Happy Republic Day to our Italian friends from all of us at SafeHands Funeral Plans.
Within the funeral industry, Italy, as with many other things, has played a crucial role in moulding the way that we have funerals today. Due to being predominantly Catholic, The Italians have traditionally always favoured burials over cremations. During Napoleon's reign, cremations were introduced for what at the time appears to be Hygienic reasons. At that time, in the early 1800's, there were still a small population who were against the Catholic Church and they would choose to be taken to their local crematorium over internment as a sign of revolt. Right up until 1917, the Catholic Church remained unfazed but as the revolt grew to be more prominent, the Church decided to act.
The Catholic Church decided to deny any person who had been cremated a Catholic burial. This remained in place right up until 1963 where they would only decide to refuse the burial if the deceased had been cremated on account of their beliefs against the Church. Those who opted for a cremation due to the purported hygiene fears would still be allowed a Catholic prayer to be read at the service.
The Catholic Church were so concerned about losing large amounts of congregants, that they not only offer prayers, but have since developed specific Catholic prayers for cremation services. These days, Catholics can also have their ashes scattered and a Catholic funeral provided that this isn't chosen because of any anti-Catholic beliefs, such as pantheism however proving this is becoming more and more tricky.
What we have seen and learned from the Italian shift in funeral ideals is that the industry in Europe has been evolving for centuries to ensure that the population are receiving a fairer deal and being allowed to have the funeral conducted in accordance with their wishes. Today's funeral plan industry is attempting to shake up the industry in exactly the same way, by offering choice. Who'd have thought 50 years ago that one day you can not only fund, but plan your own funeral right down to the finest detail? Food for thought.