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The Changing Face of Funeral Service

  1. What do we understand change to be and how is the funeral industry and consumer attitudes towards funeral service changing.

    To begin with it is worth considering what change is and how change comes about, this can give some insight into why it occurs.

    Change is an Alteration or Modification:

    Change refers to making something different from what it is or what it was. This could involve altering characteristics, appearance, structure or function.

    For example, “The company decided to change its logo to modernise its brand.”

    Change is a Substitution or Replacement:

    Change can mean substituting one thing for another, replacing something with something else.

    For example, “She changed her job because she was looking for new challenges.”

    Change is a Transition or Transformation:

    Change can describe a process of transition from one state or condition to another.

    For example, “The seasons change from winter to spring.”

    Change is a Variation or Shift:

    Change can denote any variation or shift in circumstance or conditions

    For example, “A change in weather is expected this weekend.”

    Change is Personal Growth or Development:

    On a personal Level, change often refers to growth or development, such as changes in behaviour, attitudes, or life circumstances.

    For example, travelling around the world changed her perspective on life.”

    In every context, the core idea of change involves a transition from one state to another, whether its physical, emotional, or situational. Change in many ways represents contemporary values, which by nature evolve or change over time.

    So, you may ask, what is the biggest change in funeral service?

    Throughout the world the single biggest change is simplification in the way consumers are seeking simple or low fuss versions of funerals, typically with Direct or Unattended Cremations.  A Direct or Unattended cremation is one where there is no traditional funeral service and families do not gather or attend with the body present.

    Many in the funeral industry believe this is price driven, however I have differing views on the matter.

    As we can see from the various meanings of change, the process of change is almost guaranteed. So those resisting it will almost certainly be on the wrong path. Change is not finite, “it can change”, for example if it doesn’t work, change it. Perhaps, when we look at our own personal growth and development there are many things that mould and change and our attitudes over our lives. Travel, TV, social media, art, all create and assist in forming views and opinions, thus commencing the change process.

    The most common response we receive from families choosing direct cremation is how simple and easy it was. Some in funeral service would claim the families are missing out on something, robbing them of the opportunity to say goodbye. This may be the case for some, but for many they find solace in the simplicity of these service and what they may choose to do later.

    When it comes to post cremation events most families choose not to have a traditional memorial service or the like. It doesn’t mean they don’t find ways to remember those departed but simply choose less traditional means. Often these events will reflect the values and enjoyment the deceased had. This could be as simple a scattering their cremated remains on a beach they loved with immediate family or a large lavish lunch in their favourite club or restaurant, with or without speakers.

    Change has provided choice in letting people understand there are no rights or wrongs in their choices. 

    We hold those departed in our hearts and minds forever, as they leave indelible memories of on own lives.

    Just remember the choices are all yours.




Call us on Ph (03) 9532 2111 or Email robert@robertnelsonfunerals.com.au

author avatar
Robert Nelson Managing Director
Robert Nelson is a 5th Generation funeral director. He is Managing Director of Robert Nelson Funerals and ABC Cremations, based in Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia. he is past deputy Chairman of The Australian Institute of Embalmers, Past President of The Australian Funeral Directors Association (Victorian Division) and Past National Councillor of The Australian Funeral Directors Association and Member of The British Institute of Embalmers.