Cremation is an alternative to the burial process and it is chosen by many people because of religious beliefs, the desire to preserve the environment or it was requested by the person who died. The remains are placed in a container that is combustible and placed in a special furnace called a cremation chamber or a crematory where through intense heat is reduced to bone fragments that are then crushed and pulverized to resemble course sand. The cremated remains of an average adult body will weigh about 7-8 pounds. Cremation is not an alternative to a funeral, but rather an alternative to burial or other forms of disposition.
Cremated remains can be scattered or buried, or they may be kept with the family in a decorative urn. There are many new and different ways to dispose of ashes today, cremated remains can be placed in an artificial coral reef in the ocean, they can be launched into space or sent up in helium balloons, or they can be spun into glass pieces of art or diamonds.
Some religions welcome cremation while others forbid it. The Catholic Church had banned cremation up until 1963, and burial remains the preferred form of disposition today. In other Christian denominations cremation was historically discouraged but nowadays it is more widely accepted. In eastern religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism cremation is mandated, while in Islam it is strictly forbidden. Orthodox Jews also forbid cremation; other sects of Judaism support cremation, but burial remains the preferred option.
What is Cremation?
Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame. Cremation is not the final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service.
Is a casket needed for Cremation?
No, a casket is not required, most states require an alternative container constructed of wood or cardboard. You may choose a casket or use a “rental casket” if you select an open casket for viewing/visitation and funeral services prior to cremation.
Is embalming required prior to cremation?
No. In fact it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.
Can the body be viewed without embalming?
Yes, in the instance of a direct cremation, our firm and the crematory that we use, requires that a brief private identification be done prior to cremation.
What can be done with the cremated remains?
While laws vary state by state, for the most part remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or a cremation garden, interred in a columbarium, kept at home or scattered. (Keep in mind that different religions have various beliefs as to what may happen with them.)
How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?
All reputable cremation providers have developed rigorous sets of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize the level of service and minimize the potential for human error. Since it is illegal to perform more than one cremation at a time, and the vast majority of crematories can only cremate one body at a time, it is next to impossible to receive the incorrect remains.
What do the cremated remains look like?
Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an average sized adult usually weighs between 7 and 8 pounds.
Can there be a traditional visitation and funeral before the cremation?
Yes, if the family desires a traditional wake/visitation and funeral service prior to cremation it can be done. The family can choose either a cremation casket or use a rental casket for the wake and funeral services. The cremation can be scheduled after the funeral services without any problems.