Cremation and Burial
When making choices about a funeral, you will need to choose between cremation and burial. In the UK approximately 70% of people choose to be cremated and the remainder choose to be buried in a churchyard, cemetery or natural / woodland burial ground.
Many people have a strong opinion about what they would prefer for themselves, or for someone close to them. For others, they have a family tradition of either cremation or burial and would like to uphold that tradition. If the right choice is not immediately obvious to you then it can be helpful to find out what the options are locally as will help you to decide what would be best for you. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like any help with this.
Cremation is a method of final disposition whereby the body of the person that has died and their coffin are placed inside a cremator which uses a very high heat to turn the body into cremated remains, or ashes. These ashes can be returned to the family of the person that has died, if they would like them.
Crematoria, the buildings which house “cremators”, usually have a space where funeral services may be held. To have a cremation you do not need to have a funeral service at the crematorium; a funeral service can be held at a different location or you may choose to have no funeral service at all.
Most crematoria have specific time allocations for funeral services in their service rooms. These are usually between 20-50 minutes, but will vary across different crematoria. Your local funeral director will be able to advise you as to the specifics of your chosen crematorium.
Some people think that it would be helpful for them to have a recording of the service, or would like to live-stream it for people that were unable to attend. This means that they can watch the funeral as it is taking place. Lots of crematoria have facilities that can help with this. If you think this would be something that is right for you and your family, we can give you more information.
Please note, funeral directors are not responsible for the setting of cremation fees. These are set locally and are standard throughout the chosen area.
A traditional burial involves internment of the person that has died and their coffin into a grave in a cemetery or in a church yard. There are often several different cemeteries and church yards in a local area, and we will be able to work with you to decide which is the best option for you.
As with cremation, you may choose to hold the funeral service in a dedicated room on site, at the graveside or you may prefer to have a service somewhere completely different. A service could be at any location that was special to the person that has died or to your family, or the service could be at the graveside.
If a burial is to take place in consecrated land, then usually it is a requirement that a church service should have taken place. If not on consecrated land, then the funeral can include as much, or as little, religion as you feel is appropriate. Some people find that they would like to have elements of religion included, but others would rather no religion was included at all.
Each cemetery will have it’s own look and feel. It can be helpful to visit a cemetery before deciding on which one will be best for your situation so that you can experience what it is like. Cemeteries have their own rules and regulations about headstones and whether plants of flowers are permitted. It is important to know what the rules are, and he happy to adhere to them, before making your funeral choice.
Natural or Woodland Burial Ground
Natural burials and woodland burials are becoming a more and more popular choice. In a natural burial the coffin is interred at a shallower depth (as this is regarded as more environmentally friendly), and no grave markers are allowed. Exceptions to this could be that a shrub or a tree may be planted on the grave of the person that has died.
For a natural burial there are clear guidelines surrounding what the person that has died can be buried in. Only coffins and burial garments that are made of natural fibres and are biodegradable are allowed. Woodland burial grounds adhere to the principles of natural burial to varying degrees.
It is possible to have a service with a natural and woodland burial and, as with traditional burials, there is no requirement that the service is held at the burial ground. Some natural and woodland burial sites have specific areas that services can be held, but some do not. We will be able to work with you to identify the best location for the funeral service for you.
If you are interested in a natural or woodland burial then we would suggest that you visit your local site, where you will also be able to ask questions of the managers who run the site. We are sure that on your visit you will be taken in by the spectacular surroundings and the peaceful environment!
If you would like more information about natural burial grounds, please contact us to discuss the sites and the options available.