The end of a person’s journey on Earth is a significant event. It’s a time of transition, remembrance, and for many, a deep expression of respect and love. As society evolves, so too does the approach to funerals. No longer bound by stringent traditional norms, we are now witnessing an age where funerals are becoming more personal, individualistic, and inclusive, truly reflecting the life and spirit of the individual who has died.
As we look to the future of funerals, several emerging trends provide a clear view of where we are headed.
Personalisation is the driving force behind modern funerals. People are choosing to celebrate the life of the individual who has died by incorporating their passions, hobbies, and personality into the ceremony. This personalisation takes many forms, including everything from a themed ceremony that mirrors a favourite hobby or pastime, to the choice of a non-traditional location, or a specifically tailored musical playlist.
We have held themed ceremonies, for example, based on Star Wars, Origami, South Africa. Locations have included non-traditional ideas, like our ceremony hall in Buckfastleigh, hotels on Dartmoor, at home or in the garden.
In an increasingly connected world, the use of technology in funerals has seen a significant rise. With live-streaming services, those unable to attend the funeral physically due to distance, health, or other reasons can participate and share in the mourning process. This trend represents a shift toward inclusivity, ensuring no one is left out at this crucial time.
We zoom or stream many of the funerals we undertake, even from quite remote locations like Sharpham Meadow or Bidwell Woodland.
As awareness about our environmental impact grows, the demand for green funerals is on the rise. These eco-friendly practices range from using biodegradable coffins to choosing woodland burials. Such options not only align with the environmental values of the individual who has died but also contribute positively to the environment.
For example, we currently have the only coffin in the UK made from mycelium, which as it activates in the earth will take out toxins.
Families and friends are increasingly taking an active part in funeral preparations. Whether it’s creating homemade memorial items, writing and reading their own tributes, or even helping to carry the coffin, this hands-on approach allows for a deeper connection and a personal touch to the final goodbye.
We are happy to support families who want to undertake many of the tasks. Perhaps we just look after the person who has died, provide a coffin and transport. We are here to guide you and allow you to do as much, or as little, as you feel.
More and more people are choosing to plan their own funerals. By making these decisions ahead of time, individuals have the power to shape their own farewell, ensuring it aligns with their wishes and values. This not only provides comfort to the individual, knowing their final send-off will be as they desire, but it also alleviates the decision-making burden from the family during an emotionally charged time.
Hundreds of people have used our book, ‘We Need To Talk About The Funeral’ and our ‘Funeral And Farewell Wishes’ document to plan their funerals and give indications of what they would like. We can also provide pre-paid funeral plans based on your own individual wishes.
The future of funerals is undoubtedly changing, evolving to reflect our diverse society. The focus is shifting towards personalisation, inclusivity, and environmental consideration, honouring the uniqueness of the individual’s life, and making space for everyone to mourn and remember in their own way.
The process of bidding goodbye is becoming a collaborative, creative, and healing journey, mirroring the complexities, depth, and beauty of a life lived.
Heart And Soul, set up in 2000 (originally as Green Fuse), has been an influence on making funerals an inclusive and personal experience, through its local work as a flexible and listening funeral director, its book and provision of clear information, and by training around 1000 people as funeral directors and celebrants across the UK to take this more open and flexible approach.
Please get in touch if you would like any advice or help.