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What is a direct funeral?

A direct funeral is the simplest, and often the most affordable, funeral option. A direct burial or cremation will take place without a ceremony or service beforehand, and usually without any mourners present. These types of funeral include only the essential elements of a cremation or burial.

As an increasingly popular alternative to a traditional funeral, a direct funeral is ideal for those looking for a low cost funeral option or those that do not want a fuss when they are gone.

The term direct funeral can be used to refer to both a direct burial or a direct cremation. Here in the UK, direct funerals are not a particularly well-known option.  


Direct cremation

A direct cremation is a simple cremation without a funeral service. What else is provided often varies from provider to provider.

At Simplicity, arranging a direct cremation is a simple and straightforward process. Our direct cremations are free of the traditional elements some people feel are unnecessary, such as a pre-ceremony or procession with a hearse, limousines for the family and pallbearers. We take care of arranging the practical elements of the funeral, allowing you to remember your loved one’s life in a way that suits you and your family.

As part of one of the UK’s largest funeral groups, Simplicity are the only truly national direct cremation and low cost funeral provider that has its own staff, crematoria and professional mortuary facilities. Our nationwide network of facilities ensures consistently high standards of service and care.

It’s important to consider that not all providers will operate to the same high standards, so it’s always advisable to choose a funeral provider with an established history and the right facilities.

Learn more with our direct cremation guide.


Direct burial

A direct burial is not as readily available in the UK, and therefore the less common of the two options.

Unlike a direct cremation which can often be provided for a set price, the cost of a direct burial can be influenced by a number of factors, such as location. There may be additional costs such as gravedigging which would not be incurred with cremation.

The committal will often take place at a burial ground of the funeral provider’s choice, which may mean this option is not suitable for those people that want to visit their loved ones grave. If this is the case a direct cremation may suit your needs better, as you can request the ashes are returned to you. You can even choose to bury your loved one’s ashes if you would like to incorporate burial in some way.

The nature of direct burials means there is no option to view the deceased, and therefore embalming is not required.


How much does a direct funeral cost?

The service is an affordable cremation which will typically cost less than a traditional funeral, as many of the costly elements are not included.

Direct cremation is normally more cost-effective than direct burial. In both cases, the funeral provider will choose the time, date and location of the funeral, allowing additional cost savings to be made.

When choosing a direct funeral provider, it is important to understand exactly what their package includes. The price may seem low initially but there may be hidden charges.

At Simplicity, a direct funeral starts from £995 and includes all of the practicalities of a funeral. Our low cost cremation services are arranged over the telephone meaning you will not need to have several, often lengthy meetings with a Funeral Director.

Our Unattended Funeral is available throughout the whole of mainland Great Britain.


Why do people choose a direct funeral?

Many people choose direct funerals as they offer a low cost alternative to a traditional funeral, but what kind of people are they for?

- Those who do not see the value in the often costly, ceremonial elements of a traditional funeral and would rather their family spend the money in a more fulfilling manner, and hold only the simplest of funerals.

- Those who do not like the thought of their family going through the stress that typically comes with arranging, and attending a traditional funeral.

- Those who pass away with little close family, or whose relatives live far away and are unable to be able to attend a funeral service at short notice.

It’s important to consider that a direct funeral does not stop you from holding a farewell ceremony or memorial service. Instead it allows you more flexibility in how, where and when you celebrate the life of your loved one.

Many people choose to hold a ceremony or celebration of life without the coffin present, for example in a church, at a restaurant, at a beach or at your loved one’s favourite park. Opting for a direct, low cost cremation will also allow you the option to do so with the ashes present. You may even include the scattering of ashes as part of the ceremony.


Can you attend a direct funeral?

Yes sometimes.

Most direct funerals will not allow for the presence of mourners. However, At Simplicity we recognise that people are looking for a no fuss funeral that they can attend. That’s why we offer simple funerals with the option to attend.

Our Intimate Funeral allows a small group of friends and family to spend a short time in the chapel, before their loved one is committed for cremation. Although there is no funeral service, many people feel comforted by simply being present at the crematorium.

If you are looking for an affordable cremation similar to a traditional funeral but without the ceremonial elements or cost, the Attended Funeral may be a better option. An Attended Funeral allows a full-length ceremony in the chapel, arranged by the family, with no limit on attendees.

Some providers of direct burial may also provide the option to attend a graveside service, although this will likely be at an additional cost.


Direct funeral plans

Deciding how you want your loved ones to celebrate your life isn’t easy, but it is a decision worth making if you want to make things a little easier on your family when you are gone.

If you feel a direct funeral is right for you, it may be a good idea to take out a prepaid funeral plan. Putting a funeral plan in place will not only help ensure your wishes are honoured when the time comes, but also relieves your family from stressful funeral arrangements.

We offer a range of direct funeral plans from £1,495, or £17 per month. No matter how much the price of funerals may increase, we guarantee to cover the cost of the services outlined in your plan.

Learn more about our prepaid funeral plans.

If you’re not ready to take out a plan but you want to let your family know what you’d like then our share your wishes form might be for you.


To arrange a direct funeral or discuss direct cremation costs, contact us today.


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