Life working at a funeral home – Why so early ?!?

When you make funeral arrangements, you schedule times. You schedule what time visitation will be. You schedule what time the funeral services will begin. We ask you, “what time were you thinking for visitation?” Typically it is 12:00pm-1pm for family ONLY and 1pm-9pm (depending on the funeral home, most are until 8pm or 9pm). Then we move on to the funeral service. If you will be having all services at funeral home, then we will ask, “what time are you thinking of having the service?” Now of course if there is clergy to get, we have to make sure that they are available at that time. So let’s say the family wants the service to BEGIN at 10am and clergy is OK with that, then it is set, funeral services will be at the funeral home at 10am. When people call to get service times, we will say, “visitation will be from 1pm-9pm on ‘whatever day’ and the funeral service will be held at the funeral home at 10am the following day. Interment at ‘whatever’ cemetery.” So…. usually the family will ask when they should arrive the day of funeral to funeral home. We tell them they may arrive a half hour prior. Sounds pretty straight forward, a half hour, in this instance, would be 9:30am, right? Right! It doesn’t translate into, arrive whenever you want…it doesn’t translate into, arrive at 8am. Arrive at 8:30am or 9am. Right? Right! IF you are not happy with us telling you to arrive a half hour prior, then just ask if you can arrive earlier!! Or, even better, during the ARRANGEMENT, schedule your funeral service a little later if possible!!! Because, when you arrive at 8:30am when we are expecting you at 9:30am, we are probably not ready for you yet!! Why? Because you scheduled to arrive at 9:30am!!  When you are scheduled to arrive at 9:30am, we do not have anyone at the funeral home prior to 9am!! Why? Because that is the time we open. Contrary to what obviously most people think, we do not ALL live in the funeral home and spend 24/7 in our suits!! ‘Gasp’ !! So this especially important to remember when if you will be having an earlier service at funeral home or let’s say only having prayers at the funeral home then Mass at church. So if you are having a 10am Mass but want to have prayers at funeral home then process to church, well we have to allow time for all of this. If the church is near by, then prayers may be at  9:15a-9:30a at funeral home. Now, when you ask what time you can show up in the morning, since prayers are so early, we will try to accommodate you the best we can. But we are not going to come in at 8am “just” in case you or anyone else feels like showing up that early. So if prayers are at 9:15a, we will tell you a half hour prior and then we will make arrangements for an employee to be at funeral home by 8:30a to open up and be there for YOU and your family and friends!!! So WHY show up any earlier? Why?? Believe me, I get it, I know what it is like to want to see your loved one that one last time! I understand, I have lost loved ones too! But if you schedule something like this, then you also MUST understand that is the times allotted!

2 Responses to “Life working at a funeral home – Why so early ?!?”

  1. Cody's Dad Says:

    Do wakes usually run from 1-9? In my area they are usually 4-8 or maybe until 9 if it’s expected to be larger turnout.

    • Hi there… It really depends on what the family wants but, typically it is 12pm-1pm for family hour only then 1pm-8pm or 9pm for everyone else. If a family is having a 2 day visitation then the first day would normally be from 3pm-4pm for family hour then 4pm-8pm or 9pm.. there are some funeral homes that only allow visitation until 8pm, in my area. I have also had families tho who only have one day visitation and they only do the 4pm-8pm.

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