At any funeral, there is always a group working hard behind the scenes to ensure the funeral is successfully carried out. In this article, let’s explore the various funeral job key roles and why each part is vital in the functions of the funeral events.
The Funeral Director
The funeral director is usually the senior sales manager of the company. You will usually get in touch with the funeral director to find out what type of funeral packages they have. A good funeral director must have patience when recommending the funeral package for your deceased loved ones. In the initial stages, they will explain the entire process in detail so that you and your family members will clearly understand the funeral process.
Throughout the funeral process and even after the funeral, the funeral director will be the primary contact between you and the funeral service provider. Other than patience, the funeral director must have adequate knowledge of the type of funerals that you plan to do for the dearly departed. Other than theoretical knowledge, the funeral director also needs hands-on experience so that in case of any last-minute or sudden challenges, they will be able to handle the matter at ease.
In the case of pre-planning of one’s funeral, the funeral director will also be the primary contact person whom you approach to find out more about the company’s funeral packages.
The Service Staff / Funeral Assistant / Funeral Supervisor
The service staff or funeral assistant will assist the bereaved family throughout the funeral. Suppose the funeral director has more than one funeral to handle on a particular day. In that case, they will assign a senior staff or funeral supervisor to ensure everything will go accordingly to plan.
The supervisor will also coordinate with the other critical roles during the funeral, such as the driver and the embalmer. And will communicate with the funeral director to know if the funeral is going as planned. The funeral supervisor or director will also liaise with the Buddhist priest, Taoist leader, or clergy to ensure they arrive on time during the funeral ceremony.
They will also take care of the logistics and manpower, such as transferring the body from the morgue to the embalmer’s office; and then to the funeral address. At the funeral, the supervisor and the assistants will ensure that the chairs and tables are appropriately arranged. They will also ensure that the sound system, the altar table, banner, fans, lights, and other essential equipment are in place. The funeral staff will ensure that the catering comes on time and is set up correctly.
During the funeral and funeral procession, the funeral director, supervisor, and assistants will also make sure to present their utmost professionalism and customer service. The funeral assistants will also act as the pallbearers to ensure that the coffin is transported safely from the funeral address to the crematorium or cemetery.
If need be, some may also offer words of comfort to grieving families. So that in this way, the bereaved family members, friends, and relatives will feel at peace during this time of grief.
The embalmer’s job is not easy. They have to be ready at all times. It is because the funeral has to be prepared one day after death. Upon receiving the body, the embalmer will start cleaning the body. Then, apply high-quality formaldehyde and other chemicals into the body, so ask to give the skin a life-like colour. The entire embalming process will take about 2 to 3 hours to complete. Unless it is a challenging task, such as a broken nose or skin, it will take longer. The embalmer will need to repair the broken parts to give the deceased their best look during the funeral.
To protect the integrity of the departed, especially if it is a woman, the funeral services provider will ensure that female embalmer are in charge of the embalming for the deceased. After embalming, the embalmer will also apply makeup to the deceased’s body and then dress them up in their favourite outfit. Hence, giving the deceased the best possible peaceful image for a dignified farewell.
It is essential to engage a funeral services company that has NEA-qualified embalmers. It is because there are protocols that need to be adhered to. Besides theoretical knowledge, the embalmer needs to have years of hands-on experience to handle challenging issues. Moreover, a highly experienced embalmer will provide peace of mind for the bereaved families.
Time is of the essence for the driver in a funeral services company. They must plan ahead of schedule. Their leading role is to ensure that the body is transported from the morgue to the embalmer’s office and to the funeral address on time. They will report to the funeral director or the funeral supervisor. The driver will also be in charge of driving the hearse to the crematorium during the funeral procession. As there are strict timings for the crematorium service to adhere to, the coffin must reach on time.
Besides being familiarised with the routes, the driver must also plan ahead should there be any last-minute challenges such as traffic jams. In case of vehicle break-down, there must always be one on standby.
Funeral Service Jobs are Highly Respectable Jobs
As many people may shun the funeral job because of superstitions or taboos, the funeral workers are doing a respectable job. At the end of the day, what they want to achieve, is to offer the best possible service to comfort the grieving families and, at the same time, give the dearly departed a proper send-off.