When planning a funeral for a loved one it is easy to feel rushed and vulnerable when it is time to start making decisions. It is suggested that the planning not be done alone but with the consultation of family members or friends. When planning a funeral the first step is to find out if [...]
Unless you work for a funeral home, or unless you have an obsession about death and dying practices, you may wonder if there is a difference between a funeral director and a mortician or a mortician and an undertaker. For all intents and purposes today, there is no difference – especially if the funeral home is a small family operation. But, in larger funeral home operations, you might see a slight difference in what each job traditionally entails.
Have you thought about how your body might be handled after you die? If so, you may have considered creating options for your burial now, even when young. But, the thought of walking into a funeral home to discuss those options might keep you from making those decisions.
If you were asked to attend a Christian funeral, what can you expect? Without going into the history of Christianity, a few notes about Christian funerals can provide basics for those who are not Christians. Even if you are Christian, you may be a Catholic and the deceased may have been a Baptist. You may realize, in this latter case, that the Christian burial for the deceased may be a new experience for you.
In Victorian times after photography was invented and before it became common for anyone to own a camera, a photograph of a corpse was a common occurrence. Even today, at some funeral homes, it isn’t uncommon for the family members to photograph Uncle Joe or Aunt Margaret as they lay in repose upon white silk. But, the practice is far less common now then it was in the early twentieth century, simply because it seems everyone today owns a camera.
Veterans often become confused about burial in this nation’s national cemeteries, when funeral homes and the Veterans Administration (VA) want to offer a less expensive and respectable way to honor America’s military men and women. Funeral homes often are involved in the arrangements, as the VA does not get involved in making funeral arrangements or in performing cremations.
Also known as “visitation,” “calling hours” and “waking the dead,” the funeral wake is a way to pay respect to the deceased. In the past, the wake was part social and partly practical, as – before funeral parlors and homes were created – the funeral often took place in the home of the deceased. Embalming often was not practiced, so someone needed to sit with the body to keep the bugs, flies, rats, dogs, cats and other curious and carnivorous animals – such as body snatchers – away from the corpse.