Funeral Trends Are Changing

As the troubadour of the Sixties said it best, “the times they are a’ changing.” The aging Baby Boomers generation, global travel & employment opportunities, evolving views on religious traditions, a deeper appreciation for “sustainability” and resource conservation, and the more-transient nature of Work itself due to the Internet and diminished expectations of job longevity and even financial success – these forces and more are turning decades-old trends in Housing, Marriage, Employment and Retirement on their heads.

One unexpected side effect of all these trends in Mobility, Sustainability and Finance is the increasing popularity of cremation over traditional, in-ground burial practices! As no less than the venerable New York Times reported in a 2019 piece, “Demand for cremation — the disposal of a body using flame or heat — continues to outpace that for traditional burial, says the National Funeral Directors Association’s 2019 report on cremation and burial. The cremation rate surpassed 50 percent in 2016 and continues to increase, the association found. It is expected to rise to 79 percent by 2040. The burial rate, meanwhile, is projected to drop to just 16 percent over the next two decades, which means that cremation ‘is no fading trend,’ the association concluded.

The same New York Times article fairly hits the nail on the head in their analysis of WHY this funerary trend is continuing upwards. “Cremation is growing in popularity for several reasons, including cost, the association found. The median cost of a basic cremation — without visiting hours, a memorial service or any other trappings of a traditional burial — is about $2,400. By comparison, the median cost of a burial with a coffin and full funeral home services is about $7,400.”

The religious or spiritual aspect of in-ground burials is also being reconsidered. Once viewed as a pagan manner of disposing of the dead and not respectful of the human body, cremations conducted in a cremation chamber are now being viewed very differently, as a January 2020 CNN article explains. “On the religious front, the Vatican has been loosening the rules on cremation since the 1960s. Today, practicing Catholics are allowed to choose cremation; however, the church still wants a ceremony and for the ashes to be buried, not scattered. Changes in overall religious attitudes have also fueled the trend. Fewer people consider themselves religious today than in the past, lessening the need for a traditional funeral in a church. Today many funeral homes serve as “event planners” for memorial services as well as funerals…”

Cremation Offers Flexibility and Personal Expression for Loved Ones

The CNN article also reports on the creativity and expanded freedom that families and loved ones are finding in celebrating their departed dear ones. Of course, personal urns are ever-popular for containing the cremated remains – called “cremains” – of a loved one if they wish to keep it with them, as opposed to scattering the ashes in a significant location their deceased enjoyed. But as CNN reports, there are much wilder options happening today as well.

“Doing something memorable and lasting with the cremated ashes of a loved one is a top priority for many people, including baby boomers and their families. An increasing number of companies are offering plenty of imaginative options from which to choose.

Memorial tattoos are a growing trend in which tattoo artists mix some ashes with ink and create lasting memorials on a loved one’s skin. If skin isn’t your thing, you can also have your ashes mixed with paint and made into a portrait. Jewelry is easy: You can put bits of your ashes into small containers that are worn around the neck. You can also have your ashes encased in a glass art memorial. Don’t forget the little ones in the family: Some people are having their ashes put into stuffed, huggable animals. Love music? Become a vinyl record your family can enjoy. One company in the UK that provides the service says you can ‘record a personal message, your last will & testament, your own soundtrack, or simply press your ashes to hear your pops & crackles for the minimal approach.’”

All of this might have sounded bizarre or even absurd to funeral home owners a few generations ago, but changing trends and mindsets, as well as the natural ecology of not “wasting” a coffin or a cemetery space, is making more and more sense as we become aware of the toll humans take on the planet on a daily basis.

Cremsys Offers Sales & Service for Successful Add-On Cremation Chambers

None of this increase in popularity or freedom that cremation is bringing to the end-of-life, Celebration of Life process can happen without crematories, also known as cremation retorts or cremation chambers. Cremation ovens and other crematory equipment are highly specialized, designed for the specific needs of incinerating human (and animal pet) remains, and tailored and manufactured to be energy-efficient and to meet the stringent zoning requirements one would expect to be necessary for such procedures.

Cremation Systems is honored to be among the few crematory manufacturers who are producing cost-effective cremation chambers to equip the next generation of funeral owners and operators who are starting a cremation business. We offer:

Our CFS 2300 Human Cremation Chamber is designed to be both efficient and easy to operate.

Starting a cremation business has never looked like a better opportunity for existing funeral homes, or for individuals who want to get into a business that serves mankind while offering professional expertise. Please check-out this article from USA Today on how Cremation is changing the funeral business. Read this case story on how Cremation Systems assisted a funeral home in boosting their business through cremation services. This blog post offers numerous cremation resources to help anyone considering starting their own crematory. Lastly, allow us to have a conversation with you. We’ll answer your questions and walk you through the process of starting your very own cremation service.

Please read our informative, advisory blog post: 10 First Steps for Adding a Cremation Service to Your Business