Page 29 - Donaldson Funeral Home (Laurel)
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 8. Are kids allowed at a funeral?
It is okay to bring children to a funeral if they are well-behaved, especially if they are interested in attending and were close to the deceased. Toddlers and babies should be left at home with a babysitter as they may require more of your attention, and distract you from being mentally present at the funeral.
9. How should I sign the guestbook at a funeral?
Clearly state your first and last name, along with a brief description of your relationship to the deceased. Signing the guestbook is another way to show your support for the grieving family by letting them know you attended the service.
10. Is it okay to use my smartphone at a funeral?
Please keep your smartphone on silent and put away for the majority of the service. Using your phone during such a sensitive time may be seen as an invasion of privacy for the grieving family and is therefore inappropriate. If you absolutely need to answer a text or make a phone call, please do so outside.
In addition, a funeral is not the time or place to take photos unless you have the family’s permission to do so.
11. What is a funeral processional and a recessional?
A funeral processional is when the casket is brought in. The officiant leads the processional and is followed by pallbearers who carry the casket. Next to walk down the aisle are the family and kin to the deceased followed by close friends who will take their seats in the first few rows, marking the start of the ceremony.
A recessional marks the end of the funeral service. Again, the officiant leads the way followed by the pallbearers who carry the casket out. They are followed by family and
friends of the deceased. Typically, one member of this group will give their thanks to the remaining guests at the ceremony. Finally, the processional forms, in which funeral attendees make their way over to the gravesite where the deceased will be laid to rest.
12. What do I do at a graveside service?
When making your way to the gravesite, avoid walking directly on other graves, memorial stones, and plaques.
Once you arrive to the graveside memorial, you will see chairs lined up. These are reserved solely for close family members of the deceased. If this does not apply to you, stand behind the chairs and allow room for other kin, or close family to stand near the grave. Dress conservatively, and if you are wearing a hat, remove it during the service.
13. What is the difference between a funeral and a memorial?
Both funerals and memorials are held to celebrate a deceased person’s life and to give the opportunity to those who knew them the chance to pay their respects. A funeral takes place when the deceased person’s body is present. The funeral service may either be a open or a closed casket ceremony and involves a processional and a recessional. It is an opportunity for family and close friends to take one last look at the deceased before the body is buried or cremated.
A memorial takes place when the deceased person’s body is not present. Family members and friends come together at an appropriate location, like a church or event hall, and give speeches to celebrate the deceased person’s life. There are several reasons why a deceased person’s family may choose a memorial service over a funeral including: if the body has already been cremated, or if their ashes have already been scattered.

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