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Funeral Facts and Myths

Funerals take place all over the world and can change considerably according to the local beliefs and customs. Because funerals are so varied, you might occasionally hear about something that sounds unusual. While some of the more unusual traditions and expectations are indeed true, many others are myths.

It can be difficult to tell fact from fiction when it comes to funerals, and we have created this brief article on some of the most common funeral facts and myths.  


Some common facts concerning funerals include the following:

Legal Paperwork

It is a fact that any deaths and burials have to be legally registered with the appropriate authority. This typically involves providing details such as a death certificate or any other information that might be needed to confirm the deceased’s identity.

There can be a lot of paperwork involved with a funeral and such paperwork can be overwhelming at such a difficult time. As such many people turn to experienced funeral professionals who understand what it takes for a dignified funeral that will go as smoothly as possible.

Funerals are Always Expensive

It is true that the cost of a funeral is typically taken on by those closest to the deceased such as immediate family members. However, in many cases, the deceased may have prepared in advance to avoid burdening their family with debt.

You will also find that many funeral directors will try to make the funeral as affordable as possible for you. For example, pre-funeral payment plans are available that will help you pay for the fees over time with affordable monthly payments. You will also find a wide selection of packages that come to meet a wide range of needs and budgets.


There are numerous myths involving funerals and the funeral process and here’s a look at some of the most common.

Cremation Turns The Body Into Ashes

It is a common misconception that the ashes given to loved ones after cremation are the remains of the deceased’s body. However, the real reality is that the ashes are made up only of the ground-up bones which are all that’s left after the cremation process. The process of cremating a body involves the use of very high temperatures rather than directly burning the body.

You Must Embalm a Body

Many people are under the impression that it’s necessary to embalm a body before a funeral, but this is not true. While embalming is still prevalent in some cultures it is more common for bodies to be kept cool in a morgue to prevent decomposition.

However, embalming will be expected in certain circumstances such as when sending a body overseas. The laws will change according to where you are making it a good idea to check with a professional to be on the safe side.

Embalming Preserves The Body

It is widely believed that embalming a body will help to preserve it for many years to come after the deceased is buried. However, the truth is that a body will still begin to decompose after approximately a week regardless of whether it has been embalmed.

Funerals Are Morbid Affairs

You could be forgiven for expecting a funeral to be a morbid affair but that is not always the case. Whereas many people will obviously be very upset about losing somebody they love, funerals tend to be more of a commemoration of their life than a commiseration about their death.

It is also common for funerals to involve an informal gathering commonly known as a wake. The wake is often held at the house of somebody close to the deceased and is a chance for mutual friends and family of the deceased to get together and remember their loved one. As such, some funerals will appear to be happy occasions but that doesn’t mean the deceased wasn’t loved.

You might also have heard that alcohol is considered inappropriate on the day, but this is often not the case. Instead, many mourners will come together and have a drink to help commemorate and remember past experiences. But although alcohol is not usually banned outright, it is still advisable to drink before or during the service.

You Must Use A Funeral Director

The majority of people will use a funeral director so some people might think it’s necessary. The reality is that you don’t have to use a funeral director at all and you are free to make all of the arrangements yourself.

However, organising a funeral can be difficult at the best of times especially when you are under a lot of stress. Even though it is not legally required it is still recommended to use a funeral director because they have the know-how and experience needed. Approaching the professionals will take much of the burden away from you during this difficult time and help ensure the service goes smoothly.

Funerals are Always Expensive

While it is true that some funerals are expensive that is not always the case. Many funeral directors understand the financial burden can be difficult to meet so they will help to make the service as affordable as possible for you.

An affordable funeral role often means going without certain services such as flowers and catering but that doesn’t mean to say your loved one cannot have a dignified service on a budget.


Above are some of the most common myths and facts about funerals that you are likely to encounter. There are many more and it’s always a good idea to check with a professional if you hear something that you are unsure about.

If you have any questions regarding funerals, then please feel free to get in touch with the team at Academy Funerals. We will be happy to answer any questions you have and be of assistance however we can.

Academy Funeral Services is part of Heaven Address, an online community where families can share precious memories of loved ones.