4 Meaningful Tips That Will Elevate Your Next Non-Religious FuneralAugust 5th, 2016
If you didn’t see our last funeralOne blog post, you probably missed out on the truth-bombs that we dropped that are changing the funeral profession as we know it.
And no, we don’t mean possible funeral trends or changes that may happen in the far-off future. We’re talking about significantly different values from the families of today that are walking through your funeral home doors.
To read more about the 5 statistics that are changing today’s funeral profession, click here.
One of the biggest insights that we unveiled was the fact that many families consider religious components of a funeral less and less important every year. In fact, the number of people who said that a religious component was “not at all important” when it came to planning their loved one’s funeral jumped from 10.4% in 2012 to 14.3% in 2014 – just two short years. And that number is sure to continue to rise.
So what does this mean for your funeral home? There’s a good chance that, if you haven’t started to experience it already, the number of non-religious funeral services that your funeral home is asked to conduct is about to rise dramatically.
But that doesn’t mean that the non-religious funerals that you host have to be any less meaningful, personalized or spirited as any other service that you go above-and-beyond for for your families.
In fact, if you embrace the idea of focusing on celebration and a life-focused funeral service, rather than a religious one, you are opening your funeral home doors up to an entire community of families who are looking for someone who understands their unique needs and can support them in the way that they need it – making non-religious funeral services a benefit for both your community and your funeral business.
If you’re stumped on how you can begin to execute a non-religious funeral that has just as much value and significance as a religious service, have no fear. We’ve gathered 4 of our favorite ideas out there for delivering an unforgettable, non-religious funeral service to the families in your community:
1. Play the soundtrack of their life.
We’ve talked many times about the overwhelming power of music when it comes to remembrance. Songs have the ability to spark memories and recall moments like nothing else can, so why wouldn’t you incorporate a person’s favorite songs in the service that is commemorating their life? Simply ask your families to provide a top 5-10 list of their loved one’s favorite songs, and incorporate them throughout different parts of the funeral. For instance, you could play music throughout the visitation, when family and friends are finding their seats at the service, or even play a loved one’s favorite song as a moving part of the service itself.
2. Provide all-inclusive grief resources.
Everyone approaches grief and healing in different ways. And when many people are struggling with the right words to say, they resort to common phrases and support statements that they’ve heard time and time again… “They’re in a better place now” or “everything happens for a reason.” But it’s important to remember that not everyone has the same beliefs, and one person’s words of comfort may lead to even more confusion and emptiness for the family – even if it was completely innocent in intention. Therefore, be sure that you offer grief and healing resources that are appropriate and comforting for every family walking through your doors.
With f1Connect’s e-Aftercare, you can offer your families the support of 24/7 interactive grief counseling, all right from your website. Our well known grief counselor, Dr. Virginia Simpson, offers helpful grief videos tailored to the specific type of grief your families are facing, and gives them a safe outlet to find support and healing, whenever they may find that they need it most. To get this helpful took on your funeral home website, just click here.
3. Choose a reading from one of their favorite texts.
Who said that funeral readings need to come from religious scriptures? Many people have favorite books, quotes, song lyrics or poems that make great resources for funeral readings. Ask your families to bring in some text that was particularly meaningful to their loved one, and incorporate it into their funeral service. This could be an actual reading during the service, or even use the text itself to create a beautiful poster quote that you could display in your funeral home to honor their life.
4. Create moving memorial videos.
What’s the best way to highlight all of the meaningful, personalized moments of a person’s life? Actually replay these moments for the people who mean the most to them with photos and videos. Not only do these decor elements help make your funeral home feel more personal to the person that you are celebrating (rather than displaying traditional elements like a cross or a photo of a dove), but photos and videos also act as invaluable storytelling tools.
When people gather around photos or videos, it’s natural for the stories behind these moments to start coming to life as people reflect and begin sharing memories like, “I remember this day. This is why John was making this funny face,” or “I remember this Christmas, John got his favorite new toy!” All of a sudden, this static moments have come to life and have kicked off the healing process for those who have embraced them.
Do you want to help bring photos and videos to life during your funeral services? Click here to sign up for a free 30-day trial of Life Tributes and begin making beautiful memorial videos for the families you serve. With Life Tributes, you can also create personalized funeral printings that focus on photos of a loved one’s life, rather than on religious elements.
How does your funeral home take non-religious funeral services to the next level? Be sure to share your tips with us in the comments below!