What does a Funeral Director do? - Part 2

By: Nathan McKinlay
Wednesday, September 22, 2021

What do Funeral Directors do for Families?

2) Time Management

There are many logistical elements to planning a funeral, and while “Time Management” may not show up on anyone’s Top 5 List, it is an essential skill when coordinating a funeral event. Funeral directors need to anticipate all of the potential variables, micro-events and ‘thrown wrenches’ that could prevent the live-stream from starting on time.

One example would be a Catholic Funeral Mass, which we would typically run with two teams. One team would be set up at the church registering and seating guests, coordinating final details and saving seating and parking for the family. The other team would be at the Funeral Home with the family leading a prayer service and preparing the family for their final good-bye at the casket. If a Catholic Mass is to start at 11:00am, that means that the family is to arrive at the church in procession just prior to 11:00am in order for the Mass to start on time. To do this, there are a number of factors we need to anticipate:

  • ·        How long will the family take to say their good-byes at the casket before we go to church? (ie. Are there 3 family members, or 30 participating? What are the circumstances?)
  • ·        What route are we taking from the Funeral Home to the church (ie. Were we taking the procession by the family home? Is there construction to avoid?)
  • ·        What weather were we anticipating? (Is there three feet of snow? Torrential rains? A beautiful sunny day?)

In addition to being at church on time, we would also need to anticipate our arrival at the cemetery and any reception venue in order for the day to go as planned. In the Buddhist and Taoist traditions, it is not uncommon to schedule the burials around lucky days and lucky times. On the day of the burial, we would often have prayers at the Funeral Home, before driving past the family home and ultimately going to the cemetery. If the lucky time is before 11:00am on that particular day, and the burial is in Oakville (which is not uncommon, as there is a beautiful Buddhist area in the cemetery there) you have to time out a very early day accordingly. Toronto traffic, for instance, is not quite as forgiving as our local morning commute! Exercising proper ‘time management’, and anticipating what variables are likely to come is an important skill for any aspiring Funeral Director to hone. 

Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.


Please wait

Previous Posts

The Nurse and the Flower

The Nurse and the Flower Sometimes we struggle with articulating our words to others and our thoughts to ourselves. In times of grief and pain, this can happen more often than not. When faced with...

The best ones have Tattoos

The best ones have Tattoos People have changed a lot over the years, but have funerals changed along with them?  I’d answer that with a resounding “Not always”.  Not as much as they coul...

Mothers in Funeral Service

Another Mother’s Day has come and gone. It is a day which can have many meanings for many people. It can be a time of celebration as well as a time of mourning. Above all, it is a time to acknowled...

Normal feels Good

Normal feels good. This seems to have been the ongoing theme over the past couple of weeks. Spring has sprung, the robins are out, and restrictions in most settings have been lifted. While normal f...

Music Therapy

Meeting with families and coordinating celebrations with them allows me to be witness to many special moments that the public does not always get to see. Recently I was able to be witness to anothe...

Kitchen Window

Watching a casket being loaded into a vehicle from my kitchen window is one of my first childhood memories. Living beside the family-owned funeral home in Bothwell gave me the opportunity to learn ...

Light a Star

Sunday night we held the “Light a Star” service in support of Greenwood Cemetery. For a donation to the cemetery, a star is placed on a tree, or in around the gardens outside of our Ridgetown Funer...

What do Funeral Directors do for Families? - Part 3

What do Funeral Directors do for Families? 3) Event Planner Imagine your son or daughter coming to you, barely able to contain their good news. They are getting married! They have a 200 person gu...

What Does a Funeral Director Do? - Part 1

Throughout the year, our team leads tours and presentations for  numerous Victim Services Groups, PSWs, DSWs and nursing students. We cover a number of subjects, which may&...

Canada Day This Year

People today are wrestling with their sense of patriotism. Our global economy, and social networks have been thrown askew over the last 16 months. Borders have closed and protectionism has taken a ...