Funeral homes are among the few businesses, together with roadside diners and highway motels,which are open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. They are open all-year round, holidays, winter and natural calamities not with standing. They are on-call practically anytime their service is needed. They may be found anywhere, be it major cities or small towns, basically in places where there’s a community.
The main functions of funeral homes range from the removal and transfer of the deceased from the place of death, to arranging and setting up the visitation, to the funeral service and ultimately, to the time the deceased is buried or cremated. All the add-ons and the other details are decided upon the wishes of the surviving family members.
In this day and age when businesses seem to be too competitive, these funeral establishments are coming up with different innovative ways to be ahead of the pack. They need to stand out in their fieldby offering value-added services such as preparing, and filing and securing the post-death necessary paper works themselves (death certificates, funeral procession permits and other necessary documents). These tasks used to burden the family of the deceased. Their business start from the time they are called to perform professional care for the deceased. This professional care provided by these funeral homes include tasks such as washing, embalming, dressing, hairdressing, makeup application and casketing.Restorative art is also performed in some cases. A casket is chosen by the family members depending on their preference.
When the body is ready, the visitation or viewing and funeral services are held. The funeral director takes charge of making sure that all needs are met for the funeral service, and this should include providing and organizing all the elements needed for a proper and formal viewing and funeral. On the funeral director’s checklist are having ample chairs for guests, providing a hearse anda marching band for the procession, booking the family’s choice of clergy or parish for the service, etcetera.
Depending on the needs of the family, some funeral homes also offer services for writing an obituary for the deceased with details about where the viewing is, when the funeral will be and some other details requested by the surviving family members which can then be subsequently published in the family’s choice of publication.
If the family wishes for the funeral home to facilitate the disposal of the remains, as is almost always the case, then a burial or a cremation is conducted. Burying the deceased also requires thorough planning. A burial or a lot in the cemetery must be acquired and prepared, services of grave diggers are employed and a formal ceremony is done to complete this undertaking. The funeral home director could arrange these as well if requested. In cases of cremation however, the funeral home could secure a spot in a columbarium instead. The documents required for the burial or cremation should likewise be handled by the personnel of the funeral home.
At the end of the contracted service, the funeral home personnel are supposed to turnover to the family all items that were used for the service such as flowers, mass cards, the register book, memorial contributions made by guests to the family, photos that were displayed, and candles. All other documents pertaining to the contracted service should also be signed off as completed.
In conclusion, funeral homes make it easy for the family to arrange the logistics of laying a deceased to rest. Without them, the family would have to deal with these arrangements on top of the grief over losing a loved one. One can imagine how taxing that could be.