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Mike Boyer
03-25-2011, 03:12 PM
ok...here is a stupid question are you guys ready ??......... when you put a casket in a coach at a funeral..... does the body go in head first or feet first ?????

I was just sitting here at work wondering
Its my birthday today....I have nothing else to think about today !!!

hmmmmmm

Richard Vyse
03-25-2011, 03:19 PM
ok...here is a stupid question are you guys ready ??......... when you put a casket in a coach at a funeral..... does the body go in head first or feet first ?????

I was just sitting here at work wondering
Its my birthday today....I have nothing else to think about today !!!

hmmmmmm

Feet first.

Adam Borkat
03-25-2011, 03:29 PM
Feet first.
Why?

By the way, happy birthday Mike!!!

Mike Boyer
03-25-2011, 03:35 PM
ya........why????

I would have thought head first

Donna Cardia
03-25-2011, 04:00 PM
I cant remember 100% of the details why but I was once told feet first, so that when you remove the casket and walk toward the grave the head would be facing the right direction

just what I was told

Richard Vyse
03-25-2011, 04:04 PM
Actually it's similar to walking. You walk feet first so you go feet first into the coach, into the church as you enter and leave, and as you are carried to the grave. When buried, the foot end of the casket lies towards the east so when God comes back to Earth to claim his children, the dead in Christ will rise and you will be facing God.

Some funeral director's don't take the time to keep this tradition intact but not in my funerals. We turn the casket in the chruch and bring them out feet first everytime. In Scottish tradition the body leaves feet first so the soul cannot find it's way back into the house. I assume this is how it got started.

Mike Boyer
03-25-2011, 04:06 PM
ok...that makes sense......I think lol

Darren Bedford
03-25-2011, 04:07 PM
Happy Birthday Mike !

happybirthday:dancing::thewave::dancing:

I don't know about the casket in hearse deal. Don't really think it matters.
They won't care ! LOL

I have a vintage coffin that is converted into a cooler. Lined with truck bed liner. When I take it to a party or event, I put it in head first as I like the way it looks with the wider end at the front of the car with it tapering back.
Coffins have 6 sides like the Dracula style.

Caskets are rectangle (4 sides) so its the same either way.

I asked the grave Digger how she buries people and she said feet to the East
or head to the tombstone.
That way they can watch the sun rise ! Well, not really watch it but you get the idea.


I am interested in knowing if there are actual "Policies" on either the hearse or grave.

Let's here from the funeral directors !

Darren

Mike Boyer
03-25-2011, 04:09 PM
I cant remember 100% of the details why but I was once told feet first, so that when you remove the casket and walk toward the grave the head would be facing the right direction

just what I was told



Ok that makes sense....... I think

Richard Vyse
03-25-2011, 04:11 PM
Happy Birthday Mike !

happybirthday:dancing::thewave::dancing:

Don't really think it matters.
They won't care ! LOL


Now Darren, it's all about tradition in the funeral business. Keep in mind, funerals are not for the dead but for the living. The dead are dead.

Mike Boyer
03-25-2011, 04:15 PM
ok Richard... talking about the feet facing east.... are most cemetery's laid out facing east to west ? is that the reason ?

Darren Bedford
03-25-2011, 04:22 PM
Richard

Just a little humor brother. Don't take it the wrong way.


Funerals are the worse thing anyone has to deal with in life and I have respect for them and the history. Losing someone you love isn't easy !
I have lost my father, Mother and Brother ! Believe me, I know !!!!!

By the way, I have a huge vintage funeral collection with most items dating between 1882-1920. Some up to the late '60s. Un-real what I have.

I will show you photos of the collection in Flint.


Take it easy,
Darren

Mike Burkhart
03-25-2011, 04:40 PM
A body is always carried or moved feet first. This wards off the evil spirits away from the deceased's head. As found in my text book "The History of Funeral Directing" used while I was in Mortuary school in the 70's.

Most cemeterys are set up with the graves east-west, but we have some here that are different.

Mike :respect:

Donna Cardia
03-25-2011, 05:03 PM
Ok now I am really confused because I know for a fact my grandfather is buried feet toward the north, and great grandmother towards the south. I am sure it is up to the cemetary, but makes me go hmmmm

EDIT : other grandmother is west, guess I will have to be buried east to even us all out ;)

Jonathon Fowers
03-25-2011, 07:49 PM
all of the cemeteries here in UT that i know of are the same everyones head is to the west and feet to the east and funeral homes keep it traditional here too feet go in the coach first.

Brady D Smith
03-25-2011, 09:05 PM
Rick is correct but there is more. If you do it correctly, everyone working the funeral or at the cemetery will know the orientation of the body based on how it came out of the car. this way the head is placed correctly on the lowering device. if you didn't maintain the load-feet-first tradition then it gets more complicated as you proceed with the burial.

