Columbarium Etiquette When Visiting a Dearly Departed

While cemeteries are still traditionally chosen as the final resting place of the dearly departed, a columbarium has become an increasingly popular alternative for some families as a place for the interment of the cremated ashes of their deceased loved ones. Families looking for an affordable way to pay their final respect to a departed loved one preferred columbarium as land availability in many cemeteries has become scarce and expensive. A columbarium is a structure with many small compartments within the walls called columbarium niches which hold or store the urns containing the ashes of the departed. It can be found in cemeteries, churches, and crematorium sites, among others.


Just like when visiting cemeteries, there is also a columbarium etiquette that must be observed as you pay respect to a loved one from bringing funeral flowers to proper behavior while inside the place. It is essential to remember that a columbarium is a place of reverence and respect. Families and friends will visit their dearly departed this coming All Souls’ Day or Undas. It is expected that a large crowd will gather inside the columbarium on this special day. Here are a few things to always keep in mind on proper columbarium etiquette when visiting a departed loved one to show your love and respect to them.      

Proper Decorum When Visiting a Departed Loved One in a Columbarium

1. Wear decent and appropriate clothing. Avoid revealing clothes. This is a good way to observe columbarium etiquette while inside the premises.

2. Observe silence at all times. Avoid loud conversations or laughter. Speak quietly to each other so other visitors can offer their prayers for their dearly departed in a solemn ambiance. One columbarium etiquette is to respect other visitors who want to spend quiet moments and heal their grief. If you are bringing children, remind them not to run, scream, or play around the columbarium.

3. Do not install signs, inscriptions, stickers, and other adhesive materials onto the niche covers.

4. Part of columbarium etiquette is to not bring chairs, benches, or tables inside the columbarium. The hallways must always be free from obstructions so visitors can easily move around.

5. Candles may only be lighted at assigned areas within the columbarium.

6. Flower offerings and other arrangements such as balloons and garlands must be properly hung and attached to the niche covers. Do not leave them on the floor or hang dangling on the niches. Funeral flowers and other floral offerings that have wilted are collected for disposal by the staff.

7. As a columbarium etiquette, visitors must strictly follow the columbarium’s rules. Some places may have specific rules on smoking or what you can and cannot bring inside. Do not smoke at the columbarium if there is a regulation about it even if the staff does not see you.

8. Eating, drinking, and loud music are prohibited at all times.

9. Always keep the columbarium and its premises clean. Do not leave your trash behind. Observe columbarium etiquette such as placing your trash in the trash bins if they are provided. If there aren’t any, take them with you when you leave the columbarium.


ALSO READ: Undas Essentials to Complete Your All Souls Day Celebration


Columbarium etiquette must be properly observed at all times. Proper behavior is a way of showing your respect to a dearly departed and his or her final resting place. Following rules and regulations ensures that all visitors have a respectful experience when visiting a columbarium. A large crowd will gather to offer prayers and flowers this All Souls’ Day. By observing columbarium etiquette, everyone can have a meaningful celebration to commemorate the memories of a loved one who has gone away.   


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