When someone dies, their family has many tasks to take care of. One of those tasks is planning the funeral. Throughout history, this was a job that the family took on, but over time it has become more common to outsource this responsibility to professionals. So what is a funeral home? What do they do? And why are they essential to your family when a loved one dies?
What is a Funeral Home?
Funerals are a time-honored tradition helping families mourn the death of a loved one. Until the 1950′s, funerals were commonly held at home in the living room or parlor of the family home. Hence the term “Funeral Parlor.”
However, as times changed and families grew increasingly busy, it became more common to outsource funeral services to another home, the funeral home. The Funeral Home becomes their home for the funeral.
Who is a Funeral Director? What Do They Do?
There are two distinctly different forms of Funeral Home ownership. One is the Family Funeral Home, long the sole providers of funeral services. The vast majority of Family Funeral Homes consist of one or two locations frequently managed by the family members that started the Funeral Homes.
The 1960’s saw the proliferation of Consolidators or Corporate Funeral Homes. These consist of Corporations that own and operate from 50 to many thousands of Funeral Homes and Cemeteries. The largest is SCI, based in Houston TX. Needless to say, there is no family involvement here.
At the head of a Family Funeral Home is most often the owner, who is a Funeral Director and possibly other family members. They are often owned and operated by generations of the family.
The Corporate Funeral Homes have no family associations. They all hire licensed Funeral Directors, professionals that, after years of training, specialize in providing emotional and organizational guidance to families during funerals.
The funeral director helps families make all of the funeral planning arrangements. They have many duties, including:
- Assist you to plan any memorial services or funeral arrangements
- Help you decide about final disposition and educate you about burial or cremation options.
- Assist in making decisions about final disposition, whether by cremation or burial, and carry out the family’s wishes for the service of their choice. They handle all the arrangements, so the family is free to grieve,
- They prepare the deceased for viewing if visitation or shipping is selected, and ensure makeup and clothing are cared for to honor the deceased.
- Handle applying for the death certificate and ordering certified copies.
- Assistance in selecting caskets or urns.
- Arrange a visitation or wake before the services and help you decide whether an open or closed casket is appropriate.
- Work with emergency personnel, hospice care, a nursing home, or a hospital to transfer the deceased.
- Assist in choosing flower arrangements, funeral cards, or other memorial folders.
- Arrange details of a graveside service.
- Assist in choosing clergy, family members, or others to speak at the funeral and memorial services.
Funeral homes include everything from arranging the body’s transportation, filing the death certificate, and other paperwork to helping you plan what type of service you want, such as a wake or visitation before the burial.
Funeral directors also help choose a casket, organize any music used during the service, and guide you through all your other decisions. The funeral director is there to support your family emotionally during this difficult time.
Funeral directors can also offer advice on how to honor a loved one’s memory, provide support and comfort during your grief, and help with other duties related to the arrangements.
How Can Funeral Homes Help My Family?
A funeral home serves as an invaluable resource for grieving families. The professionals working at a funeral home understand the sensitive nature of death and know what needs to be done to honor the deceased properly.
Funeral homes provide a sense of ease and comfort for families during difficult times and make it easier for them to plan the service without worrying about all the details. Many funeral homes offer
- Onsite cremation services
- Funeral home chapel or funeral “parlor.”
- Provide their establishment as a welcoming place for family and friends to gather.
By enlisting the help of a funeral home, you are giving yourself and your family permission to take time away from planning and allow yourselves to focus on celebrating your loved one’s life meaningfully.
In addition to providing practical services, funeral homes also offer emotional support to grieving families. They can help families express their grief and honor their loved one’s memory.
It is important to remember that while funerals may be stressful, they can also bring solace, peace, and closure during difficult times.
By engaging with a funeral home, you can ensure your loved one has the dignified goodbye they deserve.
What is a Funeral Service?
Funeral services are the foundation of a funeral. This is when your family gathers to say a final goodbye to a family member. Your loved ones may participate in providing music, acting as pallbearers, or helping by sending pictures or videos for the funeral home to display at the service.
A Funeral Service, either a Visitation or Memorial Service, provides a time for all friends and family to gather where they can rekindle relationships and share memories.
No matter how you prepare for the funeral arrangements and the process, funeral directors stay prepared to help with the final wishes and ensure everything goes smoothly. The goal of the funeral service is to help celebrate the deceased person’s life and help loved ones remember and honor that life.
Choosing a Funeral or Memorial Service
When selecting a funeral or memorial service, there are many variables to consider.
- Are you planning a cremation or burial?
- Do you have out-of-town family who would like to attend?
- What type of service would best reflect the life and wishes of your loved one?
- What type of service will provide comfort to family and friends?
- What kind of religious aspects should be included in the arrangements?
A funeral home can help you answer these questions. They can help you pick out meaningful music, plan readings, and select an appropriate venue for the event.
Funeral directors are experienced in planning funeral or memorial services that best represent the deceased’s life and offer solace for those grieving their loss. They provide a wide array of services designed to honor your loved one’s memory and make it easier for your family during these difficult times.
Renaissance is a Caring Family-Owned Funeral Home
At Renaissance Funeral Home and Crematory, we understand that grief and loss can be difficult for families to endure. That’s why we provide compassionate, personalized care during the funeral planning process.
Our experienced staff is dedicated to helping you plan a meaningful service that reflects your loved one’s wishes and honors their memory in the best way possible. We are committed to keeping life in all its beauty by providing exceptional service and support with dignity, respect, and compassion.
Whether you need help planning a traditional ceremony or non-traditional memorial service, our caring professionals can provide guidance and assistance at every step. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help ease your burden during this difficult time.