We continue to see that funeral directors who are members of the Order of the Golden Rule (OGR) are an especially resourceful group. They look at challenges as opportunities to shift business practices to accommodate changing regulations. They find ways to care for families while maintaining safety protocols. They reach out to one another in support and camaraderie.

As OGR hosts weekly on-line round tables and special topic webinars, valuable ideas are shared. For the busy funeral director taking part in these conversations may not be an option, so we have gathered some of the most relevant tips and offer them for your consideration

Tips for Visitations, Funeral Services and Pall Bearers

  • Like many states and provinces, no more than 10 members of the immediate family can be inside the funeral home for a service in Michigan. To accommodate a large service, the funeral home has had the immediate family participate in the service inside and remaining guests remain in their cars in the parking lot and watch the service over a live stream. They used Advanced Audio systems in his funeral home.
    Janowiak Funeral Home in Ypsilanti, MI
  • In Ontario and Delaware, there have been reports of the police checking to be sure that safe social distancing and permitted attendance count is being adhered to. Fines are levied if a funeral home is not complying with current regulations.

Social distancing is difficult for pall bearers, so members have:

  • Reduced the time standing together to make it as short as possible,
    George Darte Funeral Home, St. Catharines, ON
  • Had pall bearers place the casket on a lowering device and then step away and leave the graveside before the family is ushered in,
    Janowiak Funeral Home, Ypsilanti, MI
  • Had staff serve as pall bearers,
    Barnett-Strother Funeral Home, Madisonville, KY
  • Had pall bearers wear masks,
    Plummer Funeral Home, Litchfield, IL

Tips for Funeral Home Financial Needs

  • Most US members are filling out the necessary paperwork for the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). To qualify for a loan, the bank must be an U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved lender.
    Find an approved lender | PPP Application | PPP Fact Sheet | PPP Overview
  • Some members have set aside “rainy day” funds that they can now access. One funeral home places a designated amount from each funeral into their fund to prepare for an event like COVID-19.

Final Tip

  • George Darte Funeral Home in St. Catharines, ON has a message for health care workers on the home page of their website. Feel free to steal the idea!

OGR’s next round table will be held Thursday, April 9 at 3:00 PM EDT. This discussion is open to OGR members only. Learn more and register at www.ogr.org/covid19#Roundtable.

By Nancy Weil
OGR Member Resources Director
nweil@ogr.org