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Celebrant predicts ‘the end of traditional services’

A leading celebrant has highlighted the need for his profession to adapt to a growing trend within the funeral profession, which may see services carried out in hotels and social clubs.

Vice-President of the Association of Independent Celebrants, Harry Foster, was reacting to an article published in the Daily Telegraph, which revealed the growing numbers of people planning non-traditional funerals, known as direct cremations.

Harry said: “It is interesting to see that Dignity has now taken this trend seriously and last year launched its own direct cremation service in response to the heightened demand, while other funeral directors have shifted their focus almost entirely towards this new breed of service.”

One such organisation is a company called Pure Cremation, which converted from a more tradition funeral company into a direct cremation only business in August 2015.  

“I can see it being the end of traditional services as we know them. This will have a major impact for celebrants and funeral directors,” commented Harry.

In the Daily Telegraph article, NAFD President, Alison Crake, who has worked in the funeral profession for 38 years, stated when she first started it was very much about the death of the person, but now it is more about their life.

Harry said: “As a result funeral directors have had to adapt and now offer a broader range of services. Funerals are more like social events where people are gathering. They are more of a celebration of life.

“We must all prepare for this and celebrants, along with others in the professional, may need to adapt and switch from conducting services at Crematorium to performing Celebration of Life Memorial Services at hotels, community halls, social clubs,” he added.

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