Why People Wear Black to a Funeral

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, April 2, 2018

In most parts of the world today, it is customary to wear black or dark clothing to a funeral or wake. This practice is commonplace today, but throughout history and across many cultures, this has not always been the case. 

In the ancient cultures, funeral colors varied by region, and were usually much lighter. The ancient Egyptians wore yellow, while the Persians of the time chose brown. Ancient Syrian wore light blue attire to their burials. The ancient Chinese people often wore white while in mourning. 

During the Roman Empire, families would wear dark robes and togas to show that they were in mourning. Towards the middle ages, commoners would wear somber clothes and sometimes shawls, but the colors were often non-specific. Those of certain christian faiths, or royalty would often wear purple. 

During the Renaissance era, black became more popular for mourning; eventually becoming the common fashion for funerals. Special dresses, jewelry, and headdresses were even sold specifically for women’s funeral attire.

Today, most people wear black or dark, formal clothing to a funeral in America; mainly because the tradition of wearing black is mainly a Christian one. The exception to this would be Buddhist and Hindu funeral, where mourners traditionally wear white. Traditionally, Muslim funeral attendees are asked to wear more neutral colors and to forgo flashy jewelry. The modest clothing traditions are generally encouraged as well. 

For almost 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Unexpected Grief with Spring Cleaning

    Spring is almost here, and with it comes the renewal of warmer weather and longer days. When you start your Spring cleaning, you may never know what you’ll find hidden in that cl...

What Should I Bring to the Funeral Home?

When making arrangements for a loved one who has recently passed away, the whole process may seem overwhelming. We are here to help, with both your loved one’s service, as well as with the grief o...

Valentine's Day and Lost Love

Valentine’s Day is one of love, and celebrating your relationship with your significant other. But after the death of a loved one, Valentine’s Day can be a day of pain. Reminders of love in the fo...

New Year's Resolutions

With the new year comes a new set of goals and resolutions. For many, resolutions can be hard to keep and are often passed up on by February or March. At Matthew Funeral Home, we wanted to suggest ...

Grief and the Approaching Holidays

Grief often strikes at inopportune times. The holiday season can be difficult after the loss of a loved one; because they are often the times we feel the void left by them. Most people surround th...

Grief After a Suicide

As funeral directors, we help families of all kinds deal with grief and see how families are affected by loss firsthand. The loss of a loved one can be devastating. But when a loved one takes thei...

Designing a Monument

A monument is an important memorial and final testament to your loved one. Creating a custom, beautiful headstone that memorializes the deceased is a big part of the funeral process. When designin...

Remembering Those We Lost on 9/11

September 11th means a lot to Americans across the country. A day of tragedy, of loss, of heartache. The loss of 2,997 American lives. But to us, in the New York City area, the day truly hits hard...

Grief and Going Back to School

There is no “good time” to deal with grief, but the back to school season can be especially difficult for children. The new year of school can bring its own set of challenges, but a grieving child ...

Interfaith Funerals

New York is a melting pot of different cultures, backgrounds, and religions. Because of the blending of unique cultures, some people opt to go with an interfaith ceremony. This common with people ...