View Full Version : Mobile phone v Funeral service

P6 Driver
9th Sep 2013, 13:37
So there I was at a funeral today when a mobile phone started to play its inbound call music during the service. As the chap (mid 50's) was leaving the chapel and taking the call, he was telling those he was pushing by "I thought I'd turned it off".

Not satisfied by this, a few minutes later, he made an outbound call, still during the service. Seeing red, I approached him and said words (quietly but meaningfully) into his free ear to the effect that the service was still in progress and I considered his behaviour to be both disrespectful and disgusting.

A few minutes later, having finished his outbound call, he approached me and said that it was a call he had to make. I could barely believe how annoyed this made me and went for a walk away from the service to calm down.

The question in my mind is whether I was over-reacting, or is this now acceptable at events such as funerals?

9th Sep 2013, 13:39
No, I think you did the right thing.

Even if someone wants to leave a phone on,
they do have a silent feature for a reason.

Just my HO.

9th Sep 2013, 13:42

I think you handled it correctly and appropriately. Me? I would have punched his lights out but, hey, that's me. :}

9th Sep 2013, 13:42
Unless he was trying to contact the dead, mid-service was completely the wrong time and place to initiate a call.

Flap 5
9th Sep 2013, 13:47
One wonders how the chap would have survived in the old days before mobile phones. Clearly he would never leave his home or office for fear of missing an 'important' call. :rolleyes:

9th Sep 2013, 13:56
Flap 5:

I often find myself wondering how many people would manage to survive, for more than 5 minutes, if their cell phones were permanently taken away from them.

I'm sure many would prefer death.

9th Sep 2013, 15:02
You would imagine that anyone who makes the effort to pay their respects to a deceased person would show that respect by being respectful. Full stop.

I was acting as an usher/greeter at a funeral service a few years back and asked every arriving person to PLEASE turn their mobile phone off to avoid any unwanted interruptions. Realising that many of the mourners didn't know me from Adam, I asked two of the funeral ushers (I hope that's the correct tag) to please do this as it would carry more gravitas. They both gave me a look as if I had asked to borrow their homes for a week. The service went ahead until 3/4's of the way through and during a heartfelt eulogy from one of the deceased's children a very loud phone started ringing, not once, but twice :*


Cyber Bob
9th Sep 2013, 15:13

For what it's worth - I would have 'Educated' him in that the only phone call he 'Had to make' would have been with his maker. You either pitch up and show respect or if you need to make calls, not pitch up at all. The two don't mix.

I would have gladly booked him an appointment with the almighty, the disrespectful sh1t.

Tosser's like this wind me up

9th Sep 2013, 15:20
It may have been the deceased's phone and a friend was holding it having gone through the contact list earlier. Obviously missed one contact who needed directions

Of course not knowing what the call was about, it's more satisfying if you had punched his lights out :)

9th Sep 2013, 15:26
Phones should only be allowed at funerals for comedic reasons...

The IT Crowd - Series 2 - Episode 2: Heart attack - YouTube

Seriously though the chap the OP cites case showed no respect at all. A plague be on him and his phone.


Standard Noise
9th Sep 2013, 16:07
I'm the sort of miserable git who thinks that people should dress appropriately at a funeral(suit, tie etc) but then I grew up in NI where certain strata of society thought that turning up in jeans and a football shirt (Rangers or Celtic usually) was acceptable. As for mobile phones, they should be left in the car or at home, that way they can't disturb the proceedings. At the start of the year at my grandmother's funeral, I took a phone off one of my nephews and locked it in my car, he didn't get it back til we got to the hotel for the wake. When my brother arrived he told his wife off for not having done it before I felt the need to step in.

Curious Pax
9th Sep 2013, 16:09
I had the embarrassment of my phone going off during my Mum's memorial service a few weeks ago.

I'd made sure the phone was off at the Crem, but turned it on outside the church as a couple of mourners got lost en route to the church. Unfortunately once that was sorted out, in my eagerness to get into the church I forgot to turn it off again - s**t happens, and no one seems to have held it against me. Probably helped that another mourner's phone went off a few minutes later, and he was considerably less adept than me at shutting it up!

Both cases a lot different to making a call in the service, which is a pretty sh*tty thing to do.

* - We did things backwards - family/close friends at the Crematorium first, left Mum there, then went to the church for a celebration of her life afterwards, followed by the wake. Worked well we thought, especially as it meant that the larger audience at the church didn't have to hang round for an hour while a smaller number did the Crem and then headed for the wake. We felt that it made it easier to enjoy remembering her without a wooden box sitting at the front.

9th Sep 2013, 16:19
Curious Pax wrote:

I had the embarrassment of my phone going off during my Mum's memorial service a few weeks ago.

