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Modern British Funerals

There is a growing trend for funerals to mix the religious and the secular.

If a funeral is neither wholly religious, nor fully secular - what do you call it?

Funeral expert Professor Tony Walter has described it as 'Pick ‘n' Mix'.

However, as this hybrid ceremony - part grieving, part celebratory - is becoming the most popular funeral in our secular and diverse society, a more descriptive and elegant name is the Modern British Funeral.

The Modern British Funeral is becoming more popular because it accommodates greater personalisation.  Families are no longer willing to be told what is, and what isn’t, appropriate when remembering a loved one.

If and when we plan our own funerals, we want to be remembered as the unique individuals we are, not dispatched by a 'cut and paste' anonymous, dreary ritual that all too often is the outcome of the traditional funeral.

So most funerals planned in advance are Modern British Funerals.

The Modern British Funeral, which includes burial as well as cremation, is characterised by:

  • a mixture of secular and religious music and readings;
  • greater participation of family and friends in reading tributes, specially written poems, contributing live or recorded music;
  • informal dress code and colourful eco-friendly coffins and caskets;
  • greater accessibility to mourners of other faiths and no faith.

Until fairly recently some ministers of religion would, with differing degrees of enthusiasm, deliver a 'religion lite' funeral. Most will now willingly officiate at a service that is a Modern British Funeral but will understandably turn down what they consider unsuitable requests to be carried out within a place of worship.

Any serious objection by a clergyman to providing a Modern British Funeral can be overcome by stating the example of Princess Diana's funeral, an excellent  Modern British Funeral which took place in the Anglican Church's most prestigious place of worship.

Many families now decide that the funeral ceremony of a loved one should not be conducted by a minister of religion. They instead choose a civil funeral ceremony held at their local council buildings or other suitable location and delivered by a civil celebrant.

Funeral directors, happy to provide what their customers want, will now advise on and arrange a Modern British Funeral which in their terms is a bespoke service.

Modern British Funerals often have elements of a green funeral, with the interment at a Woodland Burial site. Eco-friendly coffins are likely to be chosen.

For a Modern British Funeral to succeed in providing a unique, well organised and celebratory way of saying farewell, families need to be better informed about a part of life that until recently was a taboo subject.

The Good Funeral Guide, We Need To Talk About The Funeral and Last Orders are recent publications that encourage funeral planning.

If you choose a Modern British Funeral, take the time now to plan it so that it reflects your views, your lifestyle and the way you want to be remembered.

Within your Lifebox is a comprehensive funeral planning section which you can use to organise your funeral and store your wishes to be accessed when necessary by your close family and executor.

Your loved ones will be relieved and grateful you have planned your final event, and you will be pleased to know your life will be remembered and celebrated according to your wishes, not those of other people.

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