If you are planning a funeral for a loved one or even planning ahead for yourself, and want to arrange a more dignified, personal send-off without the need to spend thousands; a direct cremation might be the right choice for you.

In this article, we will be sharing exactly what is involved in a direct cremation service in order to help you make an informed decision when arranging a funeral, and to clear up any misconceptions you may have about direct cremations.

What is a direct cremation?

direct cremation, also known as an "Unattended cremation", is a standalone cremation with no funeral service, memorial, ceremony, or attendees. The deceased goes straight to the crematorium to be cremated, and loved ones can either keep or scatter the ashes. There are no mourners, and there’s no need to spend money on flowers, limousines, embalming, or any other extras.

what is a direct cremation

What is involved in a direct cremation service?

In the UK, an average direct cremation service will include*: 

  1. Contact: Often, funeral providers will discuss your options with you or loved ones before any plans or arrangements are made. 
  2. Transfer of the deceased: The deceased is transferred to the crematorium or funeral home by a licensed funeral director or mortician. It is important to note that collection from a non-hospital location, may not be included in the service price package, so be sure to enquire with your provider if this is required.
  3. Identification: The deceased is identified and properly documented in accordance with local laws and regulations.
  4. Preparation for cremation: Any pacemakers or artificial devices are removed, and the deceased is typically placed in a simple cremation container or casket for transportation to the crematorium. The crematorium will always be UK based, never overseas.
  5. Cremation: The casket is placed into the cremation chamber to reduce the remains to ashes.
  6. Return of the ashes: The ashes are then placed into an urn and returned to the family. Some providers may return the ashes in a biodegradable urn which can be buried in the ground or used for scattering. If this is something you would like to have included, speak to your chosen provider, or perhaps search for a provider that includes this as part of their direct cremation service. 
  7. Celebration: Once the ashes have been returned your family can choose to scatter the ashes, inter them in a cemetery or columbarium, or keep them in an urn at home. Usually, loved ones will come together for a celebration of life ceremony at a time and place that suits everyone, and is more personal to the deceased and their memory.

*These services may vary depending on the direct cremation service provider you choose. To ensure you get the right service for you and your loved ones, it is always best to compare and research your options before making a decision.

cremation urn

How much does an average direct cremation cost in the UK?

According to Sunlife’s 2023 Cost of Dying report, the most affordable funeral in the UK is currently direct cremation, at an average price of £1,511 (depending on the provider), an 8.2% decrease since last year.

Compared to burials, direct cremations are nearly 69% cheaper, and this is largely due to the costly extras such as limousines and wakes etc… not being involved. By having a more simplified and direct funeral service, you can save yourself or loved ones up to £3,283. The most important thing to remember is that although direct cremations are more affordable, it doesn’t mean they are less dignified. It just means that instead of spending thousands on buffets at the wake or flower displays, you can instead source any necessary extras yourself and host a more private memorial that is more befitting to the deceased.

For direct cremation services, visit Celebration of Life

If you are looking to arrange a Direct cremation, at Celebration of Life, we offer one of the UK’s lowest-price, simple and fully inclusive direct cremations, both pre-paid and at-need.

We’re authorised by the FCA, and available whenever you need us. So, if you’re looking for an affordable and fuss-free direct cremation service, contact us at Celebration of Life today – we’re always happy to help.

Direct Cremation Services from Celebration of Life

At Celebration of Life, we offer one of the UK’s lowest-price, simple and fully inclusive direct cremation services, both pre-paid and at-need. We’re authorised by the FCA, and available whenever you need us.

Contact Us

direct cremation uk