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General Questions

What is the role of a funeral director?

Funeral Directors are Administrators
They make arrangements for the transportation of a deceased person, complete all of the necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body. Funeral Directors coordinate with the Church, Clergy, Newspapers, Physicians, and Cemeteries. They notify Social Security as well as any Companies that a deceased may be receiving a Pension. Funeral Directors assist with filing of Insurance Claims.

Funeral Directors are Embalmers
Should the family request, they prepare a deceased love one for the public visitation. After an embalming procedure, they apply necessary cosmetics, should a family request, to enhance the appearance of someone who has passed away.

Funeral Directors are Caregivers
hey are listeners, advisors, and provide support, they have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with the death of a loved one. Funeral Directors are trained to answer questions about grief, and suggest sources of professional help.


Do you have to use funeral home to bury someone who has passed away?

In most states, family members may bury thier own dead, although regulations vary. A funeral director, however, is the only person qualified to embalm a person for a public visitation in Pennsylvania.
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What is the purpose of embalming?
While it is not required by law to embalm a body, embalming is required if a deceased person is to be viewed publically. The process of embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. With most states, embalming is also required to transport remains from one state to another, or if final disposition is not made within a prescribed number of hours.
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Why have a public viewing?
Grief specialists believe a viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. A viewing is also part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. It is a way of honoring the transition from life to death, and saying final goodbyes.
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Is it possible to have a traditional funeral with a viewing if someone passed away from an infectious disease?
Yes. If a public viewing is consistent with local or personal customs, that option is encourages. Touching the deceased's face or hands is perfectly safe.
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Is cremation a viable alternative for disposition?
Yes. Curran-Shaffer Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc. has an on-site crematory to serve those families that choose cremation.
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Is cremation on the rise?
Yes. More people are choosing cremation, but it is not a dramatic increase thus far.
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I want to be cremated, can I still have a viewing?
Absolutely. You can have a full traditional service, with viewing, and a service at the funeral home or a Church. The cremation can take place after the service. The cremated remains can be kept by the family or interred or entombed in a cemetery.
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I have no religious affiliation, can I still have a service?
Yes, and it's encouraged. The funeral director can help to obtain a local minister to preside over a service, or you can choose to have a Celebration of Life Tribute Service, which is growing in popularity.
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What happens if I die away from home?
If you are travelling out of town, out of state, or out of the country and a death occurs, our funeral home should be contacted immediately. We will make all necessary arrangements with a well regarded firm in the area where the death has taken place to assist with the transfer.
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What is pre-arranging?
Pre-arranging is a way of making informed decisions ahead of time instead of emotional choices often made at the time of need. Your wishes about your funeral can be expressed to your family and friends, and spares them the additional burden of making these decision when you pass away. There are a wide variety of funding options to make pre-payment simple and easy. By choosing to prefund your funeral, it is guaranteed at today's prices.