Professional mourners attend funerals and grieve for the deceased. A company in England called Rent A Mourner specializes in the industry, offering mourners for two hours for roughly $70.Professional mourners – or moirologists to give them their official title – have been in practice for well over 2,000 years. Now you can even find them in parts of the UK. In fact the number of bookings for professional mourners has gone up by 50% in the last year! Oddly enough, there’s already a market here for professional mourners in the UK. Rent a Mourner, based in Essex, have a staff of 22, who all attend the funerals of strangers for different reasons. Ian Robertson from Rent a Mourner explains that while the idea might seem unfamiliar to the British, it is an idea that people are willing to consider:
Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Chinese cultures have a common history of professional mourning, with grieving and wailing common at Chinese ceremonies.In fact, professional wailing has been a Chinese custom since the time of Emperor Wu of Han (156BC to 87BC) and was common during the Northern and Southern dynasties. It was stamped out during the Cultural Revolution but is currently enjoying a revival.With the number of Chinese nationals in Britain increasing every year it’s worth noting that more professional mourners may be needed here in years to come!The company, Robertson explains, has a cross section of society as clients – the most common causes for people requesting a mourner was because the deceased had outlived family and friends, or didn’t have any. A representative of the deceased meets the company and discusses the background details of the deceased and the company are then able to provide an attendee to the service. It is a discretionary service with only the immediate family aware of their presence.