The survey was conducted by OnePoll on 1000 brits and also found that 21% want a service with “some” religious content. Reportedly, 20% picked a traditional religious service and only 13% opted for a direct cremation where there is no service and no mourners present.
In the service itself, personal memories from friends and family was the most popular choice with 51%, followed by personal music choices (50%).
Some 37% of people said they wanted to see pictures, while 27% of people said they wanted some form of religious content. Family videos (21%) were the next most popular option, while 13% opted for the releasing of lanterns.
In addition, 12% of respondents reported wanting to see fireworks, while 10% said they wanted to see the releasing of doves. People also want to be there in person as a proper closure, rather than have their loved one cremated alone.
Direct cremations reportedly grew in popularity during the Covid pandemic due to limits on the number of people who could attend services, and because “the public was largely unaware of the other diverse choices available”.
However, the lifting of restrictions and awareness that celebration of life services can be very similar in price to a direct cremation has seen “a huge switch back to a need to gather to commemorate the deceased”.
Howard Hodgson, Memoria Affordable Funerals CEO, said: “Funerals have changed hugely over the last five years. This was to be expected as the fashion of death caught up with the fashion of life. People opt for deeply personal services where they can celebrate the life of the deceased. That means friends and family sharing personal memories and pictures, and playing your loved ones’ favourite songs.
“Many of our clients are already telling us they don’t want or need expensive add-ons. Instead, they want to tailor the service to be about remembering their loved one and celebrating their life. Of course, if people do want hearses and limousines and other traditional add-ons that’s perfectly acceptable.”
He added: “That is the main reason why the celebration of life service has suddenly appeared from nowhere to being the popular choice and direct cremation has largely fallen away as a popular choice.”