Looking at 2022 Funeral Industry Trends

October 29, 2021

From the Popularity of Death Doulas to Environmentally Conscious Burials

Like so many other industries, the funeral industry has seen great change in the last two years. Yes, the pandemic forced funeral homes to do things differently, and that process tested funeral directors’ resolve, resilience, and capacity to adapt. Through it all, you never lost sight of your central purpose and goal: to continue to bring families peace and comfort at their most difficult hour. We hope that as the year ends, you will take a moment to celebrate your successes during the past year—all of the lives remembered and families served.

As we anticipate the new year, we want to highlight the current trends in our industry and our expectations for the future. What will 2022 bring for funeral homes? These are just a few of the trends we are expecting in the next year.


Rising Cremation Rate

The rate of cremations compared to traditional burials continues to rise. According to the National Funeral Directors Association’s 2021 Cremation and Burial Report, the rate of burial was projected at 36.6 percent for 2021, compared to a cremation rate of 57.7 percent. By 2040, the rate of cremation is expected to reach 78 percent. This ongoing shift is a call to action for funeral directors to clearly communicate the cremation process to families and let them know that all of the traditional funeral services—a viewing, a funeral service, and a burial—can still be held for the individual who was cremated.


Environmentally Conscious Burials 

It should come as no surprise that this trend is continuing. Many individuals, as they pre-plan their own end-of-life arrangements or plan for the funeral of a deceased loved one, are highly concerned with their choices’ impact on the environment. Organizations like the Green Burial Council promote green burial options, including natural burial, the use of biodegradable urns, and even interest in home funeral practices. It is important to be mindful of this rising trend so that when a family approaches you with a desire for an environmentally conscious burial or service, you can address their concerns, highlight the benefits of working with a licensed funeral director, and guide them in planning a service and burial through your funeral home.


Holistic After-Death Care

Some families are choosing to work with an end-of-life doula, or a death doula, as they anticipate their loved one’s death. Death doulas are intended to provide support for families before, during, and after death, much like a birthing doula is present at the beginning of life. This is part of a growing “death positive” movement that aims to remove the stigma and fears around dying and death. As a funeral director, you may be introduced to a family’s death doula during the funeral planning process. Death doulas are not a replacement for your services—They provide respite care for families after the death of their loved one, often while you are working with them to plan their loved one’s funeral.

As you consider these trends, keep in mind that your role as a funeral director, and the role of your funeral home, has not changed. You are there for families when they need you most, and they will continue to look to you for guidance, support, and resources when a loved one dies. Staying as up-to-date and informed as possible about the trends in our industry allows you to serve as a better resource for your families.


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National Mortuary Shipping Will Be Here for You in 2022

While many things in our industry are changing, the need for reliable mortuary shipping will never end. When your funeral home is faced with a challenging situation in the new year, remember that your friends at National Mortuary Shipping are here to help, answering the call 24/7. Just let us know when you need us.

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