The Undertaking

The Undertaking

By Gregory R. Robertson CFSP, PT-Csp

When pastoring a church, sometimes the vibes were that all one did was put his feet up on the desk, sip a mug of coffee, and wait for the next Sunday service. Oh sure, he would need to prepare for his next sermon, but that’s about all he did between each weekend. Similarly, many folks also wonder about the role of their local Funeral Director. Does he, or she, also have a feet-up-on-the-desk lifestyle?

In this article I’d like to reassure you that it is not so.

As a former church Pastor, I began to realize that there are similarities between that of a Pastor and that of a Funeral Director. Both consider their role as a ministry of sorts. Hopefully, this article about the role of the Funeral Director will address those misconceptions about both callings. Your Funeral Director (sometimes called The Undertaker) works closely with you and your family to plan and organize funeral services according to your unique cultural, religious, and personal preferences.

Your Funeral Director oversees and coordinates the many aspects of funeral services. Their primary role is to assist and support grieving families in making funeral arrangements. They also ensure that the wishes of the deceased and their family are respected and carried out in every way. Funeral Directors are responsible for managing the more than 125 logistical and administrative aspects of the funeral process. Yes, you read that right – there are more than 125 logistic, legal, and administrative items that need to be taken care of after the family meets with the Director at the funeral home. He or she will guide families through the selection of caskets, urns, burial plots, or cremation services. They also coordinate with cemetery or crematory personnel, arrange transportation of the deceased, and assist with necessary legal documentation, such as legal permits and death certificates. If the family chooses to have a viewing or visitation, the Funeral Director may be responsible for embalming, cosmetic and restorative work, and creating a dignified appearance, ensuring that your loved one is presented in a stately and respectful manner.

Funeral Directors help families with obituary notices, handling insurance claims, and veterans’ benefits related to the funeral. Funeral Directors manage every aspect of the funeral service, including arranging the time, date, and location of the service. They coordinate with clergy, musicians, and other service providers to ensure a smooth and meaningful celebration of a live that was lived. They also assist in organizing any special requests, such as specific religious or cultural customs. They oversee the operation and maintenance of the funeral home facility. This includes managing staff, coordinating schedules, ensuring that the facility and equipment are in good working order, and even washing the hearse. It’s all about providing the families we serve with Five Star outstanding service.

Many Funeral Directors also offer grief counseling services. They also assist people in planning and pre-arranging their own funeral services in advance. They guide people through the process of making decisions about their desired funeral arrangements, including service preferences, casket or urn selection, and financial planning. They help you alleviate the burden on your family by ensuring your wishes are known and documented.

Funeral Directors play a vital role in helping families navigate the challenging process of arranging funeral services and saying goodbye to their loved ones. They provide compassionate support to grieving families, offering guidance and understanding on what is the worst day of their life.

Back to where we started.

Both the Pastor and the Funeral Director have a busy week in front of them as they serve your family. Sometimes they wish they could just relax, put their feet up on the desk, sip a cup of coffee, and chill out. But serving your family is first. Serving your family is more important. When the call comes at 3:00 AM both the Pastor and the Funeral Director are always at your service. For that is who we are. That is what we do.

Greg Robertson may be contacted at