Located in San Francisco’s impressive Chinatown, we’re proud to serve the families of San Francisco with funeral and memorial services. We hold close the cultural traditions of area families and are very experienced at handling funeral services for our large Chinese community and nearby Italian population, as well as families in North Beach and The Richmond District.
- Catered Receptions
- Funeral Celebrants
- Multicultural Funerals
Honoring Chinese funeral services and traditions
Located in San Francisco's North Beach and Chinatown area, Green Street Mortuary specializes in Chinese funeral services and funeral-related products, such as burial clothing, ceremonial burning products, ceremonial blankets and jade cremation urns. Our staff is familiar with all types of Chinese funeral traditions and services. Many draw on their own experiences as ethnically Chinese and can interpret a variety of languages, including English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Toisan.
We are proud to be a part of San Francisco’s Chinatown, the largest Chinatown in the United States. Well-versed in Chinese funeral customs, our staff is largely Chinese themselves. We take special care to accommodate the traditions valued in this rich culture. Chinese customs can be tailored for each individual service and family, ranging from flowers to chanting monks to burning rituals. Let our staff help you find the right combination for your situation.
Some common traditions we can help facilitate are blanketing ceremonies and the burning of paper products. Our staff is ready and able to work with your family to incorporate rich family and cultural traditions to honor your loved one. We also have paper funeral goods and freestanding burning ovens for burning rituals. Many Buddhists and Taoists burn paper versions of houses, cars and other material possessions to give to the dead in the next world.
Spacious and accessible funeral chapels
Our building has gorgeous San Francisco architecture with an estate feel. Our expansive space provides a peaceful place for our families to remember loved ones. The entire facility is easily accessible with full wheelchair access, including our restrooms.
The space encompasses 35,000 square feet, with 4 beautiful chapels. Each chapel is spacious, with high ceilings, and sets a reverent tone for remembrance. In honor of Chinese customs and numerology, the chapels are numbered accordingly—1, 2, 5 and 6.
Each chapel accommodates a large number of guests. The largest chapel seats 200 people while the smallest seats 100. Our chapels showcase the wonderful customs and decorative pieces that accompany a Chinese funeral ceremony, including Chinese flowers, ribbons and burning ovens.
Partners in providing cremations and graveside services
As is the case with all San Francisco funeral homes, we do not have a cemetery or crematorium on site at our funeral home. However, we are capable and ready to help families with both cremations and graveside services. We partner closely with San Francisco Columbarium and Woodlawn Memorial Park & Funeral Home to provide dignified and personalized funeral services. Whether you or your family chooses cremation or a traditional funeral, we work with our partners to provide unique tributes to honor the lives of loved ones passed.
The famous Green Street Mortuary Band
We are proud to provide one of the most unique offerings you’ll ever find from a funeral home. The Green Street Mortuary Band is our very own marching band, which honors the century-old tradition of escorting funeral processions through the streets of Chinatown.
The Green Street Mortuary Band is nationally known and the subject of various written pieces. In the 1940s, the San Francisco Musicians Local 6 pushed for mortuaries to hire local union musicians to perform at funeral processions. The 10-piece band has become legendary for its funeral processions, which wind through Chinatown. The band marches through the streets, leading our picture car, limos and funeral attendees.
Some believe the music keeps the spirit of the loved one close to the body until burial. There is also the belief that the loud noise scares off evil spirits as we bid farewell to those who have passed. Whatever your beliefs, a funeral procession with the Green Street Mortuary Band is a distinct way to provide a unique and personalized funeral service to honor a loved one.
There is an exchange of cultures with this ritual. In a way, the band represents a beautiful blend of Chinese tradition and American assimilation. The funeral band concept has its roots in ancient Chinese tradition, yet interestingly, none of our band members are Chinese. The band plays hymns, dirges and marches of American influence for approximately 30 minutes.
If you have the chance, you’ll want to catch the wonderful Green Street Mortuary Band and this one-of-a-kind display of life.
When a family chooses a funeral procession, we offer unique ways to memorialize your loved one. Our picture car will display a large photograph to commemorate and celebrate your loved one as it drives through the streets of San Francisco. The famous Green Street Mortuary Band is also available to provide a unique send off. People will often throw paper money into the air to “buy the road,” which is a symbolic diversion for unfriendly ghosts.
Our services and funeral processions can be quite elaborate and beautiful in nature. No funeral event is too big or too small for our staff, and we’ll provide as many as 4 funeral directors to plan and concentrate on your loved one’s funeral service. We are dedicated to providing a unique and fitting tribute for your loved one.
The original funeral home opened with our first 2 chapels in 1917, and Green Street Mortuary was officially established in its modern state in 1985. This location has always had a close and deep relationship with the Italian community. To this day, we continue to hold many Italian funeral services, and we proudly support the nearby Saints Peter and Paul Church. In the 1940s, 2 additional chapels were built, which allowed us to serve more families with the growing demand. We officially joined the Dignity Memorial® network of providers in 1986, the largest network of funeral, cremation and burial providers in North America.
In 2014, we underwent a $1.5 million renovation project, with major interior and exterior improvements to sustain the building for years to come. Our new, state-of-the-art heating system allows us to warm up our chapels on chilly San Francisco mornings and provide a warm space for families to gather.
Green Street Mortuary community initiatives
We are proud to make positive contributions to our San Francisco, Chinatown and North Beach communities, from Jean Parker Elementary School to the Chinese Hospital and Chinese benevolence associations. Green Street Mortuary fulfills various roles in the community in order to create a better, more connected world.
We help the Jean Parker Elementary School with its fundraiser, the Honeybee Jamboree. These funds provide kids in low-income families with important dental and vision care. It’s our honor to be a part of such a great cause.
Each year, we donate to the Chinese Hospital’s fundraiser to help this vital facility with its property loan.
We work closely with our Chinese benevolence associations, which provide invaluable support for our Chinese community, especially Chinese immigrants making their way in America. We recognize their important role in our community and enjoy sponsoring their events.
If you think Green Street Mortuary might be able to help your cause or organization, please contact us to learn more.