What is a memorial society?
A memorial society is an association of like-minded people from all walks of life, who respect the need for a simple, dignified alternative to the elaborate and increasingly costly funeral services promoted by the conventional funeral industry.
Your society's history
The Funeral Advisory and Memorial Society of Saskatchewan (FAMSS) began at the end of the 1960s when a group of like-minded people decided that something had to be done to ease the cost of funerals.
Many people believed that the simplicity and dignity of the farewell ceremony at the time of death was becoming too expensive and too elaborate. At first, the society contacted funeral homes for their price lists. The members were encouraged to make use of them. As the years went by, it became obvious that many "co-operating" homes were increasing their prices and encouraging elaborate services. At that point, the Society decided that it was better to have contracts with private funeral homes which would provide services more in keeping with the beliefs of the Society.
We must remember that at this time most of the funeral homes in Saskatchewan are owned by multi-national corporations. Legally, these corporations must look after the interests of the stockholders. Those of us who are saving for our retirement know that we want as large a dividend as possible for our investment. Large dividends do not equal low prices for services, so we in Saskatchewan find that the prices for funeral services have been growing very quickly. In fact, for many of us, the cost of a funeral is one of our largest, single expenses, coming only after the cost of a house or a car.
In addition, one must remember that the multi-national funeral homes have sales people who are trained to persuade us that we need more services and more lavish arrangements. This is the nature of business. There is nothing evil about it. A business wants to make as much profit as possible. We, who are in grief, are very vulnerable to sales techniques that persuade us to spend more. Moreover, we have very little time to make decisions. If the funeral home does not have a less costly urn or casket in stock, we must pay for whatever is available. If the funeral home never has less costly urns or caskets, then we must take what is available unless we have pre-planned.