Direct Cremation – The McDonalds of the funeral industry?
Oct 10, 2014
Direct Cremation; sounds nice doesn’t it? Conjures up thoughts of something being quick; fast paced, instantaneous but surely this can’t be the case when it comes to cremation? Surely a direct cremation can’t be the funeral director’s equivalent of the fast food industry?
Fear not; the world hasn’t gone mad. We’re not at the point of embracing cremation drive-throughs or mobile crematoriums; although the States are starting to introduce funeral homes in shopping malls so watch this space.
No, don’t worry; a direct cremation is far less contentious
Although the term ‘direct cremation’ may not sound a pleasant one, it does offer a cheaper no frills alternative to a traditional service that is starting to appeal to an increasing number of people throughout the UK.
A direct or simple cremation as they are also known is a cremation without the funeral service. The person who has died is transported in a coffin by the funeral director to a crematorium; the body is cremated and then the ashes are returned to the family, if that is what they want. There is no funeral service or cortege; no hearse, no family in attendance; just a simple dignified cremation.
The family can then if they wish hold a separate memorial service or celebration of life ceremony without the presence of the coffin and of course choose to bury, scatter or keep the ashes.
A direct cremation will not appeal to everyone. For some the idea of not having a conventional funeral service with the coffin in situ would be unthinkable. For others, the idea of less fuss and the avoidance of that awful moment when the coffin disappears behind a curtain is a blessing.
If you would prefer a more traditional funeral you can compare more mainstream funeral plans in our prepaid funeral plans section of the site.
Of course there is also the issue of cost. Prices vary but you should expect to pay between £1,000 and £1,500 once everything is factored in, a fraction of the cost of a traditional funeral; not forgetting the fact that some people do not want all the bells and whistles; pomp and ceremony.
I went to a beautiful and touching church service towards the end of last year commemorating the death of a family friend. The service was quite traditional until it came time to leave the church, at which point the person who had died took the trip to the crematorium alone, tearfully waved off in private at the church gates by his family, while we waited in our seats.
I must say when I heard about the family’s plans beforehand, I did think it a bit unusual and if I’m honest, I felt a little uncomfortable about the coffin making the journey to crematorium alone but actually, in reality it was the perfect send off. Our lasting memories are of a very personal tribute and a beautiful service and not a coffin disappearing behind a curtain.
I appreciate this isn’t the same as a direct cremation as we did have the service with the coffin present, but it does make you more open minded about the way we say goodbye to the people we care about and accept that we all have differing views and needs.
If you want to know a bit more about direct cremations, why not take a look at the recently launched new service from Dignity called Simplicity Cremations. This is probably the first national direct cremation service in the UK.