What Will Funerals Look Like in the Future

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Chapman Funerals & Cremations first opened its doors in 1862 as J.B. Cole & Son Funeral Home. A lot more than our name has changed since then. But a lot of things have stayed the same, too. Technology advances and culture shifts, but the basic human need to gather and mourn their lost loved ones will never change.  


People have held funerals of some kind for their loved ones since the beginning of history. Although nobody can know for sure what the future holds, we think that over a century-and-a-half of experience has given us some insights.


Here are some of our best guesses about what funerals will look like for future generations.


Cremation Will Become More Common

In some parts of the world, cremation has been the cultural norm for centuries. But here in America, burial was the more common method of disposition until very recently. The cultural shift began in 1963 when the Catholic Church began allowing cremation for members of its faith. Cremation has become increasingly common each year since, finally overtaking burial in 2015 as the way most Americans laid their loved ones to rest.


Many people prefer cremation because it’s more affordable and can be simpler as there is no need to buy a burial plot and marker. Eco-conscious alternatives to cremation, such as the water-based aquamation and “green” burials, will probably become more widespread as well.


Funerals Aren’t Going Anywhere

For a long time, people assumed that being cremated meant choosing direct cremation with no funeral or visitation. However, having a loved one cremated does not mean you have to skip the funeral service. There are very real benefits to having a body present at a funeral for a viewing, visitation, or open-casket service. Even if a viewing is not possible, a memorial gathering to commemorate a loved one’s life is still important.  


Funeral gatherings serve an important psychological function in healing from grief. In the future, whether we’re burying our loved ones or sending them into orbit in space pods, it will be just as essential to gather with friends and family to say goodbye.


Technology Will Connect Us

We live in an increasingly tech-focused world, and it’s likely that the future will bring more ways to connect and communicate across distances. Livestreaming funerals became a necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, but even as families began to gather in person once again, having the option to connect with distant and homebound relatives has proven very valuable for mourners. As technology improves, we expect many more people will connect virtually to funeral celebrations to support the family and pay respects to the deceased.


Families Will Plan for the Future

Right now, less than a quarter of all people have planned their funerals. However, preplanning has become more of a focus in recent years, and people are increasingly concerned with their options.


As people learn more about the benefits of preplanning their funerals, it’s likely that more people will choose to relieve the burden of planning from their loved ones by making their own arrangements. Preplanning allows you to finance funeral costs and plan the service with as much or little detail as you want, preventing future hassle and stress after you’re gone.


We’ll Still Be Here

Chapman Funerals & Cremations has served Massachusetts families for 160 years, and we don’t plan on going anywhere. Whether you have recently experienced a loss or are planning for your own future arrangements, we are here for you. Call or visit any of our locations in Bridgewater, East Bridgewater, Falmouth, Harwich, Marstons Mills, Martha’s Vineyard, Mashpee, Wareham, West Falmouth, or Yarmouth, Massachusetts.

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