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The Vale Cemetery and Crematorium

The Vale, Butterfield Green Road, Luton, Hertfordshire, LU2 8DD
01582 723700
01582 730761
It is often assumed, quite wrongly, that cremations can be completed only with the use of a funeral director.
Although a funeral director will be invited to organise the majority of cremations, some people prefer to organise cremations themselves. The details in the individual sections of the Charter for the Bereaved gives sufficient information to achieve this.
The funeral director typically organises the cremation by collecting and moving the body, arranging embalming and viewing of the deceased, providing a coffin, hearse and other elements. Carrying out these services relieves the bereaved from doing what they may feel are unpleasant and difficult tasks. Ultimately, the funeral director must operate commercially and in charging for his or her services, cremations can be expensive. In addition, he/she imposes him/herself on the arrangements to a greater or lesser degree.
Some people do not wish to use a funeral director. This can be for a wide variety of reasons. They may feel that passing the body of a loved one over to strangers is wrong. Some feel that personally organising a cremation is their final tribute to the deceased person. Others may simply wish to save money by doing everything themselves or may have used a funeral director on a previous occasion and found the experience unsatisfactory. Some may feel that cremations arranged with a funeral director are routine and processed, and some may desire an innovative and different approach. It is, of course, your right to make this decision without giving a reason.
The entire cremation can be handled by the bereaved family and charter members are able to assist in facilitating this. Such a cremation is referred to as 'personalised' or 'independent', rather than the possibly offensive term 'DIY' cremation. These cremations will be different because traditional cremation elements may be unobtainable. Currently, many funeral directors will not sell coffins separately, neither will they offer a hearse for use, unless the entire cremation package is purchased.
Consequently, personalised cremation arrangers use their own vehicles or hire vans in lieu of a hearse. They may also make their own coffin or use a biodegradable type. A new type of "green" funeral director is emerging, promoting bio-degradable coffins and a more personal approach. cremation facilitators are also appearing. They are people who will assist the bereaved in organising a cremation for a fee. They may offer a vehicle to carry the coffin and assist in handling the body. Other people, such as nurses, may offer laying-out or body preparation services, to avoid people having to do this themselves. this may be particularly relevant when a person dies at home within a "hospice at home" scheme. These changes are evidence of a return to past times, when various members of the community helped in the completion of a cremation.

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