Do You Think Funerals Should Be Solemn Or Joyous Affairs? 18th February 2019

Whether you decide to have an affordable cremation or a full funeral service for a loved one – or even for yourself, if you’re going down the pre-paid funeral route – it’s certainly worth thinking about whether you want the ceremony to be a solemn occasion (as tradition would perhaps dictate), or if you’d prefer for people to actually have some fun celebrating the life that was.

New research carried out by Yahoo News UK and YouGov Omnibus has found that as an island we’re divided on this issue, with a third thinking that they should be solemn and four in ten believing they should be more upbeat.

It might come as something of a surprise, however, that older demographics are perhaps more inclined to think that funerals should be more celebratory, with 46 per cent of those above the age of 55 holding this belief. Interestingly, just 35 per cent of those aged between 18 and 24 think the same.

Speaking on a Yahoo UK podcast, host of award-winning show The Griefcast said: “I don’t think there’s anything right or wrong … Obviously it depends. I’ve been to the funeral of someone very young and it was a mixture of trying to celebrate his life but also it was just so awful what happened to this person that it had a solemnity in a positive way. The respect for the pain of that loss of life was there.”

Circumstances surrounding someone’s death will certainly dictate how proceedings go to a certain extent and it may well be easier to celebrate the life of someone who’s lived to see 90 than to see the joy in the funeral of someone much younger.

As with anything these days, there are different trends that emerge over the years in terms of what’s popular for cremations and funerals – and it might be worth thinking about these if you are planning your own send-off or that of a loved one.

In recent times, there has definitely been a move away from wearing the traditional all-black to these ceremonies. While in the past it might have been viewed as disrespectful to pay your respects in anything other than black, but dress codes are certainly less stringent in this regard these days.

Cremations are also becoming an increasingly popular choice for ceremonies. Last year, research from Over50choices found that one in five people here in the UK will opt for this over a more traditional funeral service in the next five years.

Why? Most likely because average funeral costs in this country are now spiralling into the thousands and it can be very hard to find the money to pay for this kind of service unless the deceased has made some provisions to help cover it for you.

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