It is kind of hard to believe but the State of Connecticut has yet to approve the idea of serving anything other than hot drinks and water in funeral homes. They are one of only two states – Pennsylvania being the other – that has not allowed this action. However, that may be changing as testimony at the state legislature is heating up and once again a law allowing this may come up.
Funeral director Lionel J. Lesard, Jr. is quoted, “Many people are traveling far distances to attend funeral services or calling hours and the grieving family want to thank them by offering some food and beverage during their stay at the funeral home.”
Another funeral director supporter, Matthew R. Bailey is also quoted, “This legislation does not force anyone to do anything. It simply allows those of us who wish to provide some hospitality to our client families and their guests to do so.”
Surprisingly, there is opposition among funeral directors on this idea. One funeral director said this, “I strongly believe that a funeral home is just that: I believe it’s a place to conduct funerals, and that alone.”
You can read the article on this topic from the Hartford Courant here.
Funeral Director Daily take: It’s hard to believe that these two states have not approved of this idea yet. In my opinion, funeral homes are places of hospitality for those we serve. . . and in today’s world food has become a staple of hospitality.
We built a new funeral home that opened in 2006 — that’s 14 years ago. At that time we included a hospitality room with a fireplace, television, and tables as a place of refuge for families during visitations. Families were also encouraged to invite visitation attendees in to the room for extended conversation and hospitality should they choose.
We went a step further than most by actually providing and paying for meat and cheese trays and crackers supplied by a local deli – at our charge and complimentary to the family. We included bottled water (with our logo on the label as a branding opportunity) and coffee. This was very well received. . so well that when we have additional deaths in an extended family – those families choose to have visitations even when the body is not present as in direct cremations.
The visitations provide revenue – of which the deli treats are but a small cost. But more importantly, it is my belief that these visitations, now asked for by families, provide an outlet for family and friends to gather and share.