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What Do Funeral Homes Actually Do?

When you think about funeral homes in Walnut Creek, CA, you probably just think about flowers, caskets, undertakers and black suits. However, funeral homes in California actually offer a lot more services that what you might imagine.  

From organizing funerals themselves and dealing with the more practical aspects death to grief counseling and other helpful things, funeral homes offer a wide range of services aimed at honoring the deceased and helping the bereaved through the difficult time of loss. Some of the most common services are:  

  • Funerals  - A funeral is a formal event or ceremony about the deceased, typically with religious or cultural leanings. Funerals are time of remembrance and celebration for the deceased, and provide an opportunity for family and friends to grieve together. A funeral usually happens a few days after death in a funeral home, church, or even the deceased’s house. For an event to be a true funeral, it requires the body to be present and intact.  

  • Viewings and Visitations - Viewings and visitations are also generally held in tandem with a funeral or memorial as they allow family and friends to visit with and express sympathy for the bereaved. Viewings and visitations help people grieve together in an intimate, less formal setting than funerals, and are usually held at the funeral home, but can sometimes take place in a church, home or other location. Viewings, specifically, have an open casket for final goodbyes and visits, and occur before or during the visitation.  

  • Memorial Services - Memorial services are very similar to funerals, except for a few key differences. First, the body does not present or necessarily intact at a memorial service. Since the body is not present, there is no time or scheduling constraints for memorial services, and the body can be cremated beforehand. Memorial services are typically less religious and more informal than funerals, and are hosted in a variety of locations.  

  • Committal (or Graveside) Services - While memorials and funerals oftentimes include a graveside service, graveside services can also be performed independently from other funeral and cremation services. When a graveside service is not preceded by a funeral or memorial, it’s called a committal. Committal services are generally very brief, but have some ceremony around lowering the body into the grave and covering it with soil. These services take place at the cemetery, columbarium, mausoleum or wherever the body’s final resting place may be. 

  • Other Services Funeral homes also provide a long list of other helpful services including:  

    • Transfer of the deceased from the place of death  
    • Help notifying relatives, friends and coworkers 
    • Filing all permits, certificates, and authorizations  
    • Planning special ceremonies or events including Veteran’s services 
    • Assistance with social security claims  

Not every funeral home offers the same services, so be sure to check with your local options to see if they can provide what you need. For example, Deer Creek Funeral Service is a Walnut Creek, CA funeral home that offers lots of different services from 1700 Norbridge Ave Ste D Castro Valley, CA 94546. If you want to learn more, give us a call at (510) 317-7890 today.  

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