There has been quite a lot spoken about direct cremations in recent years. This is perhaps because more and more people are hearing and reading about them. As you may already know, cremations outstrip burials in the UK in terms of popularity. However, not all cremations are direct services by any means. So, are they the latest, trendiest way to mark the passing of a loved one? How far back do direct cremations really go and what do you need to know about them if you would like to book one? Read on to find out.
To begin with, direct cremations are nothing new. The oldest recorded cremation at a purpose-built crematorium, according to the National Association of Funeral Directors, was conducted in March 1885 in Wokingham. Since then, the number of cremations has steadily risen. However, it was not until 1945, some six decades or so since the first cremation that anything like a direct service was held. This took place in Streatham, where an individual named Frederick Paine was cremated at the South London Crematorium. What made this cremation so distinct from the others that preceded wasn’t so much that no mourners were present but that no service was conducted at all.
This is very much what a modern direct cremation is like today. The basic idea is that the body will be conveyed directly from the undertaker’s funeral home to the crematorium where it will be cremated without any formal service. To put that another way, there are no readings, hymns, music, eulogies, flowers or gatherings of any kind at a direct funeral. Once the coffin and body have been rendered into cremated remains, they’ll be placed into a simple container – an ornate urn as you might expect at traditional cremation services can be purchased if desired.
The costs involved with a direct cremation are much, much lower than for any other kind. You will need to pay the cremation fee and if applicable the Doctors fees. The funeral directors will also need to be paid. However, you won’t need a hearse or limousines. Only a minimum of pallbearers will be needed, too. Furthermore, most direct cremations have very plain, softwood coffins with no adornments. Some plans even specify low-cost cardboard coffins instead.
According to Newrest Funerals, experts in the funeral sector with many years of experience handling direct burials and cremations, people tend to choose direct services because they don’t like fuss. Many people would prefer a celebration rather than a somber funeral and ask for a low-cost direct cremation so that their estate can be inherited or put towards a party instead. Indeed, lots of people pre-pay for their direct cremation, so you should consider taking out such a scheme, especially if you want to avoid the inflationary pressures associated with funeral services today.