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Cremations now exceed burials in U.S.

Americans being cremated outnumber burials for the very first time since data has been recorded on the subject. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, almost three percent more deaths are resulting in cremation compared to burials.

This is in line with a sharp, rising trend in cremations over the last 11 years. It is believed that the rise in postmortem burning is due to three main factors:

  • Lower costs than traditional burial.
  • Less environmental damage since less materials are needed in the cremation process versus traditional burial methods.
  • Broader acceptance among faiths. For example, over the past 40 plus years, the Roman Catholic Church has accepted the cremation methods within the church. Islam and Eastern Orthodox churches still ban cremation within their churches, though.

The increase in cremation has not, however, changed the cultural importance of funerals. The National Funeral Directors Association has stated that funerals are seen as an important part of the grieving process. Americans may not care as much for their ancestors' bodies, but they still celebrate their lives.

Read the full article here.

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