Embalmers, Undertakers, and Funeral Directors, Oh My!

By: Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation
Monday, December 23, 2019

There are tons of different names for professionals of funeral and cremation services in Dixon, IL, including undertaker, mortician, embalmer, and funeral director. With all the different options for names and titles, how are you supposed to know which one to use when you’re dealing with these professionals? Keep reading to learn the differences between morticians, funeral directors, embalmers and undertakers.  

 

The terms “undertaker” and “mortician” pretty much synonymous with funeral director, however, they are very old terms and are associated with negative industry stereotypes. Most funeral directors do not like being referred to as morticians or undertakers as those names are most associated with death and unpleasantness.  

 

Funeral director is the most correct and modern term for a professional in the industry. A funeral director is a funeral or cremation professional that helps arrange, plan and coordinate a funeral or cremation services. The term funeral director really didn’t start taking hold until the early 1900s when industry professionals actively set out to change their name from undertaker to something new. 

 

Funeral directors do a lot, from funerals and visitations to memorials and wakes,. They also commonly help prepare the body for a funeral or cremation, including placing the body in the casket or cremation container. Funeral directors also have to be licensed according to local laws. This is especially true in states where the funeral director is legally responsible for making sure the crematory or funeral home is complying with all health, mortuary, and vital statistic laws of the area.  

 

What about embalmers? An embalmer is the funeral professional that is responsible for making sure the body is ready for burial. As the name denotes, embalmers perform the act of embalming, meaning they remove all body fluids and replace them with embalming liquid to slow down the body’s decomposition for a funeral service.  

 

In most states funeral directors and embalmers require different licenses and training courses. However, it is common for some people to be both depending on their professional interests, their business models, or local ordinances.  The next time you’re in a funeral home for a service or are making plans for a loved one’s recent passing, you will know what to call the industry professional that is helping you. While none of the terms are technically incorrect, its generally accepted that funeral director is the preferred title as it is the most modern and gives the respect due for these hardworking professionals.  

 

If you would like to learn more about funerals and cremations, or have questions about your options for Dixon, IL cremation services, Schilling Funeral Home & Cremation is the place for you. We have years of industry experience that we would love to put at your disposal, whether you are planning after a recent loss or preplanning for an eventual passing. Please pay us a visit at 702 1st Ave Sterling, IL 61081, or give us a call at (815) 626-1131 to learn more about what we can do for you.  

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