Monday’s with the Mortician: Funeral homes serve all faiths

Published 10:15 am Monday, September 28, 2015

Eric Weerts

 Monday’s with the Mortician

Throughout my career as a funeral director I have worked in Ohio, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Each state brings with it a unique set of beliefs and challenges. However, each state has similarities as well.

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One of the most obvious similarities I have seen in the three states that I have served in, and even in Illinois where I attended mortuary school, is the relating of a funeral home to a specific religious denomination.

Historically, funerals have taken place in a church. Thus, it’s only sensible to assume that if one funeral home holds most of its services at a specific church, it is the funeral home of choice for that church and/or faith. Additionally, if the owner of a specific funeral home attended a specific church then he would logically care for the deceased that he had come to know through his membership. However, the funeral business has changed over the years and what once was a sensible assumption is now no longer.

In today’s world a funeral director is well rounded in the funeral proceedings for all faiths and for individuals who are non-religious. I have been very fortunate in that I learned my craft and have been able to work under multiple directors and owners who were well versed in traditions for a multitude of faiths. Seeing this early on in my career caused me, as a Lutheran, to study the funeral traditions for other religions closely. It has also encouraged me to work closely with other directors who have diverse religious and non religious practices.

For instance while I am a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, my co-director Kathy is a member of the Catholic Church. Yet we both organize services for individuals who never had attended church to Coptic individuals.

So what does this mean for you and your family? When Mayer Funeral Home mentions that we “serve all faiths” that’s exactly what we do. We feel confident in knowing that we are the experts in death care and how the faith or non faith of your family plays a part in the funeral process; regardless of what your beliefs are. We certainly don’t want our community to feel that if our funeral home has serviced a certain segment of the population because of their religious affiliation, that we can’t serve your family if they’re different. That is how to adapt for the future of serving your family.