What is a Mortuary?

A mortuary is a room or area where dead bodies are kept. It can be found in hospitals or funeral homes. Its focus is on preparing the body for burial or cremation.

A hospital mortuary also conducts autopsies. This is to confirm that the deceased person is dead.

The body is then buried in a grave or entombed in a mausoleum. Some religions require the family to witness the incineration of the remains.

Waiting mortuary

The waiting mortuary was a large, stately structure that housed dead people until they could be buried or cremated. These morgues were popular in Germany and some other European countries, but never caught on in the United States or England. While supporters hailed the buildings as philanthropic efforts, they were often smelly and unsanitary places.

Eventually, the demand for these facilities fell and they were replaced by more modern ones. However, many funeral homes today have refrigerated rooms that can serve as a temporary morgue in the event of an emergency. These spaces may also be used to honor the religious customs of families that insist on watching the body being inserted into a retort for cremation. This is especially important in cases where the deceased is a member of a religion that requires this. In such cases, the funeral home will typically have a video monitor. They may also have a viewing window for relatives.

Hospital morgue

Most adults have seen a depiction of a morgue in a movie or TV show. Despite the grisly images, most mortuaries serve a practical purpose – they are the temporary storage facilities for deceased individuals until their identity can be determined and an autopsy performed. The bodies are kept in refrigerated drawer-like compartments and most morgues are located within hospitals or medical centers, though they can also be found in retirement homes and hospice care facilities.

In addition to storing corpses, hospital mortuaries can perform various services such as embalming and respectful burial or cremation. They also store any belongings of the deceased and issue a receipt when they are collected.

Most morgues have a large staff of medical professionals who are trained to assist the medical examiner or mortician. These people often work on 24-hour rotating shifts, including weekends and holidays. They may transport the deceased from a hospital to the morgue and back again, set up instruments for the pathologist, pick tissue specimens, and ensure all cadavers are tagged. They may also transport the body from the hospital to a funeral home or other locations as necessary.

Funeral home

A funeral home is a place where families meet to discuss their loved one’s death and arrange for a service. It also provides a quiet area called a chapel for mourners to pay their respects. Some funeral homes offer cremation services as well. They also provide caskets, vaults, urns, and memorial chests as well as stationery products like guest books and memorial folders. They may also offer services to assist grieving families, such as grief counselors and a grief therapy dog.

A funeral director is a licensed professional who specializes in the funeral ceremony and the arrangement of the dead. He or she has been trained to understand and respond to the unique needs of each family. They are trained to prepare the body for viewing, embalming, sanitary washing, dressing and cosmetology. They can even help to write and publish a death notice or obituary in the local newspaper. They can also provide transportation for the deceased and his or her loved ones.


A crematorium is a building where the cremation process takes place. It may be attached to a cemetery or it may stand on its own as an independent facility. Typically, a crematorium will have a chapel where mourners can gather for a service. This service can be a simple one or a full memorial.

During the cremation process, the coffin is placed in a chamber called a retort and exposed to intense heat. The greater portion of the body is vaporized and the rest becomes calcified. After the cremation, the bones are mechanically processed into a fine dust and stored in a container or urn.

A cremation usually takes about three hours, including a cooling period. The ashes are then returned to the family in basic containers, or they can choose to purchase their own urns for more personalised storage. Crematoriums have strict codes of practice and are governed by local authorities. Most have their codes of ethics on display in their facilities.

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