What to Wear to a Catholic Funeral

What to Wear to a Catholic Funeral

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A Beautiful Goodbye

by Sequoia Sierra

The Faith has age-old wisdom and time-tested traditions to share with us in all these matters, including when we face the fact of our mortality — and that of our loved ones. In these difficult moments, it may be helpful to fall back on some good advice from LA stylist Sequoia Sierra.

At her ancient rituals, the Catholic Church traditionally expects certain types of attire to be worn as a way to demonstrate respect for the most critical moments of our lives, and the lives of our family and friends. The two most formal religious events that all people will surely attend at sometime in their lives are funerals and weddings. 

It's interesting to note that both funerals and weddings are also two events where one should never wear all white.  Some white paired with or mixed in with other colors is fine, but all white is disrespectful to wear at either a wedding or a funeral.

Today, we are focused on funerals. Whether you are attending a Requiem Mass in the Extraordinary Form or a simple graveside blessing, the most important thing to remember is that we are present to show our support for others, and respect for the Faith. While nowadays it is acceptable to wear different colors to funerals, it is best to keep them to muted tones. Don’t pick a funeral as the day for a neon-colored outfit, or flashy jewelry.

Nowadays it is acceptable to wear different colors to funerals but it is best to keep them to muted tones. Don’t pick a funeral as the day for a neon-colored outfit or flashy jewelry.

 

 

Traditionally, the best color to wear for funerals is black.   For a Requiem Mass, one most also keep in mind appropriate church attire. Business attire is typically the dress code norm acceptable for the average funeral — unless it is a funeral of a dignitary, or it is specifically stated as being more formal.

For women, if the funeral occurs during a warm season and you are wearing a sleeveless dress, please be sure to bring a shawl, cardigan, or suit jacket to wear while inside the church or if you are giving a Eulogy at any point during  the funeral.  Of course, demonstrating respect for the dead and their family means that you should not draw attention to yourself with plunging necklines or super-short skirt lengths. Hats are very appropriate for women to don inside and outside of the Church.

Of course, demonstrating respect for the dead and their family means that you should not draw attention to yourself with plunging necklines or super-short skirt lengths.

 

 

Men should also wear a button-down shirt, and bring along a suit jacket or sports coat for inside the church. It is not considered respectful for men to wear hats inside a church.  Of course, shorts are not appropriate attire for either men or women.

With all of this said, the next time you attend a funeral, keep in mind that black is the most appropriate color for mourning, and it also serves as a reminder of our own mortality and that all in this world is passing.

Black is the most appropriate color for mourning, and it also serves as a reminder of our own mortality and that all in this world is passing. 

 

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