We have provided some of the answers to the common questions relating to a funeral, a funeral service and funeral homes. If you have further questions related to funerals, please contact us and we will endeavor to answer your questions.

What is a funeral?
The funeral is a ceremony of proven worth and value for those who mourn. It provides an opportunity for the survivors and others who share in the loss to express their love, respect and grief. It permits facing openly and realistically the crisis that death may present. Through the funeral, the bereaved take that first step towards emotional adjustment to their loss.

How much do funerals cost?
Cost depends entirely on the goods and services selected by you. Every funeral director is required by law to have price lists available to the public at no charge and without obligation.

When will I find out the cost of the goods and services I have selected?
At the time the arrangements are agreed upon, the funeral director must give you a written contract including the total price of the goods and services selected and estimate of any disbursements. The contract must be approved and signed by the person making the arrangements with the funeral director.

What are cash disbursements?
Cash disbursements are payments made by the funeral director on your behalf and might include items such as newspaper notices, clergy honorarium or flowers. Disbursements are charged to you at actual cost.

Can I personalize my funeral service?
Absolutely. The funeral is a celebration of life. Funeral directors are happy to discuss all options and ensure your funeral is tailored to your wishes. It may be personalized by playing favourite music, by donations in lieu of flowers, or by having close friends say a few words during the funeral service.

Why have a public viewing?
Viewing is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is encouraged for children, as long as the process is explained and the activity voluntary.

Why have an obituary notice?
It is helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary notice published announcing the death and type of service to be held. A notice can be placed in a local newspaper or on the Internet.

What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors are caregivers and administrators. They make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body.

Funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link survivors with support groups at the funeral home or in the community.

What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
Your funeral director can assist you if a death occurs anywhere on the globe. Contact your hometown funeral director of choice immediately. They will assume responsibility and coordinate the arrangements for the return of the deceased person to their community. They may engage the services of a funeral director in the place of death who will act as their agent.

What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness.

Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.

Please note that embalming may be required if the deceased is being transported by air to another country where local laws need be observed.

Is embalming mandatory by law?
No. But, the factors of time, health and possible legal requirements might make embalming either appropriate or necessary. The law requires embalming when the body is shipped into or out of Ontario or by public carrier. Embalming the body enables mourners to view the deceased if they wish. The emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are enormous, particularly to those having difficulty dealing with the death.

We wish to thank the Board of Funeral Service and Ontario Funeral Service Association for their contribution of information on this page.