Funeral Etiquette

I am fully expecting to get flamed by the Scots for this one ! But Today I attended a very dear friends funeral , until today I never knew that in my part of Scotland it's not acceptable to attend the burial if you are female . It's ok to go to the service , it's fine to go to the wake , but attend the interment , oh no way . Despite the fact that at the service it's self there was a 50/50 mix of the sexes , when it came to the burial , women were around less than one to ten of the guys . Where it was left in no doubt to us both by muttered comments and glares , believe it or not us half a dozen women who did attend stood between 6-8 metres back from the nearest guy , that's how unwelcome we were there , now whilst my friend being buried was truly Scots , he would never have stood for us to be treated in such a way as he was both a gentle man and a gentleman , if that makes any sense . He was a great guy despite being in a reserved occupation he choose to join up anyway , was a Royal marines sniper , truly the last person you can imagine doing that job , but he'd seen a woman locally , get gunned down by a German plane in front of him , this was what made the gentlest man imaginable join up and do what he felt he needed to do . Despite over 40 years in age difference , I considered him a true friend , I will miss him so much , all I can do now is support his wife as best I can , and hope it's enough .
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6 Responses Feb 23, 2012

So sorry to hear of your friend passing. Personally I think funerals from visitation to burial are weird and I find it hard to attend appropriately. I doubt it is because I am a woman. But wow - weird custom.

Interesting, I didn't know others do this as well. Muslims do this too.

So do we will RARELY find a woman attending the cremation of a person....even if she is the wife or mother....its really uncommon for a woman to go to the funeral. The logic which the 'society' gives is that women wouldn't be able to tolerate the sight of a beloved person's cremation......I think its all Bull Crap though

It used to be the same in Wales

It shocked me too. I couldn't go along with the tradition because it so aggrieved me, and luckily it has mostly (excuse the unavoidable pun) died out now

There can't be any formal law that says women can't be at the graveside, and I'm sure the tradition didn't start out as a deliberate snub to women, though it does seem like it to modern English people.

I think women tended to just go and make the food and pour the sherry

I've never heard of that before, was it a methodist funeral ? Or is it all faiths in Scotland have this ?

Not all faiths. I'm a Christian and women are permitted at the burial....and in my personal experience......they are also given cords to lower the coffin (mainly decorative since nowadays the graveyard workers take the weight but still nice to be included). I live in central scotland and I've never heard of this but obviously cant speak for all areas!

Sorry I should have said its not faith dependent. May be local custom but its certainly not widespread throughout Scotland.

So that is what you would call a cultural traditional thing i suppose.

I am sorry I had never heard of this either. I don't know whether to be outraged that this is so or just allow it cos it's culture. Nah, it's just long held tradition that hasn't caught up with the modern way. I am sorry for your loss and I am sorry that the funeral - a service and institution which I think is essential in the grieving process was marred for you in this way. Grieving communally is a comforting experience - gender has nothing to do with this.