Is it Rude to Not Attend a Funeral?

Funerals are a touchy and emotional time for everyone involved. But, is it considered rude to not attend a funeral? Read on below and find out the full answer!

Is it Rude to Not Attend a Funeral?

Funerals are meant for paying respect to the dead as well as showing support and compassion to the living who are suffering from the loss of their loved one, and while it is not wrong to not attend (if you have a good reason, or simply can’t handle it), it may be seen as rude by family and friends of the departed.

How Rude Is it?


Not attending a funeral ceremony rates 3 out of 10 on the rude meter. Opting to not attend the funeral itself is not rude if you have a legit reason for not doing so, but it may still be viewed as such by those expecting your support and attendance.

Why is it Not Rude?

Not everyone is cut out for funerals, and that’s ok because we are not absolutely obligated to attend. There are other ways to show your respect to the loved ones of the deceased besides attending the funeral. 

That said, if you can stomach the funeral service, and have the time to attend, it is more than appreciated by the friends and family of the dead. Further, even though they will get over it with time, if you do not attend, it may be thought of as at least slightly rude.

Other Options to Do Instead

If you simply don’t have the heart (or stomach) to attend a funeral, you can still show your support and loyalty to the family of the deceased in other ways.

One of the most common things to do instead of attending the funeral is to send a card and/or flowers to the family. You could also visit the family in person before the funeral.

If you are close with the mourners, you could even offer to help the family with their everyday chores and errands or house-sit their pets while they are at the funeral.

Common Questions

Why do people not attend funerals?

People choose not to attend funerals for a plethora of reasons. Some people can’t stomach being faced with death, and others feel too emotional and feel ashamed to be seen in front of others. Yet, other people skip them simply because they can’t get out of work, or they don’t “feel” like going. 

How do you say no to attending a funeral?

The best way to say no to a funeral is promptly and matter-of-factly. Let them know you won’t be going right away, and if you feel it necessary explain to them honestly why you won’t be going to the funeral.

How do I tell someone I can’t go to a funeral?

Openly and honestly is the best way to explain to someone why you can’t go to a funeral you have been invited to or are expected to attend. It is a touchy time, and a very emotional one, but your honesty will be appreciated.

Is it ok to miss someone’s funeral?

It is perfectly ok to miss someone’s funeral, even though it may not feel like it to you (or the loved ones of the deceased). People miss funerals all the time, and the world keeps turning. It isn’t a happy event at any rate, and one less person attending the service doesn’t bring the train of the tracks.