What to wear to a Catholic funeral?

(66 Posts)
EclecticShock Sat 12-May-12 19:59:39

I haven't been to a Catholic funeral before. What is acceptable attire?

They totally go in for neons and psychadelic patterns wink

AThingInYourLife Sat 12-May-12 20:02:52

Smart dress, muted colours.

SecretNutellaFix Sat 12-May-12 20:03:35

Same as for a normal funeral. Usually darker, sombre colours, unless something particular has been asked for e.g a specific colour.

Northey Sat 12-May-12 20:04:46

Smart trousers+top in muted colours also acceptable in my experience.

Ignore Happydogsaddog she's teasing you. My family are Catholic so I can say with authority that full Victorian mourning dress is required for Catholic funerals.

EclecticShock Sat 12-May-12 20:05:59

Ok so black suit or is a dress better?

Springforward Sat 12-May-12 20:06:06

The same as you would wear to any other funeral.

Springforward Sat 12-May-12 20:08:24

Whichever you feel most comfortable in. To my DM's I wore a black dress and a plum jacket.

EclecticShock Sat 12-May-12 20:10:23

Thanks smile

Ahh Theresa you ruined the fun.
Sorry OP, yes I am Catholic and they do get quite sniffy, so something dark and conservative. White blouse, black suit and courts are usually a safe bet, day make-up and neat hair, nothing overbearing on the perfume front

ChablisLover Sat 12-May-12 20:45:02

Yes. Whatever u would wear to a normal funeral. Smart and sombre. Usually dark colours. Best with a funeral to over dress rather than under dress .smart trousers, top and jacket or dress and jacket

AThingInYourLife Sat 12-May-12 20:47:39

Black suit is fine. Dress fine too.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Springforward Sat 12-May-12 20:55:23

Thinking back, I went quite glam to DM's funeral - good pair of heels, hair put up by hairdresser, strong waterproof make up - because she always said she liked to see me that way and not dressed down. Bit silly I guess, but felt right to me.

EclecticShock Sat 12-May-12 20:58:22

It's my FIL funeral, just want to make sure I don't show DP up.

MrsLettuce Sat 12-May-12 21:04:37

Sorry for your loss Eclectic.

I'd go very conservative - black dress, jacket & shoes. Or maybe black blouse and skirt.

Do youu have suitable stuff?

fedupworking Sat 12-May-12 21:10:00

Orange lol

Sorry for your loss. Black not necessary, can be seen as ostentatious, go for muted colours.

wigglesrock Sat 12-May-12 21:14:53

What you would wear to a job interview, no need for black or dress - trousers are fine.

MrsLettuce Sat 12-May-12 21:17:16

Yes, I agree. as a younger woman trouser are fine too. Did mean to put that.

WipsGlitter Sat 12-May-12 21:18:31

I'm catholic and id say black, no hat.

Ostentatious???? Never heard that. confused

Oh so sorry op...realise I may have been insensitive.thanks
Wear whatever you would to any funeral, sedate, dark colours, conservative.
Really apologise.

I agree with MrsLettuce. Definitely wear something conservative. Outfits in mainly black, dark grey or navy blue are fine. It can be quite difficult to find something suitable if the weather is warm and sunny. If you are part of the main funeral party then you will feel as if people notice what you are wearing more than if you were on the outskirts IYSWIM.

For my dad's and my grandma's funerals I wore a black skirt, white blouse and black jacket with a dark coat over (winter funerals). For DH's aunt I wore a black and grey patterned dress with a black jacket (summer time).

Sorry for your loss.

Annunziata Sat 12-May-12 21:31:12

Definitely black. Try to make sure your dress covers your knees and shoulders. Smart shoes but if you're not good with heels go for flats, a marble floor is quite slippy. Can't remember if there are collections at funerals, but best to take a couple of pound coins if they pass round a plate. Sorry for your loss.

EclecticShock Sat 12-May-12 21:35:05

Thanks everyone, was wondering about overinf knees and shoulders etc. no worries about the humorous posts, I realise I didn't make it clear that I was part of the funeral party. Plus there will be some quite conservative (elder) Famuly members who are Catholics there, so just wanted to check the protocol smile

Having been to several RC funerals in the last couple of years, I can advise that all black is no longer the done thing.
The retiring collection may be for a charity chosen by the family.

