Imagine being hauled off in a wicker coffin decorated with chicken eggs and then lowered into the ground to the smooth sounds of Elvis Presley. Now imagine the person in the casket is a 94-year-old noblewoman. It might be an odd thing to picture, but England’s Duchess of Devonshire, Deborah “Devo” Cavendish had a funeral that was exactly as described.

Far from being the stately and somber affair we’d expect from a British noble, the Duchess of Devonshire’s funeral speaks to the modern trend of funeral personalization, breaking from tradition, and embracing unique means of celebrating the life of an individual. Want to go out in grand style? Consider these tips when planning your modern funeral service.

Plan Ahead

There are a number of factors shaping our modern funeral trends. One is the concept of “death positivity”, spearheaded by millennial mortician Caitlin Doughty and others. The death positivity movement encourages us not to avoid the concept of death, but rather to confront it, embrace it as a natural part of life, and prepare for it. Many funeral homes now offer services to help families plan their funerals or cremations ahead of time, make the proper arrangements, and set aside the necessary funds to give peace of mind to their family members later.

Go Green

Eco-friendly funerals are all the rage these days with many people looking to reduce their carbon footprint. A number of green funeral and green cremation options are available, including biodegradable caskets and urns. Those who choose cremation may opt for scattering the ashes or a burial at sea, which is greener than an in-ground burial that requires a plot of land.

Personalize It

Modern funerals celebrate the unique life of an individual and incorporate that person’s likes, tastes, and preferences into the ceremony. Instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, funeral homes allow families to tailor a funeral service to the desires of the individual. The Duchess of Devonshire clearly had a thing for fowl and rock ‘n roll – who knew? Consider what you would want at your own funeral, and work with your funeral home to create a detailed plan.

Get Techie

Technology has made it easier than ever to plan a funeral service that is accessible to friends and family. Consider broadcasting the service online, so that friends and family in faraway places are able to attend. Set up an online memorial page and accept donations to a favorite charity in the name of the deceased. Thanks to the internet, the sky’s the limit when planning your funeral service. Newer technologies are even shaping how we scatter ashes after cremation. It’s now possible to launch cremated remains into the stratosphere, into orbit, or even to the moon. And you can watch the entire journey via a GoPro camera.

Modern funerals aren’t a reinvention of the wheel, but they do reflect our changing attitudes and current zeitgeist. There are now more options than ever before for remembering the life of a loved one, and modern funeral homes help families plan not only a service to say goodbye, but also an event that matches your wildest expectations.

The Philadelphia Cremation Society proudly helps Philadelphia families plan a funeral or cremation service that is highly personalized, eco-friendly, and affordable, depending on your needs.

Call us today: (610) 572-7078.