Bill Carlin
03-25-2011, 11:02 PM
When transport a casket that will be opened again in another one of our funeral homes or church, we go in head first. Just like riding in a school bus, the very back bounces more. We don't want the head to bounce, so it goes in first. When we load to go to a catholic funeral at a church, we load head first so we can carry out feet first into church. When we leave any church, we go out feet first, so the casket is loaded feet first. We bury at most cemeteries foot to the east. In short, it doesn't matter which way we load a hearse, but it does matter what way the casket goes into and out of a church (always feet first, except clergy which go in head first to face their "flock") and how the casket is placed in a cemetery (foot to the east).

Paul Steinberg
03-25-2011, 11:26 PM
When looking at the opening side of the casket, wouldn't the head always be on the left? I would think that this would be an easy way to know where the head end is located when the casket is closed.

Danny Ryder
03-25-2011, 11:28 PM
If for no other reason just do it same all the time and you will know which end is which. We had a new guy one time at the funeral home that had his directors license when we found him but no idea how he got it cause he had no idea how to run things. He and I did a funeral together once and of course he loaded casket opposite from how we normally did and when we got in front of church to open for service casket was facing wrong so had to turn around. Lucky body was lying in state and not many people there yet to see our blunder. We didn't keep this guy very long. We always did feet first.

Darren Bedford
03-25-2011, 11:33 PM
Mike

No question you want the answer too is a stupid question.
Wanting the answer and not asking the question to me is stupid.

We all learned something from the posts by the funeral directors in the club.

If we could learn something new everyday, everyone would be better off.


Paul

I have always seen the person in the casket with their head to the left like you mentioned. Lets see what replies you get regarding that.



Darren

Steve Lichtman
03-25-2011, 11:59 PM
Interesting that a hearse is most often loaded feet first, but an ambulance is loaded head first.

Josh Gentry
03-26-2011, 01:53 AM
Happy Birthday Mike! Hope you had a great day!happybirthday:071:

I'm not sure I've ever seen a casket get loded head first.

Josh

Brad Ross
03-26-2011, 08:08 AM
When looking at the opening side of the casket, wouldn't the head always be on the left?

"Reverse Panel" caskets do exist. They are simply "backwards".
Here is a page listing some Reverse Panel offerings from the M. Solomon Casket Company:
http://www.solomoncasket.net/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=44_52

I vaguely remember a friend in the funeral profession telling me that one use for a Reverse Panel would be in instances where the deceased had been badly injured. The reversed placement in the casket would allow their good side to be shown. Can any of our Funeral Directors elaborate on this?

Richard Vyse
03-26-2011, 09:23 AM
"Reverse Panel" caskets do exist. They are simply "backwards".
Here is a page listing some Reverse Panel offerings from the M. Solomon Casket Company:
http://www.solomoncasket.net/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=44_52

I vaguely remember a friend in the funeral profession telling me that one use for a Reverse Panel would be in instances where the deceased had been badly injured. The reversed placement in the casket would allow their good side to be shown. Can any of our Funeral Directors elaborate on this?

There are occasions when a reverse casket needs to be used due to facial trauma on the deceased.

Mike Burkhart
03-26-2011, 11:18 AM
I have been in the Funeral Business for 40 years and have never seen a reverse casket for real. I seen one in "Tales from the crypt" one time on TV.

Mike

Jeremy D. Ledford
03-26-2011, 03:11 PM
Actually it's similar to walking. You walk feet first so you go feet first into the coach, into the church as you enter and leave, and as you are carried to the grave. When buried, the foot end of the casket lies towards the east so when God comes back to Earth to claim his children, the dead in Christ will rise and you will be facing God.

Some funeral director's don't take the time to keep this tradition intact but not in my funerals. We turn the casket in the chruch and bring them out feet first everytime. In Scottish tradition the body leaves feet first so the soul cannot find it's way back into the house. I assume this is how it got started.

Yeah, what he said!:specool:

Rick Franklin
03-26-2011, 03:53 PM
I seem to recall that my mother is buried with her headstone to the north in a Catholic cemetary in New York State

Richard Vyse
03-26-2011, 06:26 PM
I have been in the Funeral Business for 40 years and have never seen a reverse casket for real. I seen one in "Tales from the crypt" one time on TV.

Mike

Solomon Casket Company

Bill Carlin
03-26-2011, 09:07 PM
I have used reversed caskets a few times. Most of the public has no idea what end of the casket is "normally" open during a visitation and usually no one notices when it is backwards. Only funeral directors look twice when they see a reversed casket.

The reason for using a reversed casket has always been facial trauma and swelling issues. Reversed caskets are available on special order.

