New Ways of Doing Things
In an increasingly secular and multi-faith society, new ways of marking a death have emerged. For those who do not want a religious ceremony, there are many options.
Direct Cremation and Burial
Direct cremation and burial are becoming increasingly popular. Not only because they tend to be less expensive than a traditional burial or cremation, but also because it gives more flexibility around the timing. A memorial or celebration of life can be held at a later date, when everyone has had the chance to make travel plans or keep a space in their calendars. To find out more, see Burial and Cremation.
‘Green’ or Natural Burials and Funeral
Many people are increasingly conscious of the ecological and environmental impact of their lifestyle choices and are making changes, both big and small, to reduce their ‘footprint’. There are ways to reduce the environmental impact of deathcare decisions too.
We all need to think about how we can lay our bodies to rest in a way that helps the living and the planet, whilst still respecting the needs, beliefs and cultural traditions of the person who has died and those mourning them. To find out more, please see Green and Eco-friendly Funerals.
Having a funeral ceremony in these locations also gives you the freedom to create a service that more precisely fits your wishes and needs. The content and style of the service can include pretty much whatever you want in terms of music, readings and other elements, such as how people are dressed or the ‘feel’ of the ceremony.
Celebration of Life
Whilst there is often extreme sadness around the death of a loved one, many people not only want to mourn their passing, but celebrate their life too. They want the service to be uplifting, celebrating their life, personality and achievements. The focus might be on the happy times and the way the person touched the lives of those around them.
The dress code might be less sombre or formal, it may even have a theme (their favourite colour, hobby or something similar). There may be singing and even dancing. It can be a time for people to connect, reminisce and acknowledge what that person meant to them.
Traditionally, children have not been included in funeral services, unless, perhaps, it is for a very close family member. But a family-led funeral is designed and dictated by the family and their wishes. It might include children, who can play a part in the ceremony, perhaps decorating a cardboard coffin, creating posies of flowers or recounting their memories of the person who has died. A family member may lead the service too, in place of a faith leader or celebrant.
There are lots of ways to make a service feel more personal and special. It can also be lovely to gather memories and thoughts from other mourners. Our Personal Touches and Keepsakes Inspiration page has images and ideas that you may find useful.