The funeral business, like any other industry, has trends. Funeral trends tend to mirror others that occur throughout society and can be influenced by factors that influence other trends, such as: technology, the environment, or the economy. Five of the biggest trends in funeral services in 2014 are discussed below.
While different generations of people have alternative outlooks on all aspects of life and how life and death should be commemorated, there has been a growing trend in more creative and personalized memorials, in contrast to the more sombre arrangements in years gone by.
Saying a final farewell to a loved one by celebrating who they were, and the happiness they brought to others, has led to funeral services becoming more personalized and unique.
Funeral planning was once quite restrictive with set methodologies and standardized services. Today’s funeral arrangements offer greater flexibility and funeral directors have become more innovative in the services they can provide. A good funeral director will be happy to help you arrange a funeral as unique as your loved one.
Cremation on the Rise
Nationally, in Australia, the split between burials and cremations is around the 50-50 mark. But in bigger cities, cremations account for 67-68% of funeral services and this percentage is as high as 75% in some locations. The amount of people choosing cremation is increasing disproportionately to the death rate in Australia. Why has cremation become more preferable to burial?
There are a few factors to consider, but the main influence is financial. A basic burial, in a large city, is approximately 10 times the expense of a basic cremation, and a cremation with memorial service still works out less than the basic burial. Cremations are often easier to arrange, and there’s no immediate pressure to select a plot. Some funeral directors do offer finance plans to assist with paying for a funeral, and many will be able to provide both cremation and burial services.
Smart phones are an integral part of society in 2014, and funeral planning has adapted to technological trends. There are now funeral service related apps available on iTunes and Android that range from a full funeral planning service like Memory Maker, to final message recording software that allows users to record a final message for loved ones and upload it to the cloud.
Harnessing the Web
Webcasting is no longer the sole domain of multinational corporations or training resources. There’s a growing requirement for webcasting services in funeral planning. Communities are no longer as close-knit as before, with more people working abroad or at opposite ends of the continent. Arranging a funeral service that coincides with guests’ schedules can be a challenge, and people are left guilt-ridden when they genuinely cannot travel to a funeral.
Innovative funeral directors now provide webcasting facilities where a memorial service is recorded and streamed over the internet. Family and friends who are unable to attend in person, can watch the service remotely on a computer, smart TV, or other media device. The recording of a memorial can also be taken away as a DVD, giving family and friends a permanent reminder of the occasion.
As the world’s nations strive to reduce their carbon footprints and stave off global warming, people with a funeral to plan are beginning to seek eco-friendly solutions. There are some simple, modest ways to have a greener funeral service and then there are some more ‘unique’ options.
Reef balls are a product from Eternal Reefs. Cremation ashes are turned into artificial coral reefs which can support marine life. But if that sounds too extreme, then why not opt for a biodegradable cremation urn or casket? Caskets can now be found constructed out of cardboard, wicker, and even banana leaves. And while flowers have long been a traditional funeral adornment, some eco-conscious funeral arrangements now ask guest to donate money to a chosen charity instead of sending flowers.
It may seem strange to associate trends with funerals, but people are influenced by trends throughout their life so why not in death?Funeral planning will never be a favourable task, but it can be less distressing by choosing a funeral director that is experienced and innovative.