Here is an interesting article from USA Today which has looked at changing trends in death rituals in the US and greater adoption of cremation. The article points to six noticeable changes in culture:
- More people are personalising cremation
The articles points to the fact that there is greater choice out there for people to memorialise, urns for water burials, ashes being put into coral reefs, urns where you can plant a seed that can grow into a tree.
- People are becoming more mobile, and costs are higher to ship and bury bodies
The more mobile to population the less people associate with a specific place or a need to return to that place. Shipping a body is very expensive shipping an urn isn’t. Costs in general are greater for a burial. The article stated:
–In 1960, the national median cost of a funeral minus the vault, which is a container usually made of concrete that is used to encase the casket, was $708.
–The national median cost of a funeral in 2012 was $7,045. If a vault is included, something that is typically required by a cemetery, the median cost was $8,343.
–The 2013 median cost of cremation with no memorial services, and including a crematory fee and a basic urn, was $2,260.
–The median price for a memorial service with cremation and no viewing of the body before cremation was $3,250.
–The median price of an adult funeral with cremation casket, which is a combustible casket, viewing and cremation was $5,410. Some cremation caskets can be rented for the viewing, which is a less expensive option.
Note: these costs don’t include the plot, the headstone or flowers! And the first one can be extortionate.
- Cremation is rising in popularity in Arizona and nationally
The U.S. cremation rate in 2013 was 45% and set to rise to 50.6 by 2018, according to the Cremation Association of North America. Some states are more in favour than other for example the Arizona cremation rate is slightly more than 64 percent.
- Religious norms have changed to allow cremation
The article point to the fact that the Catholic Church relaxed its view on cremation, but that was back in the 1960s, I guess these things take a long while to filter through…Or whilst it would appear that the US is still a church going society maybe strict doctrine does not have the hold it once did?
- Hearses and big limos are on their way out
The article reported that the use of hearses and limos were on the decline with the funeral director reported as saying that they had sold there fleet and now rented them. Well I can see you can perhaps do without the limos, but the hearse?
- Kitchens and other gathering places at mortuaries are in
This I also found interesting, people where still very much into the family gathering and the ‘wake’ plays a greater role, with mortuaries spending on kitchen equipment to allow outside carters to offer more than a cold cup of tea and a curly sandwich.
Anyway if you a bit more depth from a range funeral professionals, here is the article: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/06/01/new-cremation-trends/28329461/