Over the last few decades, cremation has become one of the most popular ways to say goodbye to a loved one. In 1960, just 34.7% of the British populace were cremated after passing, with the majority still being buried in a traditional churchyard plot. Often deemed as a low-cost funeral alternative to a burial or standard cremation, a direct cremation has become increasingly favoured by funeral arrangers.
What is a direct cremation?
A direct cremation is a service without mourners, a ceremony or a celebration of life. As opposed to a religious or secular service in which family and friends congregate, a minister or celebrant say a few words and songs, or poems are recited. The body is then cremated without a funeral ceremony and the ashes are returned to the bereaved in a vessel of their choosing.
Essentially, a direct cremation is a low-cost cremation, much simpler than the traditional service. It is often a good option for those who may struggle to fund a bigger service, since by their nature they eliminate many of the costs normally associated with a funeral. For example, there is often no need to contract the services of a funeral director or funeral home.
Why are people opting for a direct cremation?
- Less expense & individual debt
As one of the most economical ways of saying goodbye, the simple structure of a direct cremation means the bereaved can cut costs on venue hire, ministerial fees, embalming procedures and an expensive coffin. With the average UK funeral costing £3,785, direct cremations cut these costs in half. A very good option if you are at the risk of going into debt paying for a larger affair, a direct cremation helps you keep within a budget.
- To give a more unique memorial service
At a trying time for family, the potentially chaotic time of planning a funeral can cause stress and emotional strain, particularly as a traditional service is usually just weeks after losing someone you love. However, a direct cremation gives families additional time to arrange a memorial service, enabling them to do so only when they are ready.
- The simplicity of the send-off
In comparison to the more traditional services, a direct cremation appeals to those who do not want the stress of making the tough decisions associated with a larger service. The type of flowers, location of the funeral, transport to and from the church and the type of coffin are all huge choice to make – all of which don’t have to be made for a direct cremation.
- The deceased was not religious
If the deceased was not a religious person and had no desire to have a Church funeral, many families will see through their wishes and instead opt for a direct cremation.
- Scattering of the ashes
There is often a place that has sentimental value to the deceased and the family, meaning some families will prefer to scatter their loved one’s ashes in a place that has significance. Thus, being much more symbolic than any ceremony.
Whatever the reason behind the choice of a direct cremation, it is important to remember that the send off is no less heartfelt or meaningful than a larger service. In fact, an intimate reception or wake can be held in the comfort of the bereaved own’s home on the same day or at a later date, thus affording the deceased a more personal send-off than a traditional funeral.
Planning a direct cremation
If you are interested in learning more about direct cremations, visit our dedicated page where you can view direct cremation specialists in your area. Alternatively, you can find and compare many traditional funeral directors near you using our search tool, as most funeral directors are able to provide a direct cremation too. We encourage you to explore the funeral options available and find the right funeral director for your needs.