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Times Are Changing: A Guide to 21st Century Modern Funerals

image of a white coffin inside a funeral vehicle

In recent times, we have seen a transformation in the way funeral services are conducted. For starters, modern funerals have become much more personal and tailored to the deceased individual. There are increased options for getting personalised coffins, choosing from a wide range of funeral cars, as well as many other customisable options.

What does a modern funeral look like?

Celebration of life

The 21st Century mindset and attitude towards funerals and death has shifted; today, we view funerals and funeral planning as an opportunity to celebrate life, rather than mourn it. Increasingly, modern funerals are non-religious with many also choosing to be cremated rather than buried.

Humour used as an uplifting way to mourn and connect the room

In conjunction with modern funerals becoming more of a celebration of life, there are often jokes and humour added to eulogies. The idea behind this is to encourage friends, family and loved ones to laugh at fond memories and stories, remembering the good and using humour as a way to connect with others also grieving. By making people laugh, we can mourn together and channel our grief into remembering and bonding over everything we loved about our departed loved one.

Colourful, personalised celebration

To celebrate life, it is becoming increasingly popular to use colour throughout the funeral service. This is often seen in the form of colourful clothing, rather than the traditional black attire. But also, there has been a rise in colourful and beautifully decorated coffins and personalised decor at the wake too. Often, these colourful injections of life and personality are following the wishes of the deceased.

Music collection rather than hymns

Nowadays, when planning a funeral we often decide to play songs that are personal, or favourites of our deceased loved one. This is to play homage to their memory, and take a minute to enjoy songs they loved and remind us of them. This is a far more personable way for mourners to celebrate life at a funeral, rather than commonly selected traditional funeral songs and hymns.

Expanding and unconventional cremation and burial options

Alongside changing the way in which modern funerals are carried out, there has also been a variety of different and unconventional funeral requests that have appeared in our time. Some people are deciding to donate their body to medical science, or have their cremated remains turned into something else such as diamonds and family heirloom jewellery.

For many years, burials were the most popular form of funeral, however with the gradual shift towards cremations, people are considering other alternatives. There are certain charitable organisations which now turn remains into an ocean reef (known as ‘eternal reefs’), in order to create new marine habitats and replace natural reefs that have been damaged.

Reportedly, there has also been a rise in Viking funerals within the UK; presumably, due to the popularity in fantasy TV shows such as Game of Thrones and Vikings. For legal reasons within the UK, a body must be cremated before the remains are placed onto a miniature scaled Viking boat and set alight while it sails away.

For the more eco-conscious amongst us, there has also been a rise in eco-friendly burials (also known as ‘burials pods’ or ‘burial urns’). This allows human remains to be buried beneath a tree. The carbon remains help the tree to grow and serve as an alternative to a headstone.

Contact Cope Memorials

Here at Cope Memorials we understand how important it is to say goodbye to your loved one in a way which is personal and special to you. For beautiful and bespoke memorials and headstones, please contact our expert team of stonemasons by calling 01773 602 187 or by completing our quick and simple online contact form.

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