What do Chinese Christians wear to a Western or Chinese Christian funeral?

In the West, it seems that black is the popular color for death and funerals. You see this in movies, where women would wear black veils and black formal dresses.

In Chinese culture, it is known that white is the color reserved for death and funerals.

So, do Chinese Christians wear white or black at a funeral? Is there a preference for a single color in Christianity for certain occasions, or is this more of a Western cultural thing?

  • 2
    You might get a big long answer to this, but mourning garb is certainly cultural. I'd imagine Chinese Catholics would wear what Chinese Buddhists and Chinese atheists would wear. For Catholics, liturgical colors don't change for funerals (if you ever go in a Catholic sacristy, I doubt you'll notice any black vestments). Furthermore, African Catholics would probably be more likely to dance at a funeral just as nihilist Catholics might be more likely to dance on your grave.
    – Peter Turner
    Oct 1, 2013 at 2:36

2 Answers 2


It might depend on the church and the individuals. I attended a Chinese church one time and people wore all sorts of colours to them. Sometimes black, sometimes white, and anything in between. I don't think the church I went to was very superstitious in that regard.

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    When you say "people wore all sorts of colors to them" are you talking about "to church" or "to funerals"? This question is specifically asking about funeral attire, but your answer isn't very clear on this. Could you be specific about the occasion(s) you are referring to and where in the world it was?
    – Caleb
    Oct 1, 2013 at 16:58

Christianity does not claim or recommend any color for funerals. The bible does not claim or recommend any color for funerals. Wear whatever you want.

If anything, Christianity might teach to avoid traditional wear at funerals, whatever the local tradition may be. Funeral wear, such as Western black, is generally seen as a sign of mourning. While we may mourn the fact that those who remain behind are for a time denied the company of the deceased, if the individual was a believer this should be an occasion of ultimate triumph for that person. "To live is Christ. To die is gain.", and thus such outward signs of mourning could deny our hope for the deceased.

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