Funeral home

From Academic Kids

A funeral home is a place where a funeral is arranged. It is a place where the deceased are prepared for funeral services, and the family gathers for the funeral.

Funeral Homes

A funeral home is a facility that provides a number of functions dealing with the deceased person and their families.

For those who want to make their wishes known before death, funeral homes offer prearrangement services. This is where a person records their wishes for the service and the disposition of their body. The person can often pay for the funeral beforehand, or specify payment after death has occurred.

Funeral homes will make arrangements with families of the recently deceased. Families can arrange a service according to what the deceased wanted and what the family desires. The funeral home will take care of all the necessary paperwork and permits, and usually take care of other details - such as making arrangements with the cemetery and providing obituaries to the news media.

When a deceased is brought to the funeral home, they are usually embalmed to delay decomposition in order to allow time for funeral services to take place. The embalming procedure involves removal of the blood from a dead body. The embalmer uses makeup to give the person a more lifelike appearance. If the deceased was disfigured due to an accident or illness the embalmer can sometimes perform restorative services to make the deceased presentable enough for open casket services. If the embalmer is not able to do so (because the corpse was badly damaged in an accident, badly burned in a fire or had suffered an illness), or if the family requests it for whatever reason, the funeral home would then have a closed casket service.

The funeral home will often have one or more large areas that are set aside for families to gather for a wake. This area will have a space where the deceased is displayed in their casket. This allows families to gather for a wake and/or a funeral service.

Not all visitations and memorial services take place at the funeral home. Sometimes, those rituals may take place at a church (often, where the deceased or his/her family were members). Other times, the deceased's family may request there be no services (for whatever reason), in which case the funeral home may simply handle the arrangements to dispose the body.

Due to the increasing popularity of cremation, more and more funeral homes have cremation ovens to cremate bodies. Funeral homes without facilities on-site will often contract the work out to other facilities.

Some funeral homes are family owned and operated. Others are part of larger corporations. One of the largest corporation of funeral homes is Service Corporation International.

Dramatic portrayal of funeral homes

A fictional example of the business in operation by a somewhat dysfunctional family is presented in the HBO television series Six Feet Under.

The A&E television series Family Plots shows the day to day operations of an actual California Funeral Home.

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