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Generational Change in Funerals


When we think of a funeral, many of us still picture the traditional casket funeral with a limo and grave-side service. In fact, this tradition is becoming less common. As the generations become younger, funerals are often being downsized for mostly financial reasons.


While most of us would like to be put to rest with a large and impressive ceremony, the fact of it is that the people that usually decide on the kind of funeral to be performed are the children and grandchildren of the deceased. Unless specific arrangements are made by the deceased individual prior to their death, whoever is in charge of the arrangements will handle their loved one as they see fit. More and more, the economical option is winning over the large ceremony.


The traditional funeral ceremony that included a service in a church, fancy casket, and limousine, are still commonly performed for those who lived in the WWII period. This usually also includes an obituary in a newspaper. These individuals and their children still lean heavily towards a ?proper farewell? and traditional burial.


The trouble with these ceremonies is that they are very expensive. Sometimes the person who has died will have funds to cover the cost of the funeral. If they do not, it is up to their children to cover these costs.


The WWII generation and following ?baby boomer? generation often set up these funds so that their families do not have to find the money to pay for the funeral. But with the cost of funerals now, and the fact that many people have debts that must be paid off after their death, sometimes there is not enough money.


Because of the economic standing of the younger generations nowadays, when they have to make funeral arrangements they often opt for less expensive alternatives to the traditional funeral. Cremation is the most popular alternative for younger people tending to loved ones? last needs.


Cremation is an economic choice because it has fewer things that need to be done. With a traditional funeral not only do the cemetery plot and casket have to be purchased, but the service has to be paid for as well. On top of these obvious costs, the hole for the casket has to be dug, and then filled in again. Traditional funerals can end up being much more expensive than originally anticipated because there can be costs that people don?t think about until the time comes.


With cremation the entire process is much simpler, and thus much cheaper. When a family does not have a lot of money to spend on a funeral, it is a convenient and obvious choice. This is also true if the plans have to be made quickly due to an unexpected death, and there is no time to gather funds.


Funerals have changed plenty from generation to generation, and it seems it will always be so. Since every industry is controlled by the consumer, the funeral industry will continue to change according to the psychological and financial needs of the latest generations.

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