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COVID-19 and Funeral Services

Trying to find balance in responsibility and support 

Dear Friends,

We are facing uncertain days and uncharted waters in dealing with the global pandemic of COVID-19. Traditions and customs that each family would normally incorporate into the funeral service for their loved one are now subject to regulations and guidelines to decrease the spread of the virus.  However, we are here for you.  It remains our sacred duty to walk with each family through their shadowed valley.  Part of that journey involves exploring different methods of meeting the needs of grieving families and friends, explaining options related to the service and what can occur, and educating others on how they can participate in memorializing the deceased.

CDC guidelines, coupled with mandates and recommendations on the federal, state, and local level strongly encourage every citizen to avoid social gatherings of any size, avoid close proximity to every individual, wash hands repeatedly throughout the day, exercise etiquette when coughing or sneezing, and the like. When providing funeral services and ceremonial gatherings, obviously these guidelines can easily be forgotten. Our desire to offer support and comfort to the recently bereft can quickly overcome our fear of disease or our commitment to be responsible citizens.

Those who have lost loved ones know the benefit of the support of friends and family; they know the significance of having a meaningful, professional and personal funeral service. We remain committed to helping make these time-honored traditions available. And, we can do that in a safer manner, by encouraging those who are considering attending a funeral or visitation to remember the following principles:

(1) Please do not attend if you or those with you are experiencing any of the symptoms of COVID-19.

(2) Try to avoid shaking hands or getting in close proximity with others at services (CDC recommends six feet of distance).

(3) Wash your hands, or use hand sanitizing gel, before and after you attend services.

(4) Consider alternative options to personally attending the service such as the following: leaving a touching tribute on the obituary page of the website, providing a meal delivered by a service the restaurant uses (grub hub, door dash, grub south, etc.), sending a floral tribute or sympathy card, a phone call or personal note.

(5) Remain committed to meeting the genuine needs of the family over the personal desire to see or be seen (if the visitor is not well, they could potentially spread the disease to an already heartbroken family or other visitors).

Obviously, changes to recommendations are being made regularly. Please feel free to contact us at any of our three convenient locations for questions regarding current regulations and subsequent policies.  Also, you can visit for further information.

We join our leaders, our citizens, and our nation in prayer, asking God to bless and protect us … and all the more as we seek to be a blessing to others.


After decades of sacrificial service and dedicated commitment to the grieving families of the Shoals area and beyond, Mr. H. Wayne Pate calls it a career.  He began serving in funeral service in the 1970's with Morrison-Elkins.  From there, Wayne also served in Franklin County, Alabama, and Tishomingo County, Mississippi, working at Akins and Deaton.  However, in 2000 Wayne came back to Morrison Funeral Home.  Day or night, rain or shine, Wayne has answered the call.  We are grateful to both Wayne, and his wife Charlotte, for their faithful service to grieving families, funeral service, and Morrison Funeral Homes.On September 2, 2020, the National Funeral Directors Association announced that Morrison Funeral Homes was a recipient of the 2020 Pursuit of Excellence Award.  Only 141 funeral homes from across the nation were chosen for this honor.  Those achieving this distinction have demonstrated "a commitment to raising the bar on funeral service excellence by adhering to strict ethical and professional standards and providing outstanding service to families and communities."  This is the seventh time Morrison Funeral Homes has been recognized as a Pursuit of Excellence Award winner. 

Morrison Cremation Care Center

Morrison Cremation Care Center

While traditional burial overwhelmingly continues to be the preferred method of disposition, there are options when it comes to memorializing a loved one.  To better serve the needs of Northwest Alabama and Southern Middle Tennessee, Morrison Funeral Homes installed an onsite crematory in 2003.

The number of Shoals area families who have chosen cremation has increased over the last 18 years.  To meet those rising needs, we are please to announce the opening of MORRISON CREMATION CARE CENTER, a facility completely dedicated to cremation.  It is located adjoining our Morrison Funeral Home Tuscumbia location.  With state-of-the-art equipment and an intimate area for family memorialization and participation, this new facility is designed to serve grieving families with cremation needs.

“Setting the Standards for Tomorrow… Holding to the Values of Yesterday” It is not just our slogan; it is our commitment to those we serve.

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