As for the question about just checking what side of the casket opens and knowing where the head is, isn't always that easy. Many metal caskets have hidden hinges and latches so you can not see them when the lid is closed. On most caskets the quick thing to look for is the labels on the casket and the lock and info tube pipes on the foot end. (we call them exhaust pipes and some caskets are dual exhaust and some only have one tail pipe) Aurora caskets have the lock on the middle of the front side of the casket and not the foot end. This gets tricky when you open the hearse door and try to determine which end of the casket comes out first. This is a perfect example of the strange things funeral directors keep track of that the public has no idea. We do more than just drive big cars and drink coffee...well, some of us do more....lol!

Andrew G. Zajkowski
03-26-2011, 09:30 PM
I am trying to stay on this topic my question on this type of casket and the common used one's, is it true that wooden one's don't have a lock but if you look under the lip on a wooden one there is a release and metal has a locking tube .I have a family friend that runs a casket company here called (SUPERIOR CASKET COMPANY ) located in Redford, Michigan the times i have been there i never seen a reverse configuration but have seen a double.

Tony Karsnia
03-26-2011, 10:46 PM
When you grow up around a funeral home, such as I did, with a father who is very dedicated to, and serious about, his chosen career, there are many things that are impressed upon you at an early age, including which end of the casket gets loaded into the hearse first.

I was taught that the body should always be transported feet first, for reasons that Richard mentioned. As such, the body enters and leaves the church (or chapel) feet first too, even if this means that the pallbearers face the hearse and back up a few paces while unloading. In addition to the etiquette factor, I was taught that if you always have the casket in the hearse the same way (feet first), you never have to stop to figure out which end is which. This is also helpful when placing an American flag on a casket (i.e. at the conclusion of a Catholic Mass for a Veteran, the funeral pall is folded and removed from the casket and replaced with the American flag.) If you know that the casket always recesses from church feet first, it should never be confused that the flag is unfolded so the stars are over the deceased person's left shoulder.

I'm sure there are many of us here who could sit for hours, telling stories about things that have happened to us; the kinds of "blunders" that are anything but funny at the time, but can be quite humorous looking back on them.

I am reminded of the day we had two funerals and needed to rent a hearse from our local livery service. The service was very busy on this particular day and sent over one of the hearses that is typically used for removals (a service our local livery also provides.) Well, the Lutheran funeral ended and we came processing out of church - feet first - and the pallbearers carried the casket down the front steps of the church as the family followed. You can imagine our surprise when the back door of the hease was opened and there was a removal cot and the carpeted "board" they put under it to protect the hearse floor! Seems the driver - and nobody else at the livery garage - checked the rear interior prior to taking off...

In a situation like this, the worst thing you can do is panic. So, we calmly brought the church truck down to the sidewalk, placed the casket on it (thankfully it was a nice day and the church was not on a busy street), quietly asked the driver to go around to the back of the church, offload the cot and board, and bring the empty hearse back. We apologized to the family and informed them the delay would only be a moment. After the casket was loaded and we were on the way to the cemetery, we called the livery service and suggested they come retrieve their cot, which was hidden in a corner behind the Lutheran church!

In the end, the family was not bothered by what happened, no charge was made for the hearse (by the livery service or us), and that driver always checks the rear interior of a hearse before leaving the garage!

Mike Boyer
03-27-2011, 12:45 AM
wow ....and I all I wanted to know was why the feet go in first !! lol

thank you guys so much.....very very interesting stuff.....thats why I joined PCS !!!

now I can tell all friends ( that care) why the feet go in first

thanks again

Mike

Josh Horton
03-27-2011, 04:18 PM
How were 3-ways loaded/unloaded?

Mike Burkhart
03-27-2011, 06:10 PM
Loaded so when the table is back in the coach in drive position, feet still to front and head to the rear.

Thanks,
Mike of Mike, Mike, and Mike

Doug Watson
03-27-2011, 06:38 PM
Going into church, I go feet first (if liturguical like Catholic/Lutheran), unless its a priest or pastor, then head first as they addressed the congregation in life. *Loading in coach, its usually feet first because I turn the casket to exit church. When we load at funeral home, it's head first so as enter church its feet going in first. At graveside, we never know which way lowering device is set, so we have to instruct pallbearers to either face coach or face away as casket comes out. the only constant is graves face east/west, with head always at west end, normally husband on south side of wife, as they stood at the alter of their wedding (to right of bride). SOME cemeteries and alot of mausoleums have burials/entombments facing north / south...then all tradition is tossed in the air. For cremated remains, i always go in feet first, regardless of faith or position. But thats just how i roll.

Mike Burkhart
03-27-2011, 06:51 PM
Doug, Great explanation!!

Thanks,
Mike

Bee Hamlin
03-27-2011, 08:09 PM
OK...

So what do you do when you use a side-loader??? :drama:

Bee Hamlin

Mike Burkhart
03-27-2011, 08:14 PM
Well...... If you go in the side, you go head first. That makes it so when the table goes in the Funeral Car in drive position, the head is to the rear and the foot is to the front.

Bee, tell George Hi for me. George rode in my Packard at the National meet in Kansas City to Independence.

Thanks,
Mike