No-frills cremations gaining popularity ahead of full funeral services – study

A direct cremation means no service or ceremony and no mourners are present, with family and friends honouring deceased at another time

No-frills cremations have soared in popularity in recent years, with Covid restrictions and financial pressures accelerating a huge shift in attitudes towards funerals, experts claim.

A survey, on behalf of Low Cost Funeral by Memoria, found that of the 1,000 respondents, 22 per cent would choose a direct cremation.

Howard Hodgson, a fourth-generation funeral director and chief executive of Low Cost Funeral by Memoria, said: “Attitudes towards funerals have changed a lot in recent years. These changes have not been caused by the pandemic, but they have certainly been accelerated by it.

“We find that more than anything people want a diversity of choice these days. If they want a hearse, limousines, pallbearers and a traditional service that’s absolutely fine, but the public no longer wants a universal one size fits all approach.”

A direct cremation means no service or ceremony and no mourners present. Instead, family and friends can honour the deceased in another setting or another time, for example the scattering of ashes at a special place or a memorial gathering elsewhere on another day.

Direct cremations cost around £1,000 – much less than a more traditional funeral.

Celebration of life events, which are centred around personalised attended services but without the traditional trappings, are also gaining popularity.

However, Mr Hodgson said people should talk to their family about their wishes.

He said: “The subject of death is still a taboo so you might find someone has planned their own funeral and chosen a direct cremation, but not informed their family about it beforehand. They have made this choice with the best of intentions. They want to save their children money.

“However, when the time comes, the family are horrified as they wish to hold an attended service. Talking about your funeral arrangements is the only way to ensure that your wishes are respected but that your family is also happy.”


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