The “American way of death” has undergone substantial changes since author Jessica Mitford made that phrase famous half a century ago in her expose of funeral business practices. Cremation is now more prevalent than burial in the United States, “green” cemeteries and other non-traditional options are growing in popularity – and some funeral homes are adapting by opening their doors to a wide range of events: weddings, birthdays and family reunions. The funeral industry is relatively decentralized and still dominated by family businesses; only one company, Service Corporation International, has a market share exceeding 5 percent.read full report
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Will the industry adapt to changing attitudes?
The traditional funeral is declining in prevalence as people turn to cremation, do-it-yourself services and more unconventional options. (Jack Taylor/Getty Images)