Traditional or Modern Funeral
Updated: Jan 22, 2019
Earlier this week, my wife and I were having a spirited conversation with our friend and colleague, Mimi Zenzmaier, who is the funeral director for Sacred Earth Holistic Funerals up in Lismore.
Other than the fact that we like and trust her, her philosophy about dying and death mirror our own very closely. You might say we are like minded people.
The topic that interested me the most involved the question of, ‘What is a “traditional” funeral?’ Now, Leonie and I have been referred to by some mainstream funeral directors as ‘alternative’, like that would be a bad thing. Mainstream directors tend to see themselves as traditional, when in fact, a more accurate term for them would be ‘modern’.
Long ago, funerals were undertaken by family, friends and the community at large. It was a very inclusive activity that family and friends could draw strength from in their time of grief and mourning. At that time, most funerals were held at home and the deceased buried on the family property.
Back then, the town furniture maker usually doubled as the undertaker, as he was the one who ordinarily made the coffins. As the pace of human existence and the work-a-day world increased, business prospered.
The roots of modern funerals began during the late 1800’s with the American Civil War, where embalming became a necessity because of the sheer volume of deaths. World wars soon followed and by 1950, the funeral business had begun to consolidate into a multi-billion-dollar industry.
Now days, we see modern funeral companies seeming to struggle between what a funeral is really meant to be about and the bottom line of profit.
At Barefoot Funerals, we are committed to the respectful care of the dead and the needs and wishes of the family. We began our company from a personal desire to continue serving our community in a good way. We will always do our best to achieve that ideal. There can be no doubt that we follow the highest standards of tradition. So, it would appear we are indeed traditional undertakers.