I think you’ll agree with me when I say that it can be quite difficult and quite daunting to figure out what funeral service is right for you or your loved one?
Did you know that in 2015 75% of all funerals in the UK were cremation based? But the largest growth is in Green Burial and Express Direct Green burial plus of course Direct Cremations followed by Memorial services with celebration of life services
Over the course of this blog we will look to discuss the popularity of cremations, why they’re so popular, what types of funerals are available to you and which one is right for you.
Firstly, what is a cremation and why is it popular?
A cremation is the process of burning a body as opposed to a traditional / natural burial where the body is of course “buried”. A cremation is performed by placing an approved shrouded or casketed body into a large human furnace which burns the body until all that’s left are the bones. These bones are then cremulated (“ground up”) into sand like ashes which are placed in urns. I’ve found a really well presented video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fEOqq3z2rbc that explains cremations in more detail than I’ve described above. If you’re interested in learning more about cremations be sure to check it out.
Cremations are popular for two reasons: Funeral directors push them because they can carry out up to four cremations per day with the same 5 staff whereas they can only carry out 2 burials and they get their feet dirty so they are motivated to push for cremation and to strengthen their argument they claim the UK is running out of burial space which is actually NOT true, think about it, less than 6% of the UK is built upon, there are 9,747 active cemeteries according to the Ministry of Justice plus 280 natural green burial grounds and parks. The funeral industry then put fear in people by talking about the fear of being buried alive!
Let’s address fear first
For centuries people have been fearful of being buried alive and there’s even a phobia dedicated to it, Taphophobia. During the 19th century the process of being buried alive was somewhat common as outlined by William Tebb in 1905. Being buried alive could occur due to someone being mispronounced as dead. This is to be expected during the 19th century as medical practices weren’t as advanced as they are nowadays.
People shouldn’t have to worry about this in the 21st century, however it’s still a common fear. This fear isn’t helped when films and televisions commonly use the practice of being buried alive in thriller and horror films.
With a cremation, there is less chance of you being mispronounced as dead as more checks are put in place. With a burial if you were buried alive there’s a chance of saving you whereas with a cremation there isn’t which is why more checks are put in place. In India and America there have even been cases of people being found alive just before cremation, check out the internet it really happens!
Stay with me here we’re getting onto the other one.
So much simpler No Fuss Private Funeral,
An Express Direct Cremation is probably the simplest form of a funeral and can be very straightforward. For example, the deceased is collected and taken care of, shrouded, the date of the cremation is quickly arranged and typically takes place early in a morning check out www.express-cremations.co.uk
No services, no graves, no headstones etc. This offers people a level of simplicity that other funeral types can’t grant them. Ashes are typically professionally scattered within the crematorium grounds, however you can have these returned to anywhere in the UK even worldwide.
Simple Direct Burials; you can now choose an Express Natural Green Burial through www.directfuneral.co.uk – these offer a national service of collecting and taking care of the deceased, shrouded and laid to rest in either one of Respect’s Green Burial Parks or any other burial ground nationally
Perhaps followed by a memorial / celebration of life service
A memorial service is, what some call, a hybrid between a direct cremation and a traditional funeral service. Instead of having a traditional funeral service followed by a cremation the cremation comes first followed by a memorial service where people come to pay their respects.
It’s not possible for all family members to be together at short notice which is why a memorial service is ideal for some people.
A direct cremation takes place first and then once the ashes have been collected and stored in an urn a service is organised. The service is arranged to suit a time for all attending family members. This service could take place a few days after the cremation, a few weeks or even a few months.
The memorial service usually takes place at the family’s home or at a reception where family members and friends come to pay their respects. This could be in a favourite place, location, garden or restaurant / hotel
The memorial service can be altered slightly depending on taste and wishes.
Let’s move on to the funeral service types, there are 4 main ones:
An Express direct cremation is one of the most popular cremation types and with good reason. As the name implies a direct cremation is a cremation that is direct and straightforward. This is the cremation we described earlier. The body is transported straight to the crematorium from the chapel of rest and then cremated. For this type of cremation there is no service before hand, it’s a no fuss private cremation only
The main cost comes from the cremation itself, the only additional costs are transportation of the body and an urn to store the ashes in.
