Cemetery Etiquette: Eight Important Things You Need to Know

woman visiting cemetery

Cemeteries are places of serenity and reverence for the departed.

To maintain a peaceful environment, it’s a good idea to learn the basics of cemetery etiquette. Follow these eight suggestions to ensure that you and your fellow visitors enjoy a courteous, peaceful experience. 

  1. Learn the cemetery rules in advance. Most cemeteries post their hours of operation and rules on their website. If your loved one’s resting place doesn’t offer much information or if they don’t have a website, call and ask about visiting hours, rules, and regulations.


  1. Drive with care. Practice calm, courteous driving. This is not the place for loud music or road rage. Follow the roadways, drive slowly, and remain off the grass. If the lane is narrow and another car approaches, offer to move your car so the other driver can get through.


  1. Exhibit courtesy to other mourners. If a funeral is occurring, take care not to get in the way of procession and burial. Respect the family’s privacy and allow them plenty of space for quiet reflection. If you must speak, do so in a low voice and be sure your cell phone ringer is turned down or off.


  1. Be respectful of the graves. Touching monuments or headstones is extremely rude and may even cause damage. Older memorials are often fragile and could fall apart under the slightest touch. Be sure to walk in between the headstones and don’t stand on top of burial places.


  1. Leash your pets. Before you bring your pets to the cemetery, check to make sure it’s permissible. Keep them on a leash at all times and be sure to clean up after them.


  1. Inquire about the rules for flowers and other decorations. Many families like to honor the departed by decorating their resting places with flowers, wreaths, or other symbolic gifts. Before decorating your loved one’s gravesite, make sure you understand the standards for that cemetery. If the rules aren’t available on their website, call or stop by the office to ensure your decorations are permissible.


  1. Don’t litter. Leaving trash behind creates extra work for the caretakers and shows disrespect for other families who are there to mourn their loved ones. Take your refuse with you when you leave or put it in the trash receptacle.


  1. Share these cemetery etiquette rules with others. If you’re visiting the cemetery with friends and family, make it a point to review this information with them. For some, it may their first time visiting a cemetery, so sharing your knowledge can make the experience more comfortable for everyone involved. If you’re bringing children along, take time to discuss where you’re going and what they can expect when they get there. Keep a close eye on young children and do not permit them to run, shout, or play among the graves and monuments.

A good rule of thumb is to behave in the cemetery as you would in church. For more information about cemetery etiquette, or if you require assistance with funeral arrangements, please reach out to our caring team members.

About Evan W. Smith Funeral Services: Since 2009, residents of Wilmington, Dover, and the surrounding Delaware community have relied on the caring staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services to help them through their darkest hours. Family-owned and operated, the company offers an array of elite funeral care services, including traditional funerals, cremations, memorials, pre-planning, and more. With decades of experience in caring for families from all cultural backgrounds and diverse walks of life, Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is committed to creating memorable, uplifting experiences that always exceed expectations. For more information, please visit www.ewsmithfs.com.

Leave a Reply 163 comments

> More Comments

We appreciate your interest in this topic
In accordance with our policy, this
message has been declined.