The Saturday edition of the Kansas City Star includes a section titled “Faith” that is devoted to the issues of religion. A few weeks ago, Star reporter Helen Gray wrote two different Faith articles regarding local funeral trends: cremation and one funeral operation’s focus on working closer with churches.
The cremation article offered the observations from both clergy and funeral directors. The clergy acknowledged that cost and a growing social acceptance have contributed to the rise in cremations (which stands in stark contrast to the comment of one corporate spokesman reporting second-hand how nothing has really changed). But, the comments suggest that some clergy (like many funeral directors) are still simply reacting to cremations. (Another Kansas City Star contributor, Bill Tammeus, wrote a piece titled “Cremains of the Day” that touches on the problems clergy have cremation.)
The other article focused on how one local funeral operation has adopted a very proactive approach to working with area churches. By operating without a “home”, this funeral operation has lower overhead, and can provide lower costing services to churches. The operation’s success would seem to be putting more emphasis on working in tandem with the minister, and less emphasis on directing the funeral.