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18 06, 2013

Cremations: Funeral Homes Versus Low Cost Providers

The number of people choosing cremation for final needs continues to rise. Currently, nationwide, cremation is chosen for more than 40% of those who die. With the cremation rate reliably rising, experts anticipate that by 2017 or 2018 at least 50% of people that die in the United States will be cremated.

As the number of cremations has increased across the country, so has the competition for the cremation business. Consumers choose between cremation-only providers and traditional funeral homes offering cremation services. Cremation-only providers may have their own crematories or contract with outside crematories.

The price of cremation among providers varies by 100%. When choosing cremation, then, should a consumer choose the lowest cost cremation provider? Are all services created equal?

All services are not created equal, but price is an important consideration. Funeral homes often have the highest fixed level of expenses as they are brick and mortar entities with substantial staff and equipment. The cost of cremation through a funeral home, then, is often higher than Internet-advertised bare bones prices. Funeral homes provide extra value and security, however. Funeral homes are able to offer additional services including a funeral prior to cremation and transportation services that a low cost cremation-only provider cannot. Funeral homes also offer a known staff and neighborhood elements, often along with longevity, to provide some security.

Low cost cremation-only providers range from no frills, bare bones, minimally priced cremation providers contracting with outside crematories to well-established national cremation societies with their own crematories. The ultimate lowest price often comes from the no frills business that contracts with local crematories. Without a brick and mortar location, or providing other services, these providers keep their costs down. (more…)

22 03, 2013

Funeral Preplanning: Advantages and Disadvantages

Most people wish to think about funerals, and all things related to death, as little as possible. While that’s understandable, it’s not very practical. Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, there’s a 100% incidence of death. It’s foolish to ignore something that is guaranteed to happen.

So, for those acknowledging the inevitability, what is there to do about it anyway? Many find that advance planning of final needs gives them peace of mind, allowing them to get rid of that nagging thought, much like planning for college or saving for a wedding. Advance planning of final needs can take several forms.

At its simplest, advance planning means acknowledging that, some day in the future, death will occur and something must be done. A simple funeral plan might include defining one’s choice for cremation or burial, a military funeral or a religious funeral, or a wake and funeral versus a memorial service.

A more in-depth funeral plan includes a choice of celebrant and eulogizer, names of pallbearers, preferred funeral readings, and choice of funeral music. Considering these details in advance allows you to define your preferences, and, as importantly, communicate them to your family. It’s critically important that families understand each other’s preferences for final needs both to honor wishes and to avoid or reduce stress and conflict. (more…)

27 02, 2013

Cremation Costs

cremation costs

While there are several reasons an individual or family may choose cremation, price is often a determining or contributing factor. Philadelphia cremation costs are just a fraction of burial costs. Generally, even selected with a funeral service, a funeral and cremation costs less than a funeral and burial. (more…)

18 01, 2013

Alternative Funerals


Funerals should be as individual as the people they honor. A faith-based funeral and burial is the best choice for a family that finds strength and meaning in the traditions and rhythm of their faith. The selection of readings and hymns can bring great peace and comfort.

For others, the simplicity of cremation is the right choice. Many choose a corresponding memorial service, uniquely created to reflect the deceased, at a convenient gathering time. A memorial service following cremation may be as simple as a backyard barbecue, as elegant as a choreographed service in a formal room with live music, or as natural as the words of loved ones spoken on a hill as ashes are scattered.

For the veteran who honorably served our great country, a funeral or memorial service should reflect that devotion, and employ symbols of duty and country. We help families take advantage of federal benefits for a veteran funeral and burial. (more…)

18 01, 2013

Faith Funerals

Funerals are often steeped in the traditions of culture and faith. Religion provides specific rules for handling of the deceased, the service, and burial. It is important for a full service funeral home to be aware of different faith traditions and respect them.

At Donohue Funeral Home, we take pride in our expertise and ability to meet the needs of any faith service. We know that the body handling and timing of a Muslim funeral is significantly different than that of a Jewish funeral or a Christian funeral. From the timing to the funeral service to the burial, our experienced staff is ready to meet any need and ensure that we honor faith traditions. In this, as with every need, we encourage families to ask questions and clearly define their wishes. We’re here to help.