The Differences Between Funeral Homes and Mortuaries


As what could easily be termed as a circle of life, some of us have experience in dealing with the loss of a loved one; while others are fortunate enough to have not gone through such a level of grief yet.funeral homes

However, even those who have experienced a loved one’s loss may not have necessarily been through the process as an adult, or through the procedure of arranging their funeral services.

For such individuals, the nuances between institutions which are associated with performing funeral services for the deceased may be a bit confusing.

For instance, many people often wonder what is the difference between funeral homes and mortuaries, and if there is even a difference at all.

In order to clear this cloud of confusion, here are a few key differences between a funeral home and a mortuary.

A Mortuary Prepares the Deceased for Their Final Journey

Mortuaries are where deceased go through the process of being prepared for their final journey. This includes the process of cosmetic preparation, where they undergo hairdressing, restoration procedure, and dressing process before being placed in the casket. From there, they can go through the burial or cremation process.

Funeral homes, on the other hand, do not provide these services by default. A funeral home with a mortuary is a different case. Since they specialize in having staff in the form of morticians that perform these preparations, these funeral homes can serve as a single stop for multiple services that are associated with bidding farewell to your loved ones.


A Funeral Home is Responsible for the Tasks That Come Afterwards

While a mortuary can provide a place for the deceased’s remains to rest while the family takes care of the funeral arrangements, it can also provide services such as cremation right at the facility. In addition to this, it an also facilitate burial services directly from the facility to a cemetery of the family’s choice, but that is where the mortuary’s services end.

On the other hand, a funeral home often depends on a mortuary to perform cremation services, but it can facilitate burials on its own. In fact, funeral homes that are located within a cemetery actually handle burials in a more streamlined manner since people do not have to travel between locations.

But unlike a mortuary, a funeral home is able to hold a large scale funeral and memorial service for the deceased. Funeral homes have special chambers, chapels and areas designated for the funeral services, while also being able to hold wakes and memorial service in specially designated halls and reception centers.


The Terms ‘Mortician’ and ‘Funeral Director’ are Often Interchangeable, But the Jobs Can Be Different

The terms “mortician” and “funeral director” are often used interchangeably. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also uses them under the same context while reporting the number of individuals working in this profession. But the nuances have quite a major role to play in a funeral service.

Technically, a mortician is only in charge of preparing the deceased for their burial or cremation. This is especially true when they only run a mortuary – where no memorial service is performed.

But the term is used interchangeably when a mortuary is a part of a funeral home, and the mortician performs additional tasks such as handling paperwork, helping the family cope with their grief, and direct the memorial service.

The aforementioned tasks of handling paperwork and dealing with the bereaved family are part of the funeral director’s job. The term “funeral director” is used often in funeral homes that do not have a mortuary, but it is also used for morticians that perform these tasks.

These are the most basic differences between a mortuary and a funeral home. It should be noted that in order to make the process easier on themselves, most families choose funeral homes that also provide mortuary services, so that they do not have to run back and forth between facilities while going through grief.