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By Laura Stampler
October 17, 2014

A Michigan funeral home recently started offering an untraditional service: A drive-thru open casket viewing.

“As you enter into the drive-thru, you’re going to see a memorial box where you can drop a memorial card or a monetary contribution,” Ivan Phillips, president of Saginaw’s Paradise Funeral Chapel, told the Telegraph. “Once you push the button, the register box will open up. At that time, you may sign your name in the register book… And when you proceed forward, the curtains will draw back and you may pay your respects to the loved one for three minutes from the privacy of your vehicle.”

But this isn’t just for convenience. The funeral home says that it is beneficial to those with physical limitations.

And it’s not even America’s first drive-thru funeral home. In 2011, a Compton, Calif., funeral home introduced the service to the community.

“It’s a convenience thing,” Robert L. Adams Mortuary owner Scott Adams told the Los Angeles Times, explaining that mourners “don’t have to deal with parking, you can sign the book outside and the family knows that you paid your respects.”

The LA Times points out different types of perks:

The practice has evolved from the drive-thru funeral home visitation services of the 1980’s. Gatling Chapel’s drive-thru only showed viewers a close-up video image of the deceased on a television screen outside. Like a fast food drive-thru window, drivers would push a button and specify what body he or she was there to see to the person in the control room.

“When you go to McDonald’s, you talk into a speaker, but you cant see what you get. Here, you can see what you’re asking to see,” owner Lafayette Gatling said to the Chicago Tribune. “That`s the difference.”

Contact us at editors@time.com.

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