What does a Funeral Home Director do?

Sheri Cyprus

A funeral home director combines his or her knowledge of mortuary science with a strong ability to communicate with grieving clients. The exact duties of funeral home directors vary within each funeral home. Many funeral homes are run as family businesses, so the duties of each person vary widely. A funeral home director is the one in charge — he or she leads the team and sets the work schedule as well as the tone for everyone to follow.

A funeral director may be responsible for the embalming process of the deceased.
A funeral director may be responsible for the embalming process of the deceased.

Funeral home workers should understand that the duties of preparing dead people for memorial services are to be done with respect and professionalism. Most funeral home directors make sure their staff acts with compassion and maturity. Upkeep of the funeral home’s indoor reception and outdoor cemetery areas is also an important element that a funeral home director monitors. Most funeral homes have clean, tasteful furnishings indoors and well-kept lawns and gardens outdoors. The vehicles called hearses that are used for transporting deceased persons are usually cleaned on a regular basis as per the funeral home director’s instructions to staff.

A funeral home director may help organize the pallbearers.
A funeral home director may help organize the pallbearers.

Directors of funeral homes spend much of their time speaking with clients. They help with the arrangements of the memorial service as well as with the paperwork involved. Funeral home directors converse with clients in a calm and comforting manner. Some funeral home directors perform the memorial service or help clients arrange for a religious or other officiator for the service.

The typical funeral director handles a variety of duties, including hearse driver.
The typical funeral director handles a variety of duties, including hearse driver.

A funeral home director is licensed and trained in mortuary science. He or she understands exactly how to prepare deceased people for burial or cremation, as well as how to embalm or preserve the bodies for presentation to loved ones at a memorial service. Funeral home directors usually greet clients at the service and must be good at remembering names and relationships between the loved ones and their deceased friend or relative.

Funeral directors may coordinate with florists on floral arrangements.
Funeral directors may coordinate with florists on floral arrangements.

Maintaining the quality of the funeral home is something funeral home directors do constantly. They make sure the memorial services go well and that food and flowers are delivered on time. A good funeral home director always follows up on client services to help all clients be satisfied customers at such an important time. Funeral home directors understand that every one handles grief differently, and they strive to be good listeners and problem solvers.

A funeral home director may organize the funeral procession.
A funeral home director may organize the funeral procession.
It is important for a funeral home to have clean and tasteful furnishings.
It is important for a funeral home to have clean and tasteful furnishings.
A funeral director may give a eulogy at the deceased's grave.
A funeral director may give a eulogy at the deceased's grave.

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Discussion Comments

jyarbrough

I commend you on a great post, but often times what is written in the books, does not happen in reality.

I would love to see a post that explains what a consumer can and should do just in case they run into a funeral director who doesn't do their job. There are some funeral directors who take advantage of consumers, as in my case. The funeral director broke every rule in the book!

Once again, I commend you on a great post! Looking forward to reading more of your posts.

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