What You Need To Know About Funeral Homes


Until the latter part of the 1800s, when a beloved family member died, they were prepared by the family or women in the community, then they were displayed in the parlor of their homes. Family and community members attended their wakes there, and the loved one was buried in the family cemetery. Today, funeral home parlors resemble the home parlors of long ago. They handle every detail of our loved one’s transportation from home or hospital to the funeral home, their preparation for family viewing, and their burial or cremation. 

The care and disposition of deceased loved ones began to change during the Civil War. This is also when the process of embalming began as a means to preserve a loved one for their return home from the battlefield. The concept of park-like cemeteries began taking hold and more families looked to others in matters of death and burial. The National Funeral Directors Association was established in the early 1900s and the modern funeral business as we know it became the way we say goodbye to our loved ones. 

How Do I Choose A Funeral Home For My Loved One? 

Death is not something that most people are comfortable thinking about. Ultimately, we must all come to terms with mortality so that we can prepare ourselves and our loved ones. Planning ahead is the best way to prepare in the event of a death, and ensure that those who are grieving will not be overwhelmed with financial hardship or worry which can exacerbate grief. 

There are 19,177 funeral homes in the United States and 86% of them are privately owned by families or individuals. The average price of a funeral in 2018, with viewing and burial, is $7,360. While there are numerous alternatives to cemetery burial, this cost can seem staggering to many families. It is common to “shop around” for affordable burial services and there are funeral homes Barrington NJ who provide caring, professional, and affordable burials for your loved one. 

The Federal Trade Commission enforces The Funeral Rule which requires that the public shall be able to: receive itemized pricing by telephone or in person, use an alternative burial container other than a casket for cremation, request that there be no embalming of the deceased, receive a written statement after arrangement decisions and before payment, and other rights within the Rule. Approximately 60 to 70 percent of deaths in the United States each year involve a viewing with casket burial. The other percentages involve cremation, either direct without a viewing or viewing and cremation service. Cremation is on the rise in the U.S. and the “green funeral” alternative has become an interesting topic. Green funerals can involve natural settings, decomposition without toxic chemicals, and biodegradable shrouding. 

Pricing may be the major reason we choose one funeral home over another, however, most families reveal that the care and concern they receive initially, during the process of inquiry, often persuades them to choose one funeral home over another. We want our loved ones to remain in good hands even after death. Funeral professionals want to make us as comfortable as possible in how they treat our loved ones, and our grief during the funerary process.

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