My condolences on the loss of your mom, Curious Pax.

9th Sep 2013, 16:37
Richard Griffiths, the late actor, was famously intolerant of people who allowed their phones to go off during stage performances. On occasion both in London and New York he had offenders ejected from the auditorium before he would continue the play.

I don't know if anyone allowed their phone to go off at his funeral, but God help them if they did, as they will no doubt be getting nightly visits from Griffiths' phantom, or possibly getting ghostly phone calls from him :eek:

9th Sep 2013, 16:44
I make sure mine is off. At my mom's funeral my always late daughter was trying to call me because she couldn't find the church. Of course I was in the front row so thank God I turned it off. She finally made it.

9th Sep 2013, 16:58
Sad to say that my wife was guilty of such an incidence at a funeral.

The morning prior to the afternoon funeral, we pick up my wife's brand new mobile phone, the most advance type that there was at the time. We were only taught the basic functions of the phone, which unfortunately did not include the instructions on how to turn the blasted thing off.

So, off we go to the funeral. The funeral was for a school friend that my wife had attended not only university with, but also high school. So needless to say, about everybody at the funeral were all friends of my wife. I knew about two of them.

We arrive at the funeral service and as we park my wife is pushing buttons on her new phone. I inquire as to what she is doing and she tells me that she is trying to figure out how to turn the sound off, but to leave the vibrate function on. After about five minutes of pushing buttons, she announces that the phone is on silence.

Being used to to things not always being as we think they are, I say why don't I call your mobile and see if it is really not going to make any noise. She replies, with the infamous last words, 'No, it's off and we're late. We have to go in now.'

In we go, with me leaving my mobile in the car. I had suggested her doing the same, but no, she wants to show everybody her new red mobile phone. I had long given up arguing about such things with her, as life is too short as it is already.

Now, being the last ones in, one would think that we could be able to find seats on the very back row, my preferred seating area at funerals. But no, seems the deceased family had saved two seats for us, right behind the family.

At this point I knew for a fact that; A. My wife would receive a call on her mobile. B. The mobile would ring, loudly. As fate would have it, I was seldom wrong when I had such hunches and today would be no exception.

Yup, you guessed it, I was right. Her mobile goes off sounding like the fog horn on the QEII, right in the middle of the service. Everybody starts looking around to see what idiot had left their mobile on, including my wife. Hell, I didn't need to look around, I knew it was her mobile phone.

"HOOOONK" It goes off again. I look at my dearest and tell her it is her mobile. "No it's not." she replies, "I turned the sound off". "HOOOONK!".

At this point I decide that direct action is called for by myself. I reach into her purse, grab the blasted mobile, get up and leave the church via the closest door.

By the time I get outside it has stopped ringing. However, never being one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I just stayed outside until the funeral was over. While I was standing around not doing anything, I started messing around on her mobile and soon discovered that not only had she not silenced the mobile, she had the sound on emergency setting that would make a very loud sound, which I guessed was for scaring would be muggers away.

After a while the funeral was over and everybody came out, still laughing over my wife's phone going off and me grabbing it and running out of the church.

So go figure.

Oh, she leaves her moblie phone in the car now when she goes to funerals.

9th Sep 2013, 17:18
The heel of highly polished shoe generally reinforces the point that have a mobile ring during any such occasion is just pig-ignorant and unacceptable behaviour - end of.

9th Sep 2013, 18:01
I would have had a word with the offender. You did the right thing.

9th Sep 2013, 18:10
Count me in under the "old fashioned group" Cell phones are a plague IMHO. Not sure anymore what the current etiquette is for funerals. The last one I attended, someone showed up in shorts and flip flops. Still, what do I know-at one time in this town we had a drive through window at a funeral home for viewing the deceased. The casket was put in front of a window and you could have a butchers without leaving your car. Why bother if you can't be bothered to drag your sorry arse out of the car? Not sure what the procedure was if they had more than one deceased awaiting burial-a turntable perhaps? The mind boggles :eek:

Curious Pax
9th Sep 2013, 18:23
Thanks for the thought RGB

9th Sep 2013, 18:26
Limeygal questioned:

Why bother if you can't be bothered to drag your sorry arse out of the car?

Ah, but the answer to this question is simple. (And you probably already know the answer.)

Why get your arse out of the car?


Loose rivets
9th Sep 2013, 19:21
Yes, CP, my mom was a decade ago, but I still miss her.

con. I loved your post.

Being used to to things not always being as we think they are, I say why don't I call your mobile and see if it is really not going to make any noise. She replies, with the infamous last words, 'No, it's off and we're late. We have to go in now.'

