Cremation- The Cool Thing to Do
In 2015, cremation surpassed burial as the preferred method of disposition, and it seems to be staying that way. Last year in the United States, the cremation rate was estimated around 53.5%, and the National Funeral Directors Association presumes this rate will be over 70% by 2030. What comes as a shock to many people is that this isn’t the first time cremation was more popular than burial.
Around 800 B.C., cremation was the dominant method of disposition in Greece due to the fact that it was a quick form of disposition for slain warriors on the battlefield. Because cremation was used for fallen heroes, it took on this reputation of valiance and courage. In the 18th and 19th centuries, Europe saw cremation as a way to honor the old world, making it the “aesthetic” thing to do. In fact, Jacob Grimm (yes, the writer of the rather grim fairytales), claimed that the use of fire distinguished man from animals— a rather proper thing to say for someone who wrote such grotesque literature.
This all came to a halt, though, when Christianity (and Catholicism in particular) spoke against cremation. The leaders of the religion believed it shattered the hopes of a future resurrection (both body and soul) at the end of days. How can one rise again when their body is essentially dust in the wind? Well, in 1963, the Vatican gave cremation the green light, stating it would not be enough to stop God from restoring the human body.
Today, cremation better serves a society that requires time to grieve. Over the past few years, there has been a large emphasis on “self-care”, and grief does not escape the trend. It is a current understanding that a funeral is necessary for closure and healing, but sometimes we aren’t ready for closure right away. Sometimes family is scattered all over the U.S. and travel is necessary. Cremation allows for the postponement of a funeral or burial, while still giving respect to the deceased by properly treating the disposition.
Cremation also seems to be a more affordable option in some cases, though that’s not the most important factor. Where urns are generally cheaper than caskets and embalming is not necessary for a direct cremation, this method of disposition better serves families who require a more affordable burial. Not to mention, cremation is a bit more ecologically sound.
We anticipated this sort of trend at Anthony Funeral Homes. By installing our own in-house crematory, we are able to adjust to the future needs of families. And we’re really glad we did.