National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day – March 11, 2020

Wed Mar 11

National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day on March 11 gives us the opportunity to honor these noble professionals that are plying their trade all across the U.S. Planning a funeral is a sombre and upsetting experience for those unfortunate enough to lose a loved one, and it takes empathetic and understanding funeral directors and morticians to make the whole process a little more bearable. Without their efforts, our loved ones wouldn’t get the sendoff they deserve and their passing would be an even more distressing experience. March 11 is a day to say thank you.

History of National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day

Funeral rites can be traced as far back as human culture itself with early homo sapiens over 300,000 years ago known to have carried out rituals when a loved one died. The beginnings of the mortician profession goes back thousands of years. From the Ancient Egyptians and their grandiose tombs to the new methods of burial we see today, such as biodegradable urns and water graves, the end-of-life rituals have been shaped through innovation. 

Religion has always been at the center of how funerals are carried out. In Ancient Rome ceremonial undertakers were employed to announce the funeral by wailing loudly. The more actors who were crying aloud at your funeral, the wealthier you were. 

It was typically down to women to prepare the dead body. The gender roles began to change during the nineteenth century and for the past 100 years or so it has become a male-dominated industry, especially with the development of funeral directors. 

Nowadays funeral directors and morticians dedicate their lives to helping families and communities in giving a proper sendoff to their loved ones. Both morticians and funeral directors study mortuary science attaining at least an associate degree or higher. Their degree is followed by a 1-3 year apprenticeship and obtaining all licenses needed. Their compassion and understanding during what is a difficult time is unrivalled, and that is why in 2008 March 11 was declared as National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day.

National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day timeline

2008

Resolution

Congress designated March 11 as National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day.

1905

Workers Organized

The British Undertakers’ Association became the National Association of Funeral Directors.

1500s

Aztec Tradition

Aztecs were known to be celebrating the Day of the Dead

3150–2686 BC

First Formal Morticians.

Ancient Egyptians were possibly the first society to implement funeral directors, designating special priests for the passing of royals.

National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day FAQs

When is National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day?

March 11

How can I find out about different burial techniques?

From burial to cremation, there are several ways nowadays to respectfully deal with your or your loved one’s passing. Look online at what is available.

Where is National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day observed?

The United States

How to Observe National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day

  1. Send a thank you card

    Take time to thank them for their time and consideration. Funerals are difficult times for families and it would no doubt make a funeral director or mortician happy to know that their work is appreciated.

  2. Plan your funeral

    It is a scary thought and a taboo subject, but the truth of the matter is, we will all need funeral services at one point. Why not plan your own and make life a little easier for your family.

  3. Write a review

    If you know a funeral director who made a difficult time that little bit easier then why not write a review for them online? It will help their business and also show your gratitude.

5 Facts About Funeral

  1. Green funerals are an option

    You can get biodegradable, woven-willow caskets that decompose into the ground.

  2. Rosemary was a favorite mourning plant

    Rosemary was associated with eternal life and often placed inside coffins to cover odors.

  3. The Romans invented gravestones

    The first gravestones in Britain were concentrated close to Roman military forts and more urbanized Romano-British settlements.

  4. Mourner renting was commonplace

    Prior to the 20th century, Some European families would hire professional mourners to cry for their deceased.

  5. They happen in the animal kingdom too

    Dolphins and elephants grieve the losses of their own and recognize it with memorial-like rituals

Why National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day is Important

  1. It’s a constant job

    Funeral Directors often work on holidays and go above and beyond to tend to our needs. Their compassion and commitment deserve to be recognized.

  2. It’s a tough profession

    Funeral directors and morticians have to spend most of their working lives around death and those grieving over a death. That’s not an easy pat they have chosen. Today is to honor them and the difficult career they chose.

  3. They take a weight off.

    When a loved one has just died organizing the funeral is not only upsetting but also stressful. These professionals make the whole process a lot easier.

National Funeral Director and Mortician Recognition Day dates

YearDateDay
2020March 11Wednesday
2021March 11Thursday
2022March 11Friday
2023March 11Saturday
2024March 11Monday