Funeral Home / Funeral Parlour & What are they?

A funeral home and funeral parlour are interchangeable, meaning they essentially refer to the same thing. Funeral homes / funeral parlours are places that provide funeral services for someone who has died. These services may include a prepared funeral, memorial, wake, burial, cremation or repatriation services, and the provision of a chapel or memorial space. Funeral homes can vary in size from smaller family-owned businesses to larger corporations that serve many communities. Mortuary technicians and embalmers also usually work in these facilities, preparing loved ones for viewing, burial, cremation, or repatriation using processes such as embalming, dressing, and cosmetics.

In general, funeral homes/funeral parlours assist families in making decisions about what they want to be done at theirs, or their loved one’s funeral. A funeral home will typically offer a variety of services. Some common services offered include:  

  • -Being on call 24/7 to serve families when a death occurs. Funeral home / funeral parlours offer comfort and peace of mind during these emotional times.
  • -Transporting a loved one from their place of death to the funeral home, and to the place of service and burial/cremation if necessary.
  • -Providing necessary services for loved ones, as requested by their families. These may include washing, preparing, embalming, cosmetology, restorative art, and hairdressing.
  • -Consulting closely with families to arrange all necessary paperwork and funeral arrangements such as certificates of death and planning which types of ceremonies will suit their loved one’s preferences.
  • -Crafting and composing obituaries and other information regarding funeral service announcements via media outlets such as newspapers and social media platforms.
  • -Liaising with third party companies to organise funeral arrangements, for example, contacting a florist to organise floral arrangements, and contacting the cemetery or crematory to make bookings, notify of family requirements, and ask about prices on behalf of families.
  • -Providing optional memorial products to commemorate the life of a loved one, which may include a guest register book, acknowledgement cards, thank you cards, and framed photos.
  • -Being responsible for keeping the process as respectful and stressless as possible by coordinating visitation, funerals, processions, as well as taking care of the deceased with dignity, respect, and professionalism.
  • -Planning and managing the funeral service, as well as assisting families before, during and after the services.

What are funeral directors?

A funeral director, also known as an undertaker or mortician, is a professional involved in the business of funeral rites, who gives much needed support and compassion to the loved ones of a deceased. Other roles that may be familiar include funeral arrangers, funeral drivers, administration roles and embalmers. The roles of funeral directors often entail the preparation, embalming, burial, cremation, or repatriation of deceased, as well as the funeral arrangements and management regarding the funeral ceremony.

Funeral directors work with families to arrange funeral services from beginning to end. These duties include:

-Establishing the locations, dates, and times of wakes, memorial services, burials, cremations, and repatriations, and liaising with third parties on behalf of the family to make these arrangements.
-Organising service venues, officiants, funeral staff and funeral vehicles for the clergy and family members on the day of services.
-Organising floral tributes on behalf of families.
-Creating memorial stationary such as memorial cards and orders of service for the day of the funeral.
-Organising obituaries and funeral notices via traditional or online platforms such as newspapers and social media outlets.
-Organising all necessary paperwork associated with a funeral.
-Organising the respectful transportation of a deceased from their place of death into the funeral home’s care, and to their final resting place.
-Undertaking all necessary preparations such as washing, preparation, embalming, dressing, placing a deceased in their coffin, applying cosmetics, and styling a deceased’s hair.
-Considering and respecting the wishes of the deceased and their families when organising service details.

What do funeral services entail / What services do funeral directors offer?

Traditional Funeral Services:

Traditional funeral services are still the most common type of funeral ceremony. These types of pf services generally entail various religious and cultural rituals and are usually held in a more formal setting such as a church or chapel. As part of a traditional funeral service, friends and family may sing or play songs or hymns to commemorate their loved one’s life, religious blessings may occur by a priest or celebrant, and a eulogy may be delivered. This type of service can be followed by either a graveside service and burial, or a cremation whereby a loved one is taken to a crematorium by funeral staff, and a loved one’s ashes are returned to their family at a later date.

Graveside Services:

Graveside services are the most important part of a traditional funeral, held after the funeral ceremony in a church or chapel. Final blessings and words are said here, before friends and family say goodbye to their loved one before they are lowered into their final resting place.

Direct Burials:

Direct burials are the most affordable and simple burial option and are a perfect option for families who do not wish to have a formal ceremony. Some families may choose this option with plans to have a memorial service not involving a funeral home, or simply because they prefer not to have a service altogether, instead opting for time spent with loved ones in a more familiar setting such as their home without the fuss of visitations or a funeral beforehand. With these services, funeral staff will arrange to prepare a loved one and privately transfer them to their final resting place without family present.

Direct Cremations:

Much like direct burials, direct cremations are the most affordable and simple cremation option, often chosen by families for the same reasons as a direct burial. With these services, funeral staff will arrange to prepare a loved one and privately transfer them to a crematorium without family present. A loved one’s ashes are then returned to their family at a later date.

Memorial Services and Celebration of Life Services:

These services are usually more non-traditional services which focus on honouring and celebrating the life of a loved one who has passed away, rather than focusing on funeral rites and rituals. These services are more personalised to the family and the loved one they have lost, usually involving friends and family reflecting on all their loved one gave them while they were alive through anecdotes, funny moments, shared memories, and lessons learnt through them.