The way that we grieve is different from culture to culture and person to person. Losing a loved one is something that one cannot prepare for, and in many cases do not expect when it happens. Preparing a funeral or memorial service process proves an overwhelming, emotional, and sometimes exhausting process. None of us like talking about death or funerals. But at some point, you will have to face up to that reality. Funerals and memorial services provide an opportunity for family members, friends and other who knew and loved the deceased to gather together to honor and remember the person who died while offering comfort and support to those closest to him or her, and to each other. Today’s families are thinking different about how they want to honor their loved ones and have new perceptions of the funeral service profession. Here are the current key funeral service trends.

Personalized Funeral Service

Whether someone is planning a funeral for loved ones or themselves, people are now making choices based on values that are different than previous generations. They want to be able to make a funeral service meaningful for themselves or their loved ones. Funerals used to be somber affairs, but nowadays they are teeming with life and positivity. Today, funeral service consumers are planning services that are as unique as the person who died. Consumers want personalized, unique services that reflect the hobbies, passions and interests of someone who has died. Through personalization, funeral services can be more meaningful. Funerals are usually personalized with videos, memorabilia, special clothing, music, and quirky themes- to celebrate the uniqueness of an individual’s life. Speak to a funeral director in NJ, who can offer ideas on how you can personalize a loved one’s funeral. A funeral director is always open to family suggestions and creativity.

Planning a Funeral in Advance

Although, no one likes to think about funerals, many adults find that preparing for the inevitable is a wise decision. Planning one’s funeral in advance not only makes it easier on your loved ones, but it also allows individuals to gather enough information on the subject. And select a funeral home that makes sense for their family, emotionally and financially. A funeral director can walk you through decisions necessary to create a meaningful funeral service. When you plan in advance, you can choose whether you want to prepay, which will alleviate the financial burden for your family if you choose to do so. Another advantage to planning in advance is you can add all the personal touches you wish. Funeral preplanning has gained popularity because it gives individuals control over services and costs, as well as a peach of mind that their final plans are set.

The Choice of Cremation

Cremation has become the new normal. The main reason why people are being burned instead of embalmed is because cremation is a lot cheaper, costing a third as much as a regular burial. It also saves natural resources, like land for a burial, and wood or steel for a coffin. The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) estimates that by 2025 the majority of people across North America will choose cremation over burial for end-of-life services. Cremation does no preclude a visitation or funeral service. A visitation and/or funeral with the body present can be held prior to cremation. Alternatively, a memorial service with the cremated remains present can be held after the body has been cremated.

Water Cremation

The next wave in cremation is a process called alkaline hydrolysis which involves liquefying a body. They way it works is by the corpse being put in a vat of solution that dissolves everything but the bones, which are crushed into ashes and returned to the family. This is a more eco-friendly process than flame cremation, which spews as much carbon dioxide into the air as a 600-mile drive.

A Memory Created through Technology

With the rise of technology, businesses have increased their presence on the web and funeral service is no exception. YouTube, FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts, and other video services have made it easier than ever to watch things in real time. Many funeral homes can help families create memorial videos which include photographs accompanied by music. These videos can be shown at visitation or funeral service and are a special keepsake to treasure forever. Often combined with online memorials, funeral livestreams make it possible for faraway friends and family members to participate in celebrating their loved ones.

Go Green Funeral Services

Consumer lifestyles and values, whether environmental, spiritual, philosophical or conservation oriented, is causing the desire of green alternatives and sustainable options to traditional products and services. This has resulted to more cremations, as well as eco-friendly funeral options, including biodegradable caskets and space-saving burial techniques. Depending on a family’s preferences, a green funeral can include any or all of the following: a small gathering in a natural setting, use of only recycled paper products, locally-grown organic flowers, carpooling, organic food, no embalming or embalming with formaldehyde-free products, the use of sustainable biodegradable clothing, shroud or casket, and natural or green burial. Instead of traditional standing headstones – flat rocks, plants or tress may serve as grave markers.

The New Face of Profession

Funeral services have traditionally been a male-dominated profession, as well as a “family” profession, with firms being passed down from one generation to the next. However, people who didn’t traditionally choose funeral service as a career are now joining the profession and finding it very rewarding. Today, more than 60% of mortuary science students in the United States are women.