Funeral attendants oversee many aspects of a funeral, from collecting the body from the morgue to helping with casket placement and cleaning of the funeral home. Funeral attendants guide mourners to the services, pass out memorial cards, and advise mourners on how to make contributions on behalf of the deceased, as well as help with packaging cremated remains and ensuring that funeral services run smoothly and as planned. Some may also serve as pall bearers, if needed, and will close the casket at the appropriate time during funeral services. They will also load flowers and coffins into the hearse and transport them to the place of burial.
To become a funeral attendant, a caring, compassionate, and patient demeanor is essential. Funeral attendants assist people during some of the hardest times in their lives and must be able to offer caring and thoughtful assistance in a respectful manner. Good customer service skills and attention to detail are also important, and funeral attendants must be confident in stressful situations and comfortable around death and grieving people. Being a good team player is also important, as attendants must work with the funeral director and family of the deceased to ensure the memorial goes as planned.
No special training is required to be a funeral attendant, though funeral homes and states may have different requirements based on the duties assigned by employers. A valid driver's license is required in order to drive the hearse or family vehicle, and the ability to lift at least 75 pounds is also required. A flexible schedule may also be necessary depending on the employer.