Water ballet and jazz musicians - funeral services, but not as you know them

01 January 2018

Personalised funeral services have made headlines recently as an increasing number of people opt for alternative approaches.

Funeral services but not as you know them

Here, we take a look at what is driving this shift towards individualised funeral services and where the popularity of pre-paid funeral plans fits in to all this. We are pleased to report that funeral services which directly reflect the life of the deceased are quickly becoming more commonplace.

In 2018, The Times featured an interview from Caroline Weekes of UK funeral directing firm, A Natural Undertaking, who reported in the three years she has been conducting funeral services, she has not once been asked to wear her black top hat. However, she did deliver an interesting anecdote about a recent service she conducted whereby a group of youngsters held a commemorative football match in honour of their deceased friend, whose coffin was transported onto the pitch. According to Weekes, this was just one of hundreds of ‘unusual’ funeral services she has been asked to conduct for her community.

This is not just happening in the UK. When Seattle artist Briar Bates passed away, her friends and family came together to commemorate her with an amateur water ballet in Seattle Park’s kiddie pool. When asked why they did this for her, the orchestrator of the event simply answered: “We did it because Briar told us to.”

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Full Circle Funeral Services, a modern funeral directing firm in Yorkshire, continues to offer deeply personalised funeral services and recently employied the services of a New Orleans jazz band to add pizzazz and notability to a very non-traditional funeral service. It is not just new businesses modernising the industry; most independent funeral directors offer personalised services upon request.

Jeremy Field, of independent funeral directing firm, CPJ Field, told the same newspaper: “There really is, as long as what we are being asked to do is legal, no limit.” Indeed funeral directors have arranged themed services for generations, but with the proliferation of social media and the greater sharing of ideas, people are increasingly realising that arranging a funeral service to specifically befit the deceased is a viable option.

Pre-paid funeral plans allow planholders to make specific arrangements for their own funeral service in advance, and can include unusual requests. For many people, arranging a funeral service on behalf on someone else at the time of need can be stressful, and if people are unsure of the deceased's wishes they may often choose a traditional service for fear of getting it wrong. A pre-paid funeral plan on the other hand, allows you the time to consider the options available and put specific requirements in place so that when the time comes, your final wishes are carried out to the letter.