Home Question Box Should people wear black to Catholic funerals? By Richard G. Malloy, SJ January 18, 2011 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.