One of my favorite stories around the holidays is A Christmas Carol. It’s a holiday classic and I make it a tradition to try and read it each year. Last night, after a long evening of wrapping gifts for family and friends, I wasn’t quite ready for bed. So, I decided to pull out my old copy of A Christmas Carol and give it a read.
But, because of the warmth of the cozy fire, I began to doze off after a few pages. And just as I was about to drift to sleep, I noticed something strange happening.
I was visited by three spirits — the spirit of funeral service past, the spirit of funeral service present, and the spirit of funeral service future. And from each, I learned a valuable lesson about the funeral profession and those called to it.
The Spirit of Funeral Past
The spirit of funeral past showed me the history of funeral service. And it was rich with tradition, rituals, and innovation.
About 150 years ago, innovations in embalming helped to shape the funeral traditions we know today. It was around this time that morticians and undertakers started to form professional associations. This led to the formation of the National Funeral Directors Association.
With the formation of the NFDA, many of our modern funeral traditions took hold. Morticians and undertakers became certified funeral directors. And these funeral directors helped countless American families heal, honor, and memorialize the loss of loved ones.
The important takeaway is that as the funeral profession moves forward, it must never forget its past. Because at its core, the funeral profession was founded on the idea that through our traditions we can not only care for and honor the deceased, but we can also help comfort and guide the living.
The Spirit of Funeral Present
The spirit of funeral present was all about change. Changing trends and ideas about what it means to memorialize and honor the deceased. But we shouldn’t be afraid of these new directions. Instead, we should embrace them. Rising cremation rates, secular services, green funerals — they all present challenges to the funeral profession, but they also present new opportunities.
Funeral professionals today can take the traditions of the past, combine them with modern trends, and create new, more personalized rituals for families. The result is a more meaningful funeral experience for families.
The Spirit of Funeral Future
The spirit of funeral future. What will it look like? Well, it’s not hard to imagine. There will likely be more cremation, more technology, more personalization. But there will always be one common thread through it all. There will always be the need for you — the funeral director.
The spirit of funeral future showed me that as society evolves and our funeral rituals change, funeral directors will be there to guide us. And they’ll always be there to help us tell the most important story of all — why our loved ones mattered during their life on earth and how dearly they will be missed.
From all of us at Frazer Consultants, we’d like to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!