Should people wear black to Catholic funerals?

Symbols matter and communicate. What we wear “says” something. One would not show up at a Philadelphia Eagles game in a NY Giants jersey and expect to go unnoticed. A man who takes off his wedding ring before going on a business trip to Las Vegas would be questioned closely by his wife.

Funerals are times of sober reflection, prayer and celebration of a deceased person’s life. If I am not going to wear black, I need to think about what my attire communicates. Does my choice of dress or suit say I care about the person and appreciate and understand the profundity of the occasion? Or do my jeans and tee shirt or tank top say, “This is no different than a quick trip to Target.” If I choose not to wear black, why do I choose to wear the outfit I wear?

This “wiki how” thigamagig actually contains a lot of practical wisdom for those attending funerals who are clueless as to what is considered appropriate. Don’t go to a funeral all “hootchied up” (“hootchy” = too short, too tight, too much”). Know that your dress speaks. Know what you are saying.


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