Trends in Funerals in the U.K.

Mar 22, 2011 | 0 comments logoThe Funeral Service Journal in the United Kingdom, “The Industry Bible Since 1886,” just reported on funeral planning trends there. Many of these findings reflect similar trends revealed in the survey of people in the US.

The Ways We Say Goodbye is the first study to draw information from the arrangements being made at UK funeral homes as well as from the public.

The Co-operative Funeralcare conducted research across its network of funeral homes and commissioned an independent ICM survey of 2,000 British adults.

The study shows today’s funerals are much more likely to be a celebration of life than a mournful occasion, according to a new report.

More than half of the population (54%) would rather have a celebratory send-off than a simple church service with hymns, and almost half (48%) are keen for their funeral to reflect their favorite, hobby, color, football team or music.

The results confirm a major cultural shift in people’s approach to funerals. Requests over the last five years have included pink Cadillacs, firework displays, milk-float corteges and live jazz at the graveside, as well as bubbles and balloons.

The Co-operative Funeralcare’s research into customs and practices conducted across 559 of its funeral homes found:
49% of funerals where the tone was celebration rather than mourning
67% traditional funerals, 21% contemporary, 12% humanist
31% of funerals involved personal input from mourners
35% involved personalized flowers
6% involved personalized coffins

36% of funerals had purely religious music, 64% contemporary, classical or mixture

And these were the Top 10 funeral songs in 2009:

1. My Way – Frank Sinatra/Shirley Bassey
2. Wind Beneath My Wings – Bette Midler/Celine Dion
3. Time To Say Goodbye – Sarah Brightman/Andrea Bocelli
4. Angels – Robbie Williams
5. Over The Rainbow – Eva Cassidy
6. You Raise Me Up – Westlife/Boyzone/Josh Groban
7. My Heart Will Go On – Celine Dion
8. I Will Always Love You – Whitney Houston
9. You’ll Never Walk Alone – Gerry and the Pacemakers
10. Unforgettable – Nat King Cole
A Good Goodbye