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Direct Cremation or Traditional Cremation – What is the Difference?

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When a loved one passes, there are many decisions to be made about the funeral arrangements. One of the main factors to consider is choosing between a direct or traditional cremation.  

funeral cremation urn with yellow roses

It’s helpful to understand the main differences between these options to make the best choice for your family. Below we cover the main features of each.  

What is a direct cremation?  

A direct cremation is also known as a simple cremation. There is no traditional funeral ceremony and no attendees at a service. In this type of cremation, the deceased is taken to the crematorium, and the cremation takes place. The ashes are returned to loved ones afterwards. In some cases, a small number of family members may attend a committal. 

This cremation option offers a lower-cost alternative compared to a traditional funeral. You will not have the expense of a hearse, transport to the service or coffin. However, the deceased is cremated in a simple coffin such as wood veneer or other material. 

While there is no traditional funeral for a direct cremation, loved ones can organise a celebration of their life at a later date. This gives you the freedom to choose how and when to say goodbye to the deceased.  

The benefits of a direct cremation  

What is a traditional cremation?  

A traditional cremation is a full funeral service, which the family arranges with a funeral director. This type of funeral involves everything from transporting the deceased to the crematorium, to limousines for family members and scheduling a wake or funeral reception for family and friends.  

A complete funeral package also allows you to visit the deceased in a chapel of rest a few days before the service.  

The benefits of a traditional cremation  

Read more: What to Do with Ashes after Cremation?

Direct or traditional cremation – what is the right option for you? 

Arranging a cremation is a very personal decision. Each option provides a way to say goodbye to your loved one. However, it also has to feel right for the whole family and take into consideration costs and finances.  

The deceased may also have expressed wishes for the cremation, which a funeral director can help with. They may also have a prepaid funeral plan that ensures everything is taken care of when they pass.  

Professional and compassionate funeral services in Bristol  

Whether you choose a direct cremation in Bristol or want a traditional funeral with family and friends present – both provide a way to celebrate the life of a loved one.  

Each cremation option has several benefits, and at Jamieson Funeral Directors, we can help to organise whichever is best for you. Prepaid funeral plans can also take the pressure off family members during an already challenging time – and you can rest assured that everything is taken care of when the time comes.  

If you’d like to find out more about our direct and complete cremation packages, please contact us on 0117 956 4796 or by email at

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