Mortuary vs funeral home: How much do you know about the differences between the two? Read on to learn more about the differences between them.

Mortuary vs Funeral Home: What Are the Differences?

If a family member were to pass away, you would face numerous decisions. One of the first is deciding who will take care of your bereavement arrangements, who will handle the arrangements, and who you want to handle the final resting place of your loved one.

There are two options – an independent mortuary vs funeral home. Both are responsible for preparing someone who passed as well as coordinating and attending the services. However, there are differences between mortuaries and funeral homes.

So what is the distinction, and which option will you choose when the time comes?

Keep reading to learn more about the differences between a mortuary and a funeral home.

What Is a Mortuary?

A mortuary is a place of business that helps families prepare for and organize funerals for a deceased person. It is a place where the person’s body can be stored and prepared for funeral services.

Mortuary homes offer various services such as:

  • providing embalming services
  • dressing and casketing
  • handling legal paperwork

Most mortuary homes also help to coordinate logistics surrounding the transportation of the body to the cemetery and the burial or cremation of the deceased. The assistance provided by a mortuary home can make a difficult time for families a little bit easier.

The mortuary home allows them to focus on paying respect to their loved one by preparing the body for a funeral as they wished. In the US, mortuary homes are regulated according to the state in which they are located, with different rules and requirements depending on the state.

What Is a Funeral Home?

A funeral home is a business that specializes in arranging and carrying out funerals. They typically provide professional and compassionate assistance to the families of the deceased. This is done through all stages of the funeral process.

They handle all aspects of the funeral service, from the:

  • funeral pre-planning
  • funeral arrangements
  • burial services
  • cremation services
  • post-funeral services
  • estate settlement
  • memorialization

Funeral homes are an integral part of the grieving process. They support families and provide them with the resources and care they need to make the funeral a meaningful experience. They also offer a vast array of merchandise, such as:

  • cremation containers
  • urns
  • caskets
  • keepsakes

Funeral homes are a vital part of the community, providing comfort and support to individuals and families grieving the loss of a loved one.

When Do You Need a Mortuary Home Than a Funeral Home?

When planning a funeral service, it is important to understand the differences between a mortuary and a funeral home. Mortuaries specialize in the preparation of the body for burial, cremation, or any other ceremonies. These are all necessary for those who have passed away.

Funeral homes, on the other hand, provide services such as the arranging of memorial services, visitation periods, and the like. In most cases, you will need a mortuary home first before a funeral home. The mortuary helps in the:

  • embalming process
  • paperwork
  • arrange body transport

Once these arrangements have been made, the funeral home steps in to manage the formalities of the funeral service including assisting the family in selecting a funeral casket and cemetery plot. Finally, the funeral home will also help with the disposition of the body after the service.

Comparing Cost of Mortuary vs Funeral Home

When comparing the cost of a mortuary vs a funeral home, it’s important to consider the services provided by each. Mortuaries typically offer less expensive burials and cremations. This is because they dont have to include the additional costs for:

  • formal viewing
  • mourning periods
  • funeral services

Funeral homes, on the other hand, typically have more comprehensive packages that include:

  • funeral services
  • viewing
  • visitation period
  • burial

Though funeral home packages are more expensive, they do offer more comprehensive and personalized services to families. Ultimately, the choice between a mortuary and a funeral home should be based on the type of services needed and the budget.

A Mortuary Is More Necessary Than a Funeral Home

A mortuary is much more necessary than a funeral home in a variety of aspects. Mortuaries are the centers of preparation and embalming practices. These centers possess the tools, machinery, and equipment necessary to properly and safely perform the necessary rites and to prepare the deceased for burial.

Furthermore, mortuaries have the knowledge and expertise necessary to properly care for bodies in cases of very serious illness or death. They also can perform:

  • tissue donation processes
  • autopsy report filing
  • life-support device management

Finally, mortuaries provide a secure, confidential, and sterile environment for their services and satisfy the emotional needs of the deceaseds family.

In contrast, funeral homes tend to only focus on the end of life services such as:

  • visitation
  • arranging
  • ceremonies
  • ceremonial coffins

Thus, it can be concluded that mortuaries are more necessary than funeral homes to perform vital rites for the deceased.

Requirements of Mortuary vs Funeral Home to Function

Mortuaries and funeral homes are two businesses that are closely related but provide different services. To function properly, both establishments must require their workers to be highly trained and educated. This is so they can serve the families to the best of their abilities.

Mortuaries must also adhere to health and safety standards and guidelines set by the state or other governing bodies. Having a staff of caring and experienced individuals is essential. This is due to the delicate nature of their jobs and the strong emotions that are experienced.

Certificates are required for a mortuary and a funeral home to function. A mortuary must have a business license and a permit to store and embalm human remains. Depending on the state, a funeral home staff may or may not need a license. But all states require funeral directors to have a license to practice.

As these requirements reflect, having the necessary moves to provide these services is an important step to ensure that a mortuary or funeral home can provide their services legally and by the law. Therefore, having the right team of qualified staff is a vital requirement of the mortuary and funeral home.

Both Mortuary and Funeral Home Can Perform Embalming

Both mortuary homes and funeral homes are responsible for preparing decedents for memorial services. This includes embalming the body. Embalming is the process in which a body is preserved to halt decomposition and disinfect it.

This process involves draining the body of certain fluids that cause decomposition. Then replacing them with fluids to maintain the body’s original shape and color. Mortuaries and funeral homes can both embalm bodies. However, some embalming procedures may be better suited for either one.

Mortuary homes typically have extended hours and can embalm bodies in the dead of night or on weekends. Funeral homes can perform straightforward embalming that requires shorter timespans and fewer steps.

Therefore, both mortuaries and funeral homes can offer the service of embalming, however, based on the individual situation, one may be more equipped to do so than the other.

Both Mortuary and Funeral Home Can Perform Cremation

Cremation is a process during which flesh and body parts are reduced to their basic elements through combustion and evaporation. Cremation is an increasingly popular option for those wishing to remain buried in a cemetery. 

Mortuaries are establishments that are responsible for preparing and preserving the remains of a deceased person. This includes performing and directing funerals, embalming the remains, and arranging for a final disposition of the body.

Funeral homes, on the other hand, are service-oriented centers that primarily host funeral services. Although, they may also provide other services. Both establishments can cremate the deceased. They can do this either on-site or at a crematorium.

Mortuaries and funeral homes have the necessary equipment to aid in the process. Together, both mortuaries and funeral homes provide a comprehensive range of services for dignified cremation.

Autopsy Is Performed At the Mortuary Than a Funeral Home

An autopsy is a medical procedure performed on a deceased person to determine the cause of death. Autopsies are typically performed at a mortuary rather than a funeral home.

A mortuary is a licensed facility specifically used to prepare and store corpses. A funeral home is an establishment used primarily to care for the dead before their burial or cremation. Mortuaries have the medical equipment necessary to perform an autopsy. They have experienced staff members who are qualified to carry out the procedure.

Additionally, mortuaries are subject to more stringent regulations and have safer working environments due to their specialization. For these reasons, autopsies are usually performed at mortuaries rather than funeral homes.

Understand How Mortuary vs Funeral Home Differs

In conclusion, mortuaries and funeral homes provide similar services, each is responsible for different aspects of the deceased’s care. It is important to understand the differences between a mortuary vs funeral home before making decisions for the arrangements of a loved one.

To learn more about the services that these facilities provide, contact your local mortuary and funeral home today.

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