Chiropractic Healing Works

Chiropractic Healing Works

Some Traditions Are Dead: Shifting Customs In Modern Funerals

by Charlie Berry

Like every other tradition, funerals continue to change and evolve based on the social, economic, and religious trends in society. There are some customs that are becoming more popular, while others are becoming increasingly obsolete.

Cremation Is Climbing 

Fifty years ago, very few people even considered more information on cremation. Currently, however, more that 40% of people are choosing cremation over burial. Why?

  1. Cremation usually costs less. In fact, burial can be five times more expensive than a simple cremation. Even though funerals of any sort can add up to thousands of dollars in expenditures, cremation remains a less expensive option simply because no casket is purchased, and remains can be stored anywhere. This alleviates the need for families to purchase a burial plot.
  2. Some believe cremation to be more friendly to the environment. The go-green movement is in full swing around the world. Burial often comes with waste and chemicals: bodies are embalmed, caskets are lacquered and deposited in the ground, and valuable land is used for individual burial plots. Ashes result in less volume, and are easily moved from place to place. 
  3. Religion is less prevalent in funeral decisions. One of the reasons burial was not as popular in the twentieth century is because most Christian religions discouraged this treatment of a corpse, believing the body to be sacred. Many religious have relaxed this stance, and more Americans report having any religious convictions at all.
  4. Many people are disturbed by the idea of burial. They enjoy the freedom of knowing their ashes will be scattered or kept by loved ones. 

Another reason why burial is on the decline is that the definition of the family has been altered. In the first half of the twentieth century, the extended family generally shared a graveyard for generations. People did not move much, and their history was tied to their community. This is simply not the case anymore--families are often scattered across the country in the search for employment. Cremation allows remains to become mobile. It's a lot easier to visit a grave that you can carry with you when you move.

Formal Funeral Is Fading

The austere, sombre funeral is being replaced by respectful celebrations that help to bring joy to the surviving family. Many feel like this style of funeral shows more respect to the dead because there has been enough sadness already. It is not uncommon for modern funerals to include:

  • upbeat music or musical performances
  • funny stories about the deceased and the family
  • good food and many friends 
  • relaxed programs with few, if any, speeches

Some families may decide not to have the casket present at the funeral, and may skip the traditional viewing altogether. 

Black Is Not For Mourning

Movies show those attending a burial dress in their most somber clothing. Black has been the color of mourning in Christian funerals for a few centuries. However, it is now common to see people attend funerals in colorful, even casual clothing. Sometimes, this is done to honor the wishes of the deceased person; they have have specified in writing that cheerful colors were to be worn. However, the families may also decide that the sea of black is simply too depressing, and choose a more lighthearted way to celebrate the life of the dead. 

As the attitudes of the American people have changed, so have their funerals. More focus is being placed on celebration of a life, instead of grief and mourning. Even though death represents a great change for everyone involved, burial and formal ceremonies may become less and less common as the new culture evolves.


About Me

Chiropractic Healing Works

I used to be skeptical about chiropractic healing. However, that was before I tried it for myself. I was in an accident that did serious damage to my back. I followed all of the doctor’s recommendations, did my physical therapy, and still didn’t feel any better. That was when I finally decided to try going to my friend’s chiropractor. It was such a relief when I finally started to feel better thanks to the great chiropractic care I received. That’s when I decided to start researching chiropractic care and how it could be used to treat different conditions. This blog contains the results of that research. If you’re looking for a way to feel better, you too may benefit from chiropractic healing. These articles will help you learn how.