MrsBovary Sat 12-May-12 21:36:11

I've always worn black, and once navy for a requiem mass. But as others have said, dark muted colours would be fine.

Annunziata Sat 12-May-12 21:40:49

Must be regional sauvignon, all black still very common up here. White shirts of course, though.

Yes, it must be, my recent ecpxperience is all only of the North west of England and the west coast of Scotland.

Annunziata Sat 12-May-12 21:47:49

Really? I'm in the Central Belt too! Wherever you are OP, the effort to go trumps the dress (within reason.)

anniewoo Sun 13-May-12 09:53:02

fedupworking youare very naughty! Took me a minute to 'get it' !

EdithWeston Sun 13-May-12 09:58:55

Black is always the best colour for a funeral (unless the family have made other wishes known, in which case you follow those). The traditional colours for second mourning are grey, white and (non frivolous) purple/lavender. Dark navy is widely worn too.

I'd aim for plain, but good, "Sunday best" type clothes. Dark glasses are the modern equivalent of a veil of covering tears.

BandersnatchCummerbund Sun 13-May-12 12:54:38

Something smart and elegant but also plain and quiet - nothing that will draw attention, e.g. noisy heels on marble church floors. I would avoid going entirely in black. For the last (Catholic) funeral I went to, I wore a black coat/tights/shoes/dress, but with a (dark) coloured scarf. I agree that all-black can be a little much.

ClaireAll Sun 13-May-12 12:58:36

I think it depends where you are rather than the flavour of Christianity.

If it's the south of England, then anything smart-casual to frumpy is fine (any colour); if it's Scotland, then black (incl black ties for the gentlemen) - black trousers is fine for a woman.

If you are not sure, then black.

itdidntworkout Sun 13-May-12 13:22:18

Don't you have to cover your head with lace at a catholic funeral?

itdidntworkout Sun 13-May-12 13:23:10

My father's side are catholic and all the women had lace scarves/ shawls on their heads.

waitingtobeamummy Sun 13-May-12 13:30:52

My (catholic) family insist on black and with mantillas (black scarves) on heads. I look a muppet with one so I wear a little black headband instead. For the women obviously! But I know not all Catholics do.

Well for my mums funeral (and we are Catholic) I wore grey trousers, black jumper and a winter cream coat with a fake fur stole/scarf thing. I think the whole 'black only' thing is more an English thing than Catholic. Irish funerals are more informal, just smart clean clothes is the standard.

OneHandFlapping Sun 13-May-12 14:17:59

For MIL's Catholic funeral, women didn't cover their heads at all.

lumbago Sun 13-May-12 14:19:40

OH MY GOD I love the lace things.
I'd go FULL. Jackie Kennedy.

polyhymnia Sun 13-May-12 14:27:08

Have been to quite a few Catholic funerals in N W England and Home Counties (DH s family v Catholic) and I'd say black no longer necessary even for close family and have never seen mantillas. Muted colours fine.

BandersnatchCummerbund Sun 13-May-12 14:32:24

Absolutely do NOT wear a mantilla unless you are sure that the entire family wold be wearing them and that they would prefer others to do the same. Ime it's only the extremely elderly and/or very traditional that wear those - such as those who attend the Traditional, (i.e. pre-Vatican II) Mass - and you run the risk of looking as if you have come in fancy dress.

heliumballoon Sun 13-May-12 14:38:31

FGS do not wear a mantilla or any kind of headgear. Way over the top.

There was also a useful thread on here recently about how to behave/ what happens at a Catholic funeral. I'll see if I can find it.

Sorry for your loss.

I'm reliably informed by Irish Catholic friends, that bright colours are all the rage at funerals there.
One was embarrassed at at CoE funeral in the midlands recently as she wore a bright pink jacket and felt she really stood out.
She said that 'back home' no one wore black.

sue52 Sun 13-May-12 14:43:36

Not a mantilla. I haven't seen one in church since the sixties.

BandersnatchCummerbund Sun 13-May-12 15:02:52

Sauvignon - I think it depends on the family etc. I was at an Irish Catholic funeral very recently - everyone was smartly but simply dressed, in dark colours. Bright pink would have stood out horribly.

