Category: Funeral Cost Controversy

How funerals have been affected by Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic has presented an unprecedented set of challenges for bereaved families who are having to arrange funeral services for loved ones, as well as many mourners who wish to pay their final respects.

Whilst funerals are still able to go ahead, there have been some important changes. The National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD), alongside several other funeral related organisations, have formed the Deceased Management Advisory Group (DMAG), which is regularly liaising with government officials and cabinet members on the sector’s response to Covid-19.

Things have now been adapted so that a lot of the legal requirements can be done online, minimising the need for actual contact. The certificate needed to register a death (MCCD) and medical certificates from the hospital, coroner or your doctor are now transferred by email. There are, of course, stringent codes to adhere to in all of this, but the system is working well. Registering a death now cannot be done in person by attending a registry office either, but is instead done by telephone, with the required documentation then emailed to the necessary authorities.

Though government directives are changing all the time, churches and chapels are currently closed, along with all buildings used by the public, such as clubs, pubs and hotels. Graveside services and services at the crematorium are however allowed, albeit with reduced numbers and with everyone strictly observing the two metre social distancing guidelines for the safety of everyone involved.

At present, up to 10 people can attend funerals, which should be only the closest members of the family. In many cases, it is not the way families would like to say farewell and it is especially difficult if the family have not been able to visit their loved one in hospital or a care home. Family members – or very close friends if no family – can attend the service even if they are in the vulnerable category or are self-isolating as long as they do not have symptoms of Covid-19 themselves and that they strictly observe the social distancing rules.

Many families are intending to hold memorial services or celebrations of their loved ones’ lives when the current restrictions are lifted, and there are certainly plans being considered for special services of Remembrance and Thanksgiving for those who have died during this crisis, by the crematoriums, churches and chapels.

What is a humanist funeral?

If your loved one wasn’t religious, a humanist funeral may be a more fitting way to remember and celebrate their life.

A 2017 study found that 53% of the UK population identify as having no religion and as a result we are seeing a surge in the popularity of both non-religious weddings and funerals.

Traditionally, funerals have always been sombre affairs conducted in religious buildings by religious leaders. If your loved one was not religious though, a humanist funeral may be a more fitting and meaningful way of saying goodbye.

Who conducts the funeral?

Humanist funerals are usually led by funeral celebrants rather than priests, although they may also be led by a family member or friend if preferred.

What happens with the remains?

You can still choose either a cremation or burial, but a burial would need to take place at a natural or woodland burial site rather than a church.

Where are humanist funerals held?

Services for humanist funerals are usually held at either the crematorium or the natural burial ground. It is, however, possible to hold the funeral at any location you wish, providing that the relevant permissions have been granted.

The ceremony

The main purpose of a humanist ceremony is to celebrate the life of the deceased without hymns, prayers, or any other religious references.

The service for a humanist funeral doesn’t need to conform to any particular structure or order, but people often choose to incorporate many of the same elements used in traditional religious services including music, speeches, tributes, and a period of reflection.

The tone of a humanist ceremony can be light-hearted and celebratory or formal and sombre, depending on personal taste.

At Buckley Memorials our large range of attractive, high quality memorials act as an elegant and lasting tribute to your loved one. Browse our range of memorials online or get in touch with our team by calling us on 0800 093 6800 if you require help choosing a memorial.

Tips for making gravestone flowers last longer

Flowers are popularly laid on graves as a tribute to the deceased, to express a sentiment, or simply to add colour and beauty.

Whilst wreaths and bouquets arranged by a florist are treated to keep them looking fresher for longer, in most cases, they still only last a maximum of 7 to 10 days.

Use the tips and ideas in this blog to ensure that your floral tribute lasts longer.

Choose hardy, long-lasting flowers– Flowers that are currently in-season and sourced locally will last longer than those that have been imported from another country. Chrysanthemums and carnations are both known for being hardy and long-lasting, even in outdoor conditions.

Put them in floral foam or a vase– If you simply lay a bouquet over the grave then the flowers will not last long at all without any water. Instead, put the cut flowers in well-soaked floral foam, or a cemetery-approved vase with water to keep them looking beautiful for as long as possible.

Choose a potted plant– Whilst bouquets of cut flowers provide a large array of brightly coloured blooms, they last for a relatively short amount of time when compared with a potted plant. A potted plant may create less of an impact, but if you choose carefully, it could last for a very long time.

Plant flowers on the grave– Some cemeteries may allow you to plant flower or bulbs on or around your loved one’s grave. This can be a wonderful way of adding life and colour to their grave, but depending on the plant you choose, may require some maintenance to keep it looking good. Always check with the cemetery first as you may need permission and there are usually strict guidelines as to what can be planted.

Artificial flowers– High quality silk flowers can look stunning, will add colour and beauty to a loved one’s memorial for a very long time and require very little maintenance.

Different cemeteries have different rules and regulations surrounding floral arrangements, so always check first before you make your purchase to avoid upset and disappointment.

Funeral Cost Controversy

The funeral industry is being put under the microscope due to the rising cost of even a basic funeral according to reports this month.

The cost of a funeral according to analysts has risen 3 times more than the rate of inflation in the last decade putting many families on low incomes under pressure to pay for all the aspects of laying loved ones to rest.

Sadly, there are cases where the deceased are held in mortuaries for months at a time while family members try to get enough money together to pay for a funeral. This leaves an unacceptable number of people in limbo at a time when grieving for a lost loved one is hard enough.

The average cost of a funeral in the UK is between £3000 and £5000 which is a substantial sum of money for someone on a low wage with little in the way of money put by.

Funeral directors have blamed local councils for increasing the cost while competition watchdogs are looking to see if lack of coemption in the industry is responsible for pushing up prices.

As with any other service, it is important to look around for the best price if possible, to ensure value for money and you are not paying more than you should be to give your loved on the send-off they deserve.

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