Five Reasons Why Cremation is Surging in Popularity
People are choosing cremation services over burial in astonishing numbers.
In 2016, the U.S. cremation rate surpassed 50 percent for the first time, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. By 2025, it’s expected to become the disposition of choice for 64 percent of Americans, and by 2035, that number is project to rise to a staggering 79 percent. In western states, cremation rates are already exceeding 70 percent. Read on to learn about five key factors that are driving this rapid increase in the popularity of cremation.
It’s no secret that cremation, particularly direct cremation, is a more cost-effective body disposition option than traditional earth burial and the ancillary funeral services that it entails. With many families tightening their purse strings, it’s understandable that these less expensive options are appealing. Of course, lower cost doesn’t have to mean a degraded experience. A lovely memorial service can always be held after the direct cremation and there are options for the ashes, such as scattering, burial, memorial jewelry and a whole host of other possibilities. Recognizing that some families prefer the option of having a more traditional funeral service, forward–thinking funeral providers are also offering enhanced experiences such as visitations and viewings prior to cremation.
Waning Religious Traditions
Weakening ties to religion and place have also chipped away at the number of traditional burials in the U.S. The days of weeklong religious funeral services with a large gathering of friends and family are long gone. With Generation Xers and Millennials taking the helm of disposition decision making for future generations, less traditional options are preferred. Today’s younger families prefer to celebrate the individual in a unique and personal way.
More and more people are trying to be more mindful of their carbon footprint. As such, there are several environmental reasons that are driving people to turn away from earth burial and towards cremation. One reason is the embalming process. Formaldehyde, a popular embalming fluid, is known to be a carcinogenic, or cancer causing, compound. A problem with using this embalming fluid is that it can potentially leak out of caskets and wind up in waterways. People are also rejecting traditional earth burial because it takes up a lot of land space. Cremation, meanwhile, is far more eco-friendly, taking up little to no land space and requiring no embalming process.
If your family is like most, you probably reside in different parts of the nation. It can be hard for everyone to make emergency travel arrangements to attend a funeral service. With cremation, however, families can plan a memorial service at a time and place that makes the most sense. Cremation also offers the flexibility to design a completely one of a kind memorial and disposition. Scattering ashes is a popular choice, and this can be done in a myriad of ways, such as a preferred location of the deceased, at sea, at home, from the air, planted as a memorial tree, and many others. The options are endless. You can even share the cremation ashes if you so choose.
Remain Close to Loved Ones
Cremated remains can be placed in an attractive urn and kept in the home, often set on a mantle or night stand, or as part of a distinct memorial space. This allows your loved one to always be with near you in a special way.
We need to start talking about our death care preferences. No one likes to talk about death and dying, but the fact is, no one escapes it. The decision between cremation and burial is a personal one and should be given considerable thought. You owe it to yourself, and your loved ones, to be informed about both options so that you can determine what’s best for you. The time to start talking about cremation is now, because we all need to be ready when the time comes.
If you have questions about cremation or traditional burial services, or want to learn more, please reach out to our compassionate funeral directors anytime. It’s always our privilege to assist you.
About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.