Can you have a cremation without a service? Yes, you can. It’s called an unattended cremation and since COVID-19, has become a popular funeral option in the UK.

An unattended cremation, also known as a direct cremation, is a funeral process in which the deceased is cremated without a traditional funeral service or any mourners present. Instead, family and friends can come together somewhere more personal to celebrate the life of their loved one. The idea behind an unattended cremation is to provide a simple and affordable option for those who wish to have a more personal send-off.

In this article, we will be answering all of your questions regarding unattended cremations.

Why are unattended cremations rising in popularity?

Unattended cremations are more affordable

Over the past 10 years, the average price of funerals has risen by nearly 40%, with the current average cost of a traditional funeral being £4,056. Due to the current economic climate, these prices are set to rise even further in the coming years. 

Finding these funds can be extremely difficult for those planning a funeral for a loved one, especially if the death was sudden or unexpected, and without a pre-paid plan in place. These rising costs have left many searching for more affordable avenues that still allow a dignified send-off without spending large sums of money.

When compared to burials, unattended or direct cremations are 66% cheaper, and there are some key reasons as to why, which we will explore below. At an average price of £1,647 (depending on the provider), unattended cremations are becoming a much more realistic and preferred funeral option for many people across the country.

People now want a simple, more personal send-off

As the world progresses, attitudes towards death and grieving are changing in the country. In the past, traditional funerals were often focused on mourning and grief, with a sombre atmosphere and religious rituals. Some people may feel that this is not a good fit for their loved one or for their own personal beliefs and values. Others may find the thought of a large gathering, with lots of people in attendance, to be overwhelming and stressful. 

In recent years, people are starting to shift towards the idea of a more personal, intimate funeral that’s more in line with their beliefs and values. This can be especially true for people who have a small circle of family and friends, or who want to keep the focus of the funeral on the person who has passed away rather than on a larger social event. 

Unattended cremations allow family and friends to celebrate in a more personal, private, and befitting way that is in line with the wishes and beliefs of the deceased. Instead of having the pressure of attending a funeral, loved ones can have a celebration of life in a more casual and personal setting and in their own time.


COVID-19 restrictions caused an increase in unattended cremations

At the height of the coronavirus pandemic, gatherings were limited and in some areas, prohibited. With traditional funeral service impossible during this time, many people turned to simpler alternatives that still allowed for a proper send-off but without the need to gather in close proximity.

Under these circumstances, it is not surprising that funeral directors reported a rise in inquiries about direct cremations during this period. In fact, since the pandemic restrictions lifted, the number of people opting for an unattended cremation has continued to increase, rising by 15% as of 2021.

Why are unattended cremations so affordable?

When the price of traditional burials or cremations is broken down, much of the cost has been found to go on things such as: 

  • Fees for the burial, funeral director, doctor, and minister or celebrant.
  • The memorial, the death and funeral notices, flowers, order sheets, limousines, the venue, and catering for the wake.

Unattended cremations, however, remove the need for these additional costs by offering an unattended service. This way, families do not have to take on the stress of forking out thousands for the above traditional funeral costs but instead, only need to pay for the cremation itself, the provider fees, and the collection and return of the ashes*. 

*Not all direct cremation providers include the same services within their price. Some may have hidden additional costs, so be sure to shop around before committing.

Unattended Cremation: Need further advice?

If you need any further advice on this topic or are looking to arrange a direct cremation, get in touch with our expert team today.

At Celebration of Life, we offer one of the UK’s lowest-price FCA-approved simple and fully inclusive direct cremations, both pre-paid and at-need. We’re available 24/7, whenever you need us, and more than happy to help. 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.

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