Cemetery Etiquette: What You Need to Know for Your Next Visit

By: Vaughn Greene Funeral Services
Monday, September 17, 2018

When visiting the cemetery, there are a number of basic protocols you should follow in order to show respect for both the living and the dead.

These cemetery etiquette tips will help to ensure that you and your fellow visitors enjoy a courteous, peaceful experience. 

Learn the cemetery rules in advance.
Most cemeteries have websites where their rules are listed along with visiting hours. Some of the more advanced sites also allow you search for your loved one’s location and provide a map of the cemetery. If your family’s cemetery doesn’t offer much information on their website or if they don’t have one, call them and ask about visiting hours, rules and regulations.

Drive with care.
Be sure to follow the roadways and remain off the grass. Drive slowly and watch out for people who might not be paying attention. If the lane is narrow and another car approaches, offer to move your car until the other driver can get through. This isn’t the place for road rage so remain calm and courteous.

Respect the graves.
Touching monuments or headstones is extremely disrespectful and in some cases, may cause damage. For example, some older memorials might be in disrepair and could fall apart under the slightest touch. Be sure to walk in between the headstones, and don’t stand on top of a burial place.

Be respectful of other mourners.
If a funeral is occurring, take care not to get in the way of procession and burial. Respect their privacy, give them their space, and don’t stare. Make sure your cell phone ringer is turned down and speak in a low voice if you must talk.

Clean up after yourself.
If you unwrapped an arrangement you brought with you or have other debris, be sure to clean it up before you leave. Most cemeteries have trashcans every so many feet and are easily accessible, so do your part to keep your loved one’s final resting place in pristine condition.

Share the cemetery etiquette rules with your party.
If you’re visiting the cemetery with friends and family, make it a point to mention etiquette and cemetery rules to them. For some, it may their first time visiting a cemetery, so sharing your knowledge can make the visit more comfortable for everyone involved. If you’re visiting the cemetery with children, take some time to discuss where you’re going and what they can expect when they get there. Keep a close eye on young children and keep them from running, shouting, and playing on graves and monuments.

In a nutshell, treat the graves as you would like your own to be treated. For more helpful etiquette tips or if you have questions, please reach out to us anytime.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

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