You see, we both have wives that would have made good aircraft commanders. Decision made. Done and dusted. What . . . you dare to look at me with that questioning look? The phone wouldn't dare to go off during the ceremony.

But it's a technological device, it . . .


Yes dear.

At my mate's funeral last Monday, I know he would have laughed his sox off if a phone had gone off during the service. It'd have tickled his funnybone, for sure.

9th Sep 2013, 19:38

"Still, what do I know-at one time in this town we had a drive through window at a funeral home for viewing the deceased. The casket was put in front of a window and you could have a butchers without leaving your car."

Thanks for providing a good laugh this morning :O :ok:

Maybe they will go back to the old Cowboy days re funerals
and corall all the cars in a circle around the hole in the ground
so everybody can attend without getting out !!!

I wouldn't put it past someone in the US.

9th Sep 2013, 21:36
The problem with my mobile phone is that it insists on playing a loud merry jingle whenever it gets turned off (or on), so remembering to turn it off merely highlights the fact that I haven't turned it off! :*

I wonder if I could simply remove the battery next time? :confused:

9th Sep 2013, 21:44
... or if you forget, switch the thing to silent.
Done that during a hymn - and I was conducting the funeral at the time. So busy remining other people...

SWMBO tells everyone that when I get Altzheimers no-one will notice: nothing will have changed.

9th Sep 2013, 21:47
Funerals are for mourning.

Have attended more than fair share of funerals and phone is turned off / on silent and would get pretty upset with someone.

Now have even got to stage of leaving phone in car when got to church every week just on case...................talking with someone who doesn't need a phone :)

9th Sep 2013, 22:10
Bl**dy mobile phones, the British Empire was built on runners with cleft sticks passing messages around, and survived for a few hundred years, and has now almost disappeared - despite having mobile phones for instant messaging !! So just what is the point of the bl**dy things ?

I can see the advantage of having one in the car in case of an emergency - few assisting cars pass by on lonely rural roads in New Zealand - but then mobile phones don't work in vast tracks of rural NZ, so that shoots that reason down! - but otherwise NOTHING is that important that needs immediate attention, and I simply can't understand why the Fairer Sex need one welded permanently to their right paw ?

Having said that (!!! ) I'm forced to carry one, and a Pager, as co-ordinator of my local Volunteer Coastguard Air Patrol Unit, to assist Those In Peril ( or the victim of their own stupidity ) At Sea, and I do forget to turn it off if not reminded when attending concerts or the cinema ( haven't attended a funeral recently ) - viz. it isn't at the forefront of my daily thinking so amazes, and occasionally embarrasses, me when it rings.

Worse, when I do turn it off, or "silence" it, I then forget to turn it on again for days - you'd be surprised how many have drowned because the local Coastguard weren't called to their plight as a result !! ( only joking - I hope )

I would have thrown the offending phone - and possibly the owner - into the grave along with the deceased. A 'forgotten' reception ring - immediately silenced, not answered, is possibly just acceptable, but a new transmission ???

I graduated from school, got employment, married, raised a family and retired from a successful career, etc. by queuing outside a big red telephone kiosk at the end of the road, into which I put tuppence to contact those to whom I wished to speak.

World's Gone Mad.

10th Sep 2013, 15:42
P6 driver, you did the right thing. You also did the right thing in not smacking the guy in question severly about the head and shoulders, but instead walking off your frustration, out of respect for the deceased and family.

Well done, sir. :ok:

flying lid
10th Sep 2013, 15:54
Not a funeral - but !!!

Nokia ringtone during concert of classical music - YouTube


P6 Driver
10th Sep 2013, 20:34
As the OP of the thread, thank you for your opinions and replies - much appreciated. The guys actions were the wrong side of my morality for such an event, but I'm not without humour on the subject of funerals...

Also at the same event, a St. John Ambulance contingent formed a Guard of Honour as the hearse arrived bearing the coffin. They were still in position after the coffin had been taken indoors when a little red post van arrived, drove slowly past them and parked at the end of the line.

I guess you would have to be there to appreciate just what it looked like, but it matched the sense of humour of the gentleman in the coffin perfectly and helped to lift the occasion - until some morons phone rang!

10th Sep 2013, 20:38
My mobile telephone is turned on only when I have the expectation of a receiving a call or wish to make one.....Keeps the wrong numbers and the promo crap from the 'phone company away.

10th Sep 2013, 20:39
Speaking of inappropriate use of a cellphone, one of my jumpseat riders had his cellphone go off while taxiing, he picked it up anyways, I stopped the airplane and set the parking brake.

He put it away hastily with a "I'll call you back later".:mad: