Funeral Industry Adjusts to Diverse Religious Communities

February 13, 2003

Source: Herald Tribune

On February 13, 2003 Herald Tribune reported that "the $9.5 billion funeral industry is adjusting to growing ethnic and religious communities in the United States... During the 1980s, the funeral industry's traditional customer base fell away, as fewer families requested visitations and wakes, trade experts say. Last year, cremations rose to 47 percent of the newly deceased in the United States. These trends have forced funeral homes and cemeteries to seek out business from new clients with old traditions, many of them immigrants... Their customs include Asian lunar holidays honoring the dead, burial of Muslims' remains facing Mecca, or Hindu families' washing and dressing the bodies."