More and more people in Prince Edward Island are choosing to have funeral services in funeral homes than in churches. According to Chris Gallant, a manager at Central Queen’s Funeral Home, about 40% of clients choose to have funeral services on-site instead of in church, up from 20% 15 years ago.
As a result of the new development, the New Glasgow funeral home is planning to have a major expansion which would include adding an embalming room and a chapel to its facility. Lois Lajeunesse, president of the board of directors for the funeral home said that the makeshift chapel made from the wake room is always full.
According to Gallant, there are many reasons why people prefer to use funeral home facilities for services. Gallant added that some people who are not attached to a local church in the area are looking for a non-denominational type of service and usually, the funeral home can offer the chapel service to them.
If a larger funeral service is planned, space may be a factor. Some rural churches around are smaller and so the funeral home may offer a larger space in the area, Gallant said.
Owners of some other funeral island in PEI said they have noticed a similar trend. The owner of Rooney Funeral Home located in Alberton, David Smith, said he added a chapel to his funeral home two years ago due to demand from clients.
Most Catholic families still prefer a church service but people from other denominations and non-churchgoers are choosing funeral home services. The major reason is that it is convenient to have it at the funeral home, he added.
Furthermore, the owners of MacLean Funeral Home Swan Chapel in Charlottetown and Moase Funeral Home in Summerside said they have observed the trend in recent years and noticed that more people are choosing onsite services.
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