And So Begins My New Life

Join me as I embark on a new life and new career in Funeral Services.

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Location: Southeast, United States

I'm a Funeral Services graduate embarking on a new career. I graduated high school in 1981, served honorably in the United States Navy from 1982-1986, been married since 1986, and have one son. I've relocated to a new state and have begun working in my chosen profession of Funeral Services, and I've never been happier.

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Monday, May 28, 2007

My First Solo Funeral - Almost

Today, Memorial Day, we had a mass at 10:30am. The family arrives at the funeral home, has some privacy and some time to say goodbye to their loved one. Right in the middle of this, the owner lays out the game plan. There are four of us working; two will handle flowers (take them to church and set them up a few minutes before we arrive). The owner will run ahead and standby to help get things moving when we get to church, then return to the funeral home to cover the phones and set up for next event, a memorial service at 1pm. This leaves me to drive the coach and lead the procession. If you've been following this blog for a couple of months, you may remember I've led processions to the National Cemetery, which is an hour away. So a five minute drive to a nearby church is no big deal, right? Wrong.

You see, in a Catholic Funeral Mass, you must arrive at church just minutes before the scheduled start time. Too early and the family ends up standing around at the rear of the church waiting for the priest, too late and you've ticked off the priest and they're waiting for you, which is not good. Well, it turns out I was a couple of minutes late thanks to some bad timing at a couple of red lights. No big deal, though. It was only 2 or 3 minutes, but I was hoping to make a better showing in front of the owner.

So we arrive at church, and get the casket inside and the priest comes up and blesses it and we process down the aisle to the altar, get the casket positioned and get the family situated. Then the owner leaves, and I'm in charge. Me and my men hang around outside until it's almost over, then we slip inside during communion. After communion comes the incensing of the casket and the dismissal. Me and another employee approach the casket, get it turned around and process to the back of the church, where we fold the pall (a cloth covering the casket). We then load the casket into the coach and we're done. This was a cremation, so instead of taking the body to the cemetery, we simply returned to the funeral home after making certain the family was satisfied with our services and reassuring them we would be in touch when we had the cremation completed, and so forth. So, in a way, I had quite a bit of responsibility on this service, and I think I did fine with it.


Blogger Sheila said...

I didn't know Catholics went the cremation route. Learn something new everyday.

I must say at first I thought the idea of a blog about, well you know, would be creepy and depressing. Not so. Your style is interesting and I hope to stop back by to read more after I get settled from my move.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Granimore said...

Thank you for your kind words.

Catholics have only been permitted cremation within the past few years, I believe.

I come from a Baptist background, so the Catholic funeral services are a learning experience for me. One day I plan to write a post detailing what a Catholic service in our town is like.

11:05 AM  

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