Yesterday’s funerals no longer work for today’s families. The ritual is in danger of disappearing, and that’s news which is bad for people’s emotional healing.
Dr. Alan Wolfelt, a psychologist trained in life transitions, said, much more people and “More in North America are asking’ Why have a funeral?'”
Everyone is saying, “When I die, just get rid of me no muss, no fuss. Perhaps have a party, but I sure do not want a funeral.” “Dad said he did not want us to go to any trouble, so we’re simply going to do what he said.” “We just thought it will be easier, a lot quicker, and cheaper.”
Wolfelt explained that efficiency should not be confused with effectiveness. He said, “We’ve gone from funerals to memorial services to celebrations to parties. In the process, we have lost the connection to grief and emotion.”
Customers are losing sight of the importance of holding some sort of ritual service, a secure place to grieve and mourn. Very often, the people that do not recognize a death with a funeral or even memorial service are in a psychologist’s office six months later with problems related to unexpressed emotions.
Individuals in the U.S. have become highly “mourning-avoidant” culture, in which folks are likely to want to avoid sadness. At a significant funeral, folks laugh one moment and cry the next as they share stories that cause laughter in addition to tears. This experience of “paradoxical emotions” results in what Wolfelt calls the “sweet spot of emotional experience.”
Traditional clergy doing cookie cutter funerals with very little relevance to the deceased or their family also have contributed to the decline of funerals. Wolfelt and Doug Manning, founder of the In-Sight Institute, which certifies nondenominational funeral celebrants, both noted the declining number of Americans who attend church and the increasing number of interfaith families.
The 2010 American Religious Identification Survey estimated that about 15 % of the American population don’t attend religious services or even consider themselves church affiliated. If you grouped every one of the identified “nones” into a state, it will be the second biggest state in the union, right behind California and before Texas.
In our highly mobile society with fewer ties to church or perhaps a particular religion, there’s a growing corps of Funeral Celebrants who can offer families an individualized and personalized funeral or perhaps memorial service experience.
A Funeral Celebrant is trained in the particular area of conducting funerals and memorial services for families that are not connected with a religion or even theology. Celebrants are able to assist a family with no clergyperson on whom to call when there’s a death, in addition to those uncomfortable with traditional religious funerals.
The use of Certified Celebrants originated in New Australia and Zealand, where 80 % of the population chooses many people and cremation don’t go to a church. Civil Celebrants, who are certified by the government, perform more than fifty % of the funerals and weddings in those countries.
Doug Manning brought the concept of Certified Funeral Celebrants to North America in 1999 when he founded the In Sight Institute. In-Sight has certified above 1,600 Celebrants across the U.S. and internationally.
“I think grief is one of the major social problems in our life,” said Manning. “Grief doesn’t just go away. Grief has to be dealt with.”
Manning has noticed that Baby Boomers are a major change in today’s funeral services . They prefer to join in and they realize what they want – in music, readings, video tributes and additional elements.
Do you understand what you will want in your funeral? Have you’d a chat about it along with your loved ones? There’s no time like the present to start.