The role and responsibilities of a funeral director has evolved over the years from someone who prepared the deceased for burial to the modern funeral directors of today, who perform many other duties to help the family through their difficult time of loss. Funeral and memorial service duties that were once handled by friends, family or clergy quite often become the director’s responsibility.
A funeral director oversees every detail in the planning and preparation of a funeral. They will make sure the body is transported to the funeral home along with the necessary death certificates and paperwork. All the details are handled by this person so the deceased’s family and friends can grieve without having to deal with paperwork and other legalities.
The family will meet with the funeral director after their loved one dies. Together, with their help, the family will choose a casket, vault or urn. The funeral service will be planned, as well as discussions about the flower arrangements, music, pallbearers, clergy, headstone or grave marker, etc. Virtually every aspect of a funeral or memorial service is planned with the director’s help and assistance. They will also arrange payments to all third party vendors, so the family of the deceased doesn’t have to write numerous checks. One payment to the director will cover all the necessary expenses.
Often times, a funeral home will have rooms and facilities available for the family to organize photos or create a video slideshow of their loved one. A funeral director will make these rooms available to the family and offer any help they can in selecting a guestbook and thank you notes.
After meeting with the family, it is then the funeral director’s job to prepare the loved one for the service either by embalming or cremation. All preparation such as casketing, dressing and applying make up will be done by the funeral director or licensed morticians that work at the funeral home. The funeral director will contact the cemetery to arrange for the digging of the grave or arrange for an opening of a vault, such as in a mausoleum. They will also be in touch with the family’s chosen clergy member and relay all information about the time of the service and chosen musical selections. The director will also send obituary information to the local newspaper and will contact the deceased’s life insurance provider to inform them of the death.
After the funeral service, the funeral director arranges transportation from the funeral home to the cemetery. They will also transport flowers to the graveside, with any extra flowers and arrangements going to where the family suggests – such as donations to hospitals, etc.
A funeral director will help the family and friends of a deceased love one get through the funeral process without having to worry about the details. Together, with the director’s professional guidance, the family can focus on grieving and fondly memorializing their loved one.