Funerals have been around for thousands of years. When one thinks of what a funeral involves it is hard to imagine how much of it can change. Surprisingly, the rate of this change over the past few decades has markedly increased to suit the wants and needs of the market. Firstly we need to see what makes up a funeral within the funeral industry in order to understand what can change within funeral.
The key elements to a funeral
In order for a funeral to be conducted, there are two elements which are required.
Funeral products may include coffins, caskets, urns, grave markers, cremators, flowers, food, a place to store the body. A vehicle to transport the body known as a hearse, and also a hall or a church, if there is to be a service conducted, may also be required.
2. Funeral Services
The second part of the funeral preparation is administrating and obtaining the products above. This also might include a person whether it be a religious figure or a celebrant to perform a funeral service/ceremony.
Changes to the Funeral industry in Australia
The elements mentioned above have been included in modern-day funerals for quite some time. However, as religious and economic factors change in society so has the needs of the market. This, in turn, has challenged funeral homes and therefore changed the funeral industry.
Funerals where often a rigid event where people adhered to societies expectation. For more than a century people accepted this and did not challenge it. Over the years it can be seen that both religion and financial factors in a persons life heavily influence what they or their relatives need for a funeral. Most people in today’s society have a clear and firm understanding of what they believe in and are willing to only pay for what they need. As a result, society is seeing a surge in cremations, a surge in funerals which have no religious affiliation and also a surge in people choosing funerals which have bare minimum elements in order to reduce the cost of a funeral which they are not willing to pay a high price for as they cannot afford it or they simply believe they do not want to pay.
As a result, the funeral industry has evolved to cater for the markets need by providing low cost funerals.
What does this mean for the future of Australian Funerals?
The pendulum can swing either way. Religion and Economics play a vital role of the Australian Funeral industry. Religion is a huge influence on the decisions people make when planning a funeral and the finances a person has to pay for a funeral are probably even a greater deciding factor.
The market will only pay for what they can afford and are willing to pay. The health of Australia’s economy will most likely determine the latter. Over the last decade, many Australians are opting for cheaper funerals. Whether this change is an indicator of Australia’s economy is an interesting question. One thing is certain, whichever way the pendulum swings, there will always be a need for both funeral products and people who arrange a funeral. It’s more so the questions of who can do the best job in the cultural and financial climate.