Funeral Home Assistant Certification Course
Chapter Three
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four

Chapter Three





1). The funeral home is notified of the death by a family member or health care provider.


2). The funeral home obtains permission from the next of kin to embalm the human remains.


3). The funeral home removes the human remains from the place of death back to the funeral home.


4). The human remains is embalmed at the funeral home in the preparation room.


5). The family of the deceased comes to the funeral home to make the necessary funeral arrangements and selection of funeral merchandise. 


6). The funeral director coordinates all the details of the funeral by making the necessary phone calls. The obituary is placed in the applicable newspapers. The death certificate is presented to the physician for signature. Then it is filed at the local health department. The burial permit is obtained. 


7). The human remains is dressed, cosmetized and place in the selected casket and moved into a visitation room of the funeral home. Floral arrangements that arrive are placed around the casket setting and visitation room.


8). The funeral home is opened at the appointed time to receive the family and friends for visitation.


9). Funeral services are conducted at the funeral home, being led by the specified clergy. In the case of a church funeral, the body is transported to the church for the funeral rites and services.


10). The casket is transported generally in a formal procession with the family and friends to the cemetery for graveside committal services and burial.




Graveside services are generally the same as a traditional service in the chronology numbers 1-7. Some families will have a private or public visitation. However, some will simply have the entire funeral services conducted at the graveside in the cemetery. 




Alternative services generally follow the chronology of the traditional funeral in numbers 1-9. Some families chose to rent a casket for the viewing and funeral, knowing that the remains will be cremated in a lesser grade container designed for cremation. Some families will purchase a casket and have it cremated with the remains. The remains is transported to the crematory for cremation after the funeral is over, in place of going to the cemetery. In the final analysis, the word “alternative” can mean a variety of options that may create a very different set of non-traditional circumstances for the memorial service or funeral service to take place at. 




A direct cremation is where the remains are to be cremated before any type of memorialization or funeralization is to take place. In most cases, embalming is not a part of this process. The same chronology of a traditional funeral numbers 1-6 normally applies, but not always number 4 (embalming). Many times family members will opt for a memorial service at the funeral home or at a church after the entire cremation process has taken place.    




PROTESTANTS - Christian Protestants normally have viewings at the funeral home. Some of the more formal Christian denominations use candles and a kneeler at the casket. Funerals generally take place at either the funeral home or church. The place of burial is a personal preference and cremation is generally acceptable.   


JEWISH - Jewish funerals can be held at the synagogue or funeral home. Viewing is optional in the Reformed and Conservative branches of the Jewish religion. However the Orthodox Jewish funerals generally do not permit embalming. Burial is almost always in Jewish cemeteries. Cremation is generally not acceptable. 


ROMAN CATHOLIC - Catholics normally have viewing at the funeral home. A kneeler or prayer rail and candles are placed around the casket at the viewing or visitation. Most  Catholic funerals take place at the church. Most Catholic funeral services (also known as a "mass" or "Mass of Christian Burial") include the use of a pall over the closed casket during the service. The place of burial is generally at a Catholic cemetery (a cemetery consecrated by the Roman Catholic Church), but it is not required to be a Catholic cemetery. Cremation is growing in acceptance by the Roman Catholic Church.


OTHER RELIGIOUS SERVICES - Religious services can vary and can be very diversified at times. This is because of the growth of many new and different religions in North America. It is best to ask the funeral director you are working with what the proper procedures are and how best you can assist in the situation of a unique religious funeral. Never make assumptions about a family’s religious preferences or practices in regards to the funeral or memorial services.


Central Institute
for Educational Advancement
P.O. Box 750491
Dayton, Ohio 45475