An increasing number of people identify as non-religious, and do not want the faith-based aspect of a traditional burial in favour of a cremation service; however, certain elements are common to both services.
Planning your own funeral is difficult; there is a lot to consider, including whether you want to be buried or cremated. While burial has long been considered the traditional choice, almost 75% of funerals in the UK in 2020 were cremations or direct cremations.
Unless the coffin is already at the Crematorium, mourners gather outside and await the arrival of the hearse. The coffin is then taken inside and placed on a raised platform called a catafalque, which is usually decorated before the service.
Just like burial, a cremation service will follow an order of service and may be led by a religious leader, featuring hymns, prayers, a sermon, and eulogy. Alternatively, a humanist celebrant might lead the service – or even one of the deceased’s family or friends – and be more celebratory in nature. It may still feature readings and music, but these are likely to be chosen by the individual and detailed in their funeral plan.
Following the cremation service, the committal will take place; family and friends are given a chance to pay their final respects before the coffin is obscured behind curtains or glass, or lowered beneath the platform.
The actual cremation will take place away from the service, and the ashes are later returned to the family in a cremation urn, where they may be interred, scattered, or kept.
Increasingly, people are opting for a direct cremation, where there is no service or ceremony; the ashes are simply returned to the family after the cremation. Families and friends can then honour their loved one’s life in a time and place that suits them, without the fuss and stress of a traditional funeral.
Whether you’re considering a burial, cremation service, or direct cremation, Capital Life can help you plan your funeral in advance; contact us or call one of our helpful advisors on 0800 411 8688.