EclecticShock Sun 13-May-12 20:16:56

Thanks everyone. No mantilla for me. Appreciate your advice, feel much more confident. Now just got to help dp with his bidding prayer, hard when he's neither of us are catholic.

outyougo Sun 13-May-12 20:23:44

I have never seen a mantilla in real life. Didn't everyone take the piss out of Cherie Blair for wearing one.

I have been to loads of Catholic funerals and the dress isn't different from other funerals imo. There is more stand/sit/kneel than other churches so make sure you wear something you can move in.

Most Catholic churches have carpet. We generally aren't posh enough for marble outside major churches/cathedrals. We haven't been emancipated for long enough.

sue52 Sun 13-May-12 20:35:24

outyougo I've never seen a Catholic church with carpet. Sounds too comfortable for us.

MrsLettuce Sun 13-May-12 20:36:12

Glad you're feeling more confident. WRT the bidding prayer maybe the catholic ladies on the religion and philosophy board could help? Or maybe your local catholic priest? I'm guessing there are rules of form and such but I've really no idea.

monkeymoma Sun 13-May-12 20:38:10

what the heck is a Mantilla? been to many catholic funerals and never every once saw anything like that!

its not strickly all black, any dull darkish conservative smart wear is fine. Anything smart really so long as it doesn't look like you're celebrating!

PorkyandBess Sun 13-May-12 20:39:05

same as any other funeral. I think overdoing the black can be a bit much.

MrsLettuce Sun 13-May-12 20:41:07

Here monkey.

wigglesrock Sun 13-May-12 20:45:22

About half of the chapels I've been too have had carpet. Thinking about it, only the big ones don't grin.

outyougo Sun 13-May-12 20:49:41
EclecticShock Sun 13-May-12 20:59:59

Thanks mrslettuce, I was wondering about asking there. It's difficult as the examples I've found on the net all refer to Jesus, Mary or God, obviously... But seeing as dp doesn't have a faith, it's tricky to get the right balance between respectful of his dads faith and staying true to his own feelings... I'm sure we'll figure it out, might post there though. Hope I don't get laughed at blush

EclecticShock Sun 13-May-12 21:01:34

Liked the article outyougo, your name reminds me of my cat ;)

MrsLettuce Sun 13-May-12 21:17:54

Na, it'd be fine. religious and philosophical types aren't know for laughing at the recently bereaved, it's not s&b you know wink.

Does your Dp have to write his own bidding prayer?

If so there are some nice ones here under "Prayers of the Faithful". Some of them like number 3 and number 7 don't mention God or Jesus apart from the final "Lord hear us..." which is the usual ending for a Catholic bidding prayer. These will give you an idea of the sort of thing that is read.

Hope you find something suitable although the Philosphy board people will definitely be able to sort you out.

itdidntworkout Sun 13-May-12 22:55:39

apologies for hijacking, but is a mantilla old fashioned? or is it just 'wrong'? Why don't people wear them?

EclecticShock Sun 13-May-12 23:01:47

Thank you do much thewoollybackswife and mrslettuce

BandersnatchCummerbund Mon 14-May-12 01:09:08

It's not "wrong" at all, itdidntworkout, but it's fallen out of general use and is no longer customary in most families/churches. The only people you're likely to see wearing mantillas now would either be the very elderly, or those who keep to a very strict and/or old-fashioned tradition of Catholicism (or both!). For a younger, non-Catholic woman to wear one to a standard Catholic funeral would look a bit out of place, as if she'd come in fancy dress as An Old-fashioned Catholic Mourner. A bit like turning up to a party wearing a full-length evening gown, opera gloves and tiara when everyone else was in knee-length cocktail dresses.

DeadRisingPies Mon 14-May-12 02:02:32

I've been to a couple of funerals expecting them to be sombre affairs, only to find that people were dressed in bright colours (sons in Tahiti shirts fgs) and they were a 'celebration of the life' sort of thing. I wish people would make it clear in advance what kind of event it is going to be, as it can be quite embarrassing to turn up in the wrong mood, not to mention wrongly dressed.

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