5 funeral myths: debunked
Arranging a funeral can be a difficult time, made even more complex by the number of myths and misconceptions many have about the process. Some families may incur unnecessary costs, which they could have avoided if they were aware of the reality. Here we break down five of the most common funeral myths.
Funeral myth: You need to have a funeral service
Funeral fact: You can have a funeral without a service
Although most funerals in the UK include a funeral service before the cremation or burial, it is not compulsory.
The only law that concerns dealing with the body of the deceased is the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1953, which states you must ‘dispose of the body of the person who has died by burial, cremation or any other means’. There is no law that states you must have a funeral service or ceremony.
A funeral without a service
If your loved one did not want a service or ceremony prior to cremation, a direct cremation may be the most suitable option. Your loved one will be taken directly to the crematorium, and cremated without a service beforehand and without any mourners present. There are many reasons people may choose a direct cremation:
- Families want to hold a separate remembrance or celebration of life, at a time and place away from the crematorium
- Your loved one disliked going to funerals and expressed their wishes for something a little more low key than a traditional funeral
- A direct cremation is an affordable alternative to a traditional funeral
- Family and friends of the deceased live far away and are unable to attend a funeral service at short notice
If a direct cremation isn't for you, we also offer Intimate Funerals that are ideal for families who wish to pay their respects without a formal funeral service. This option includes a simple cremation for a small group and family and friends.
If you have decided that you do not want a funeral service, it’s important to discuss this with your family. You should explain what you want and what it means to you. You could also share your funeral wishes using our free form.
Funeral myth: You need to use a Funeral Director to arrange a funeral
Funeral fact: You can arrange a funeral without using a Funeral Director
Although most funerals in the UK are arranged through a Funeral Director, there is no legal requirement to do so. Many people choose to use a Funeral Director because they make arranging a funeral a straightforward process, taking a lot of time and care to ensure everything runs smoothly. This is reflected in Funeral Directors fees, which typically make up the majority of the cost of a basic funeral. Fees often include:
- A coffin
- A hearse
- Collection and care of the deceased
- Assistance with any paperwork required for the funeral process
At Simplicity, our funerals are arranged with no Funeral Director involvement. Funerals are arranged over the telephone by our team of experts, meaning there is no need for you to visit a funeral home or sit in lengthy meetings with a Funeral Director. This allows us to provide our clients with significant cost savings in comparison to the cost of a traditional funeral, arranged by a Funeral Director.
We take care of all the essential and practical elements of the cremation, leaving you to focus on arranging a funeral service or memorial if you wish.
Read our article on arranging a funeral without a Funeral Director.
Funeral myth: My loved one needs to be embalmed
Funeral fact: There is no legal requirement to embalm someone when they die
Although embalming is a funeral practice that has been carried out for several years, in most cases, there is no legal requirement to embalm someone when they die. One exception to this is if the person was overseas when they died, and their body is being repatriated back to the UK for their funeral. It is necessary for a body to be embalmed before it travels overseas.
Embalming is the process of preserving a body to delay the natural breakdown of cells, which begins when you die. Embalming is sometimes referred to as ‘hygienic treatment’. Embalming is prohibited by some religious faiths, including Judaism and Islam (unless required by law) as well as for green funerals at natural burial grounds to prevent embalming fluid leaching into the soil.
The most common reasons for embalming are:
- You would like to visit your loved one in the Chapel of Rest and would like them to look as close to their appearance in life as possible
- You would like your loved one to be available for viewing for a longer period of time
- Cultural or religious traditions
Most funeral providers will offer an embalming service, for an additional cost. You should never feel pressured into choosing this service. Embalming is a personal choice for the family and not required in most cases.
Funeral myth: The coffin must be transported in a hearse
Funeral fact: You do not have to use a hearse to transport a coffin
Contrary to what many people believe, you do not have to use a hearse to transport a coffin. A coffin can be transported in any vehicle large enough to accommodate it safely.
Although a traditional funeral procession usually consists of a hearse carrying the coffin, followed by one or more limousines for close family, none of this is obligatory. The cost of a hearse and one limousine is often included in the Funeral Directors fees, but where it is not you could ask if there is an alternative to a hearse. You could also drive your own car to the venue, if you want to avoid the cost of a limousine.
Funeral myth: Coffins are re-cycled
Funeral fact: Coffins are not re-cycled after a cremation
A common funeral myth is that a coffin is recycled after a cremation, but this is simply not true.
A simple wood-effect coffin is provided for every Simplicity Cremation. The coffin is placed into the cremator with the deceased inside and cremated until the process is complete. Once complete, all that is left is small amounts of bone. These are taken from the cremator, cooled and placed in a machine that reduces the bone to ashes. Once this has happened, the ashes are put into an individual container, which is identified with the details of the deceased person.
There is also a common misconception that more than one body is cremated at time; this is also untrue. Each cremator is only large enough to accommodate one coffin at any one time.
Arranging a Simplicity Cremation
Many people do not see the value in some of the expensive, ceremonial elements of a traditional funeral. At Simplicity, we offer affordable funerals, for those looking for an altogether simpler affair. Whilst we don’t want to take away the sentiment that comes with a traditional funeral, we do believe there is an alternative way.
Whilst our prices are considerably less than you’d expect to pay for a traditional funeral, rest assured you and your loved one will receive the highest level of care and service. At Simplicity Cremations, everyone gets the dignified funeral they deserve.
If you’re looking for a compassionate and dignified funeral for your loved one, contact us today. Our funerals are available throughout the whole of mainland Great Britain, from £995 including doctor’s fees and cremation fees.