open casket

Open Casket or Closed?

An open casket may be requested by your dearly departed in their funeral plans. We uncover the reasons why you may want to opt for an open casket service and what this involves. 

The world of funeral planning is unknown to most of us as it is not a part of life we experience every day. However, when the time comes as it eventually does, it is a good idea to be properly informed. There are many choices you can make if you are planning your own funeral or if you have recently experienced bereavement. Whether you choose an open or closed casket is just one of these decisions. 

What is an Open Casket?

An open casket is specifically designed to allow for the lid of the casket to be easily opened. Caskets are usually hinged at the side and can be fully or half-opened. This feature enables family and friends to view their loved one during the funeral service. A coffin is not designed to function in this way and is one of the major differences between the two. Choosing a casket gives you the option of holding an open casket service for your dearly departed.

The tradition of open casket funerals possibly originated from Anglo-Saxon Britain. During this time the deceased would be laid in state at their family home prior to the burial. Family members would hold a vigil by the deceased to ward away the presence of evil spirits. Open casket funerals became popular again during the Victorian era but due to public health issues, the deceased were taken out of family homes. Nowadays, the sense of community coming together to grieve in the presence of their dearly departed is still an important part of an open casket funeral.

Why Choose an Open Casket?

For some an open casket can offer mourners a sense of closure, allowing them to say goodbye to the deceased one last time. Seeing your loved one again during an open casket funeral is especially important if the loss was sudden and unexpected. In this case, an open casket funeral can start the grieving process and help console those left behind.

On the other hand, if your loved one suffered a long illness, an open casket can offer a sense of relief to families and friends. Viewing the deceased when they are at peace and no longer stricken with pain can provide comfort. 

In the funeral planning process, the funeral home professionals will ensure that your loved one is styled as they were in life and that they are wearing their favourite outfit. Therefore, after the open casket service, you are left with a much better final image of them.

Factors to Consider with an Open Casket?

When deciding upon an open casket or closed casket funeral, there are a few factors to take into consideration. These factors will help make the decision making process a lot easier: 

  • If the funeral is to take place quickly, for example a few days or up to a week after a death, then an open casket is an appropriate choice. If there is a delay in the funeral taking place, for whatever reason, a closed casket is advised. An open casket funeral relies on the preservation process lasting long enough in order to accommodate this type of funeral.
  • With many people planning their funerals in advance nowadays it is up to their loved ones to respect these wishes. If the deceased has expressed a wish to have an open casket funeral, typically their families and friends follow through with their wishes. Of course if other factors affect the decision and counter this preference, the most suitable option is chosen.
  • Bear in mind that the majority of crematoriums in the UK no longer allow open casket services. Churches allow open casket funerals but only at the discretion of the priest or minister officiating the service.

Where can I find an Open Casket?

If you decide upon an open casket funeral during the funeral planning process, our team is on hand to guide you the rest of the way. The Casket Corporation has a wide variety of casket options to choose from. Whether you prefer wooden or metal caskets, full couch or oversized, we can accommodate your wishes to the best of our ability.

We are a family-run business with many years of experience in casket sales. At The Casket Corporation, we will carefully advise you and help you to choose the best casket for your loved one. If you have any other questions for us, please get in touch.