This cremation type is ideal for people that like to keep things simple. More and more people are aware of this especially after David Bowie’s direct cremation and did you know John Lennon was perhaps the first person to have a private no fuss cremation, Express Cremation is a choice not just for those that don’t have a lot of money. Although a family member may have certain wishes, if they haven’t organised a prepaid funeral plan then some families may choose a direct cremation out of cost.
However, there are variations to a direct cremation along with the rest of the services we provide. For instance;
A witnessed service, these have to be during normal crematorium hours so the cost of the cremation increases and a Funeral Director has to be present plus uniformed pallbearing staff plus the crematorium staff, which all takes time and staff, which naturally means the costs are higher
A Committal Service, These often include the family speaking or arranging for the Funeral Director to speak on the family’s behalf and sometimes a minister or celebrant. This typically lasts 10 minutes but has to be during normal crematorium hours so the cost of the cremation increases and a Funeral Director has to be present plus uniformed pallbearing staff plus the crematorium staff arranging of schedules and music which all takes time and which naturally means the costs are higher
A Simple family led funeral
These are more common at Natural Green Burial Parks rather than at cremations, these are often where the deceased is taken straight to the burial park on the day of the funeral, the family often lead the service with the help of the funeral director / burial park operator. With Green Burial these are time rich unhurried funerals and less stressful for the family and can often be far more meaningful, heartfelt and comforting for the whole family and friends.
Traditional funeral service followed by committal
This type follows the suit of the traditional funerals many expect, taking the deceased back to their home on the day of the funeral, to start from home, walked to and off by the funeral director, perhaps to a place of worship first with the deceased in a casket or shroud with a full funeral service, after the service often many if not all the congregation go on to the graveside committal but less go on to cremation committals as the service has taken place already and sometimes just close family
BUT Followed by an Express Direct Cremation or Express Burial
You could opt for the deceased to go off to a private no fuss repose this saving the cost and stress?
I’m not going to go too in-depth on what a traditional funeral service is like as we already have a blog that discusses what a traditional funeral service is. If you’d like to learn more about what a traditional funeral service is, please feel free to check out our blog. [LINK TO BLOG HERE https://directfuneral.co.uk/what-is-a-woodland-burial/ ]
To keep it simple, a traditional funeral service is often what you see on TV when the body is dressed up and placed in a coffin. From there it is transported to a place such as a church or reception where people can view the coffin and pay their respects. Once this service is over the body is transported to a green burial ground or crematorium where the committal takes place.
What funeral service suits you?
Now that we’ve discussed the different types of funeral services that are available it’s time to decide which one suits you.
Direct Cremation: A direct cremation is best suited to those that don’t have a large budget and like to keep things simple. A direct cremation cuts out any services and just involves having the body cremated.
Direct Burial: A direct burial gives the family and friends a low cost option and a place to go and visit on special occasions or just when they feel like doing so.
Traditional Funeral Service followed by natural green burial or cremation: If you’re interested in following the route of a traditional funeral this is probably the type of service for you. A traditional funeral service involves having a service to pay respects to the deceased. The body isn’t cremated or buried straight away like a normal cremation and instead is done after the service has been held.
Memorial service: A service of choice or perhaps if you don’t have the funds straight away to carry out the above service, a memorial service might suit you better. A memorial service works by having a direct natural green burial or cremation first and then organising a service later. You can organise the service when you have the appropriate funds or when the family members have arranged a suitable time.
Contact us now, there’s no time like the present before time runs out or you are swept up with other priorities, its time to be decisive and put your house in order as it’s inevitable, so take out a pre paid funeral plan with Respect today.
That’s it from us. We hope you have found this blog helpful and that it has allowed you to have a better understanding of what service is right for you.
If you require any further assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are available 24/7 for any questions or support. 01427 612992 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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