I am a Tombstone Tourist: someone who loves to wander cemeteries. I find it akin to visiting a museum: an opportunity to enjoy rarely seen sculpture, intricate carvings, and amazing architecture, all in a tranquil outdoor setting. This blog is about cemetery culture, art, history, issues of death, and genealogy - subjects of current relevance. I usually find something that intrigues me and makes me want to dig deeper. Care to join me? Read on...
Friday, February 13, 2015
A Look At Funeral Prices: 1915 and 2015
has held funeral ceremonies since ancient times. Every culture has had specific
rites and customs that would be followed for the burying of their dead.
Celtic Burial Ground
Neanderthals decorated their graves with flowers and antlers as far back as
60,000 BC. Ancient Egyptians began using a form of body preservation now known as
mummification (the first embalming) in 3400 BC. Egyptians along with Native
Americans buried their dead with tools, pots, jewelry and other items that
might be needed in the next life.
A constant theme exsists in regard to death: There was always a ritual or ceremony held when
someone died. Then the remains were entombed, placed or scattered at a specific
place considered scared by the community, and a memorial or some type of
monument, rock or plant was placed on the grave as a way of showing remembrance
A Modern Funeral "Parlor"
Today, we have funerals at a funeral home
where a service is held before the body is
consigned to a cemetery where the family erects a monument, plants
a tree or marks the grave with a token of remembrance.
Civil War Embalming
During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the process of
burying the dead began to change. Embalming became accepted during the Civil War as a way to preserve bodies. The deceased was then placed in a homemade coffin so that family could say their last goodbyes in the parlor. But then solid caskets
began to replace these wooden coffins and the funeral home was the place where the body was "visited" - not in the "parlor" at home. Funerals became a professional business.
There are many ways in which we have changed our burial methods. Take a look at this
listing that shows some of the changes over the past 100 years.
there could also be additional costs including burial clothing ($210) flowers
($260), flower car ($225), clergy ($200), death certificate ($12 each),
musician ($150), guest book ($50), etc.
100 years ago an average funeral service and
burial for an adult could run between $100 and $200. Today that number can
easily range from $9,000 up. Statistics given for an adult funeral usually
average around $7,300 but this does not
include the gravesite, vault, opening and closing fees, gravestone and other
cemetery-related expenses which must be considered if the remains are to be
"All good things must come to an end" and the
days of the $100 funeral have gone the way of the horse and carriage. But you
can still control how much you want to spend on your funeral by pre-planning, and shopping
around. After all - It is your funeral!