Key Changes to Funeral Arrangements
Burial in a consecrated grave remains the most widespread interment funeral option for Irish people. But Cremation is on the increase. Current stats are approximately 60% for interment Burial, 40% for Cremation.
Funeral Homes have traditionally enabled small prayers services for the deceased reposing at the funeral home itself – this would happen just before the removal to the church. But because of the shortage of priests in the Catholic Church, this tradition stands at risk. Often, the funeral director or the family might enlist the help of a lay person to lead the prayers.
The One-Movement-Funeral is becoming more popular. The time of reposing still remains significant though – funeral homes are often used for longer. This gives the grieving family the comfort of space and time – the option of gathering at the reposing place of the deceased to pay respects and find comfort in the midst of relatives and friends.
Families often opt to have their beloved deceased relative brought home for the time of reposing. In a sense, this trend reflects the old days when a deceased person was always ‘waked’ at home.
Harking back to older funeral home customs, the Horse Drawn Hearse has made a considerable comeback in Dublin funerals. Historically, in the days before the automobile took off, some Dublin Funeral Directors evolved into Undertaking from their previous jobs in horse-transport options. It seems nostalgia is the new modernity!
Humanist Funerals, or Civil Funerals as they are sometimes called, evolved in response to the more varied spiritual landscape we inhabit today. While Christian funerals continue to dominate in many cases, we are no longer buried in the mindset that one size fits all.
Humanist Funeral Services are becoming more widespread. The trend is generally becoming known, and indeed embraced into the culture as part of the funeral tribute spectrum.
The humanist funeral offers tangible options for mourners who need a meaningful funeral service for a beloved friend or relative who has passed away and did not attend or belong to any orthodox church.
The civil funeral shares many qualities of a Christian funeral and can even include hymns or reading extracts from sacred texts during the funeral. In terms of what families need in terms of meaning and solace, the link between humanist funerals and the more traditional funeral, burial or cremation service are quite interesting.
Humanist Funerals evolved to fill a cultural need for atheists and other with no organised religious affiliations. But there are interesting connections between a humanist funeral and a Christian funeral in terms of how traditional funerals evolve over time.
Take the current trend for eulogy during the funeral mass. This can be a deeply meaningful part of how a bereaved family bid farewell to their loved one. Humanist Funerals by their very nature rely on eulogy along with song, poetry, even traditional funeral flower tributes.
And so if you look at how different trends developed time wise, there are clear links to how the modern eulogy, now such aa vital part of Christian traditional funerals, became popular as a result of the humanist funeral patterns.
Another feature is the option for Sympathy cards to replace the traditional Mass Card – cards can bring great comfort with soothing visual imagery, and messages redolent with emotional meaning.
And for mourners of atheist or agnostic values, an arrangement of sympathy cards with personal messages can be a welcome addition to the non-religious funeral service.
All of these special elements can be used to bring a central focus to the humanist or civil funeral tribute –and while much remains the same, and most people find comfort in the old ways of bidding farewell to a beloved deceased family member, all the key changes mentioned above are vital components also in the changing landscape of funeral customs in Ireland.