What are the appropriate behaviors when visiting a cemetery? If you’re not sure what the exact etiquette is or how to act when you see these solemn settings, you’re not alone. Unless you work in and around cemeteries, chances are you’re not familiar with this unique situation. Many people are not sure precisely what to do or not to do, what’s allowed, and what isn’t.
In addition to universal cemetery etiquette tips, each cemetery has its own set of rules regarding visits and monuments. If you plan to visit a specific cemetery, find out what these rules are before you go. Check the cemetery’s hours when they are open for public visits. Before planning on placing flowers or other items on graves, check the cemetery’s rules about this. For example, some cemeteries prohibit any glass containers and certain types of lights or candles for safety reasons.
Use the following cemetery etiquette tips to navigate your next cemetery visit:
Cemetery Etiquette For Pets
It’s relatively common for pet owners to want to take their dogs when they go to visit the cemetery.
If you desire to bring your pet with you, you should follow these three simple rules of etiquette:
- Check the cemetery’s rules ahead of time to ensure they allow pets. Some don’t.
- Always keep your dog on his/her leash while at the cemetery. Besides, it’s polite to keep the leash short, so the dog stays by your side. Don’t allow your dog to roam freely.
- Always, always, always bring your pooper-scooper supplies and pick up after your pet. It is not okay to leave behind any pet droppings for the cemetery caretakers to have to deal with.
Cemetery Etiquette & Vehicles
If you drive your vehicle to the cemetery, always follow the cemetery’s roadways. Never go on the cemetery’s grass. Remember, cemetery roadways are often narrow. It’s expected that you have to give the right of way to another vehicle. You will have to do some careful maneuvering to allow any passing on these narrow roadways.
Parking is often a challenge as well.
The most important vehicle etiquette tip we can offer is to remain patient and respectful as you drive your vehicle in the cemetery.
Tombstones are unique. Some are pretty intriguing. It’s tempting to touch a headstone or memorial.
However, unless it is your own loved one’s grave, resist this urge.
Touching monuments is not only disrespectful, but this small act can cause damage.
Our rule? Do not touch others’ headstones or monuments.
Do not even remove items from a stranger’s gravestone (even if it’s an arrangement of long-dead flowers).
Other Funeral Services Going On
It’s fairly common to visit a cemetery and discover that a burial service is taking place closeby.
If a burial service is occurring when you are visiting, be sure to display proper respect for any mourners who are present.
How? Here are some tips:
- Do not get in the way of any funeral processions.
- Give the mourners sufficient space.
- Turn off your personal cell phone.
- Be sure not to stare.
If the gravesite you were planning to visit is extremely close to the burial services going on, consider coming back at a later time to avoid infringing on the burial service and the attendees’ privacy.
Always professional. Always respectful. At Monument Solutions, we take pride in helping communities, families, churches, and cemeteries preserve their headstones’ structural integrity and beauty. Contact Monument Solutions for preservation assistance today.