News and Advice

What Does a Funeral Home Do? 

Arranging a funeral can be a very challenging experience for everyone. There are numerous aspects to be figured out before your loved one is laid to rest. However, assistance is available during this difficult process.  

funeral coffin with flowers as part of a funeral service

When you’re planning a funeral, a funeral home offers vital support. They have many responsibilities during the funeral arrangements. However, their primary role is providing compassionate support to family and friends, and ensuring wishes are carried out to make the service special for all.  

Below, we answer the question, “what does a funeral home do” to give you insight into how they can help during this painful time.  

What is a funeral home, and what do they do? 

A funeral home performs a number of services before, during and after the funeral. The funeral director and staff members primarily support family members during the arrangement process. However, they also plan and carry out the service according to the family’s wishes.  

How does a funeral home assist in the planning process? 

When you request the services of a funeral home, there are many aspects to discuss before the funeral takes place. First, a funeral director will meet with you to organise details such as the date, location and time of the funeral and service. At this stage, they will also discuss the wishes of the deceased, such as whether they wanted a burial or cremation. However, if there are no specific instructions from your loved ones, this is a decision that can be made by family members.  

During this meeting, you can also decide whether you’d like to organise some aspects of the funeral or hand everything over to the funeral home. The funeral home is available to support and guide you through each step, so you can feel comfortable knowing that everything is taken care of.  

What does a funeral home do before the funeral? 

When the time comes, your chosen funeral home is available to take your call any time of the day. At this time, they will begin arrangements, which include: 

  • Removing and transferring the deceased to the funeral home 
  • Providing professional care to the deceased, such as embalming, casketing and dressing 
  • Preparing and arranging necessary paperwork, such as obtaining the death certificate 
  • Composing and distributing the obituary, if requested  
  • Offering support and assistance to make arrangements with clergy for the service 
  • Liaising with the cemetery or crematory about fees, requirements and service needs 
  • Organising and arranging flowers, photos and memorials for the casket 
  • Providing professional pallbearers and cars to transport the deceased to the funeral 

What does a funeral home do on the day of the funeral? 

Funeral directors have a significant role in the planning stage. However, they also make the day run as smoothly as possible. As the hearse leaves the funeral home or chosen location, the funeral director will lead the car either for a short distance or the entire stretch to the service.  

On arrival, they ensure the deceased is carefully carried to the service. Transportation for family members is also arranged. Once the service is complete, the funeral home will transport family members to the wake, if requested.  

What can I expect when visiting a funeral home? 

The funeral home and its team will understand that this is an emotional time for your family. When you arrive, you’ll get professional and supportive guidance on every aspect of a funeral. A funeral director is very experienced in this area and can advise on a number of factors, including cost and packages available.  

Funeral homes are also available 24 hours a day. So if you have an urgent request, you will be met with compassion and support at any time of the day.  

What types of requests can I make of a funeral home? 

Funerals homes are here to help in any way possible to ensure a meaningful and stress-free funeral and service. So, most requests are a possibility.  

You can choose elements such as whether you’d like your loved one to be taken to a mortuary right away or to remain at home for a few days. Of course, as long as the deceased has not made any requests, choosing cremation or burial is entirely your choice.  

The funeral home can also accommodate specific wishes about flowers, music and coffin choice. Most requests are never too much for a funeral director. So, don’t be afraid to ask for advice, as they’ll be happy to help.  

Can I see the deceased before the funeral? 

Many funeral homes have a chapel of rest, which enables family members to see a loved one before the funeral. This is a deeply personal choice for each individual, and you can choose to see your loved one alone or with other family members.  

If you choose to visit the chapel of rest, the funeral home will advise you on what to expect. This service is carried out in an extremely respectful manner, and the room is peaceful to allow you to say your goodbyes. Funeral homes understand that saying goodbye is different for everyone, so you have time to sit with your loved one without any disturbances.  

Seeing your loved one in a chapel of rest is an intensely emotional experience. Afterwards, you may want to talk to a bereavement counsellor, which can be arranged with your funeral director.  

Compassionate and professional funeral home services   

Organising a funeral can be a very stressful and emotional experience for family and friends. However, choosing a professional and compassionate funeral home to assist during this process can take the pressure off an already distressing time.  

Our team of funeral directors in Bristol is on hand to guide you through the process and can accommodate various requests to ensure the day is special for your family. Your chosen funeral home is available to help when needed – with support accessible 24 hours a day. Please contact us to learn more about what our funeral homes offer and how we can help.  

Member of the National Association of Funeral Directors The national society of allied and independent funeral directors

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