not dark or rainy, keep your headlights on. Along line of cars with their headlights on is noticeable and will signal toother drivers that they’re all together. 

3.     You Have Right of Way

Once the first car in the processional has made a legaldriving move, like going through a green light or making a left turn, the entireprocessional follows, even if the light turns red or other cars are waiting toturn. Don’t interrupt the processional by stopping; simply do exactly what thecar in front of you does. 

4.     Keep the Pace

Funeral processions tend to go a lot slower than the speedlimit, especially on the highway. As a driving participant, do your part tokeep the processional going by matching the speed of the car ahead. This willalso prevent non-processional drivers from cutting through and interrupting. 

Losing a loved one is a challenging enough time withouthaving to plan a funeral. Enlisting the help of experts can make things easier.For professional funeral services in the Boston area, contact Hamel-Lydon Chapel today. 

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