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The English Funeral Director


The Funeral Process in Spain

& the main differences between the UK and Spain 

UK funeral directors provide a very different service to their collecgues in Spain, below is a sumary of the two.

The Role of a UK Funeral Director

When making funeral arrangements, the family is usually handing over an overwhelming responsibility to a complete stranger. Although dedicated and professional, it is important to know exactly how the Funeral Director will serve the family in there time of need. To give a general view of what should be expected from a Funeral Director, we have described their role as five basic functions:

Master of Ceremonies

This is, for most people, the image of a Funeral Director with the traditional black suit, top hat, very formal in their approach, style, and manner. Although attitudes towards funerals have become more relaxed and imformal in recent years, some people will still expect the old traditions and customs. For those who attend the service, this image of Funeral Director is all they see. Funeral Directors tend to be portrayed as serious and sombre people, when in fact they are just like everyone else. The reader will need to liase between the Funeral Director and the family. This is an important and sensitive role.

Custodian of the Body

Another role that the family would expect a Funeral Director to perform is looking after the deceased person in the Funeral Home. Almost everyone is concerned how his or her loved one will be cared for at the Funeral Home. The fundamental role of a Funeral Director is to care for the deceased and to ensure they are looked after in a dignified and respectful manner. This can envolve the Laying Out, which means general washing, grooming and dressing proir to the body being placed in the coffin. In some Funeral Homes, Embalming is another procedure the Funeral Director may perform. The Funeral Director will provide a Chapel of Rest for the family to come and visit their loved one before the funeral. This will give them the opportunity to say good-bye, and help them come to terms with the loss as part of the grieving process.

Technical Advisor

The Funeral Director is somone specially trained to deal with the problems involved in arranging a funeral. They will advise on the many options the family have, and will try to tailor the funeral to their perticular needs and wishes. For most families, it will be the first time they have had to arrange a funeral and they will rely upon a professional to guide them in the right direction. This will also apply to the Reader, when advising them on content, including hymns, readings, and order of service.


As an agent, the Funeral Director is responsib;e for dealing with those people necessary for providing a full and complete funeral service. The church, crematorium, cemetery, doctors, ministers and grave diggers all need to be contacted and comfirmed in writing prior to the funeral. The Funeral Director will make all the necessery phone calls, arrange for, complete and deliver documentation, arrange for flowers, obituary notices in the local newspaper, and many other responsibilities that need not be obvious to the family at the time of making funeral arrangements.

The Funeral Director will also contact the local minister or Parish Office in the parish in which the deceased lived, to arrange conducting of the funeral sevice. This will include readings, homilies, poetry, music, and the order of service. Most ministers will be able to arrange counselling or Support Groups to assist the bereaved family. Depending on the arrangements within your parish office, you may be appointed to conduct the service. If so, you will need to contact the family, and arrange visit(s). This may also include hospital, hospice, or nursing homes.


The Funeral Director is also responsible to make sure that all the family's wishes and requests are carried out. These can include: the provision of a coffin, vehicles for the funeral, staff, facilities for family, mortuary facilities for the deceased and many other services and products that one would expect a Funeral Home to provide.

Although these are the five basic functions, above all the Funeral Director should be caring, friendly, and dedicated to you and your loved one.

The Role of a Spanish Funeral Director

Spanish funeral directors provide a very basic service compare to the english funeral director, it is customeray in Spain for the family to do all the organising and running about. They will move the deceased back to the chapel of rest and let you use the chapel for a service, but it is up to the family to organise he music, hymn and minister