Cremation is another means of final disposition, such as burial and entombment. It is our belief, that cremation should not be viewed as a substitute for a funeral. The majority of families we assist with cremation, choose to have traditional services before the cremation process takes place. This includes having the body present for calling hours and a funeral service. After the services, instead of going to the cemetery the remains are brought to the crematory by the funeral home staff.
The following are frequently asked questions that people have regarding cremation.
What happens during the cremation process?
The casket or container is placed in the cremation chamber, where the temperature is raised to approximately 1400 degrees to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. After approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours, all organic matter is consumed by heat or evaporation. The remaining bone fragments are known as cremated remains. The cremated remains are then carefully removed from the cremation chamber. Any metal is removed with a magnet and later disposed of in an approved manner. The cremated remains are then processed into fine particles and are placed in a temporary container provided by the crematory or placed in an urn purchased by the family. The entire process takes approximately three hours. Throughout the cremation process, a carefully controlled labeling system ensures correct identification.
Are cremations done individually?
Yes. State law generally provides that only one body may be cremated at a time. However, in some states, the remains of family members may be cremated together with the consent of the next-of-kin.
When after death can a cremation take place?
Because cremation is an irreversible process and because the process itself will eliminate any ability to determine exact cause of death, the process can only be done when a completed death certificate is filed and the person or persons handling the arrangements sign a cremation authorization form. Some states require that the coroner or medical examiner authorize each cremation. Other states have specific minimum time limits that must elapse before cremation may take place.
Is any other preparation required prior to cremation?
It is essential that pacemakers be removed prior to cremation. They may explode when subjected to high temperature, which can be hazardous to crematory staff and equipment. In addition, any special mementos, such as jewelry, will be destroyed during the cremation process. Anything you wish to keep should be removed by the funeral director before the casket or container is transferred to the crematory. It is suggested that jewelry be placed in the urn with the remains following the cremation process.
Is it true that the bones are crushed after cremation? I've heard you don't get ashes back -- what do you get?
A complete cremation is a two-step process. Firstly, the actual exposure of the deceased to several hours of intense heat and flame; after which the remains are mostly ash except for certain bone fragments, then the entire remaining ash and fragment volume is gathered and run through a processor, creating a uniform powder-like texture.
Is embalming necessary for cremation?
No. In most cases, it is your choice. Although, it may required by the funeral home if there will be public visitation of the remains, prior to cremation.
Is a casket required?
No. For sanitary reasons, ease of placement and dignity, most crematories require that the deceased be cremated in a combustible, covered container. This does not need to be a casket as such. What is required is an enclosed, rigid container made of wood or other combustible material to allow for the dignified handling of human remains. The type of casket or container selected is really a personal decision. Caskets and containers are available in a wide variety of materials ranging from simple cardboard containers to beautifully handcrafted oak, maple or mahogany caskets.
Are there special cremation caskets?
There is a choice of very affordable cremation caskets that are completely combustible. The selection includes options from a simple pine or cloth-covered casket to a hardwood casket. Cremation Casket Offerings
Can a casket be rented instead of purchased when choosing cremation?
Yes, a rental casket is a ceremonial casket that is used during visitation and funeral services prior to cremation. The ceremonial (or rental) casket is specifically designed to provide a very aesthetically pleasing, affordable and environmentally prudent alternative to purchasing a casket for a cremation service. Rental Casket
Can I bring my own urn?
Yes - It would be advisable that you discuss this situation with a funeral director prior to the cremation. The size of your urn will be of great importance if you plan to have all of the cremated remains included in this container.
Selection of Cremation Urns for purchase
Do all funeral homes have a crematory?
No - most funeral homes are served by a only few area crematoriums.
Can we have the service before or after the cremation?
It's completely a matter of family preference. Many times when a family is split regarding the decision to cremate, a compromise may be achieved by having a traditional service first - to be followed by cremation.
What can be done with the cremated remains?
With cremation, your options are numerous. The cremains can be interred in a cemetery plot, i.e., earth burial, retained by a family member, usually in an urn, scattered on private property, or at a place that was significant to the deceased. (It would always be advisable to check for local regulations regarding scattering in a public place.) Cremation is just one step in the commemorative process-the preparation of the human remains for memorialization. Today, there are many different types of memorial options from which to choose. Memorialization is a time-honored tradition that has been practiced for centuries. A memorial serves as a tribute to a life lived and provides a focal point for remembrance, as well as a record for future generations. The type of memorial you choose is a personal decision. The limit is set only by your imagination.
Can I scatter the remains on private property?
Yes, with permission of the owner.
What is memorialization for a cremation?
You might choose ground burial of the urn. If so, you may usually choose either a bronze memorial or monument. Also available at many cemeteries are cremation niches in columbariums. They offer the beauty of a mausoleum setting with the benefits of above ground placement of remains.
If I'm going to be cremated, why would I want my remains to be placed in a columbarium, or interred or scattered at the cemetery? Why shouldn't I just have them scattered in the sea or in some other place of my choosing?
As long as it is permitted by local regulations, the cremated remains can be scattered in a place that is meaningful to you. This can, however, present difficulties for your survivors. Some people may find it hard to simply pour the mortal remains of a loved one out onto the ground or into the sea. If you wish to be scattered somewhere, it is therefore important to discuss your wishes ahead of time with the person or persons who will actually have to do the scattering. Another difficulty with scattering can occur when the remains are disposed of in an anonymous, unmarked or public place. Access to the area may be restricted for some reason in the future, undeveloped land may be developed, or any of a host of other conditions may arise that could make it difficult for your survivors to visit the site to remember you. Even if your cremated remains are scattered in your backyard, what happens if your survivors relocate sometime in the future? Once scattered, cremated remains cannot easily be collected back up. Having your remains placed, interred or scattered on a cemetery's grounds ensures that future generations will have a place to go to remember. If remains are scattered somewhere outside the cemetery, many cemeteries will allow you to place a memorial of some type on the cemetery grounds, so survivors have a place to visit that will always be maintained and preserved.
Why is having a place to visit so important?
Because it provides a focal point for memorializing the deceased. To remember, and be remembered, are natural human needs. Throughout human history, memorialization of the dead has been a key component of almost every culture. The Washington Monument, Tomb of the Unknowns and Vietnam "Wall" in Washington, D.C are examples of memorialization, which demonstrate that throughout our history, we have always honored our dead. Psychologists say that remembrance practices, from the funeral or memorial service to permanent memorialization, serve an important emotional function for survivors by helping to bring closure and allowing the healing process to begin. Providing a permanent resting place for the deceased is a dignified treatment for a loved one's mortal remains, which fulfills the natural human desire for memorialization.
If I am cremated, can I be buried with my spouse even if he or she was in a casket?
Yes - Depending upon the cemetery's policy, you may be able to save a grave space by having the cremains buried on top of the casketed remains of your spouse, or utilize the space provided next to him/her. Many cemeteries allow for multiple cremated remains to be interred in a single grave space.
Can I take the cremated remains home?
Yes. The remains are normally placed in an urn. Most families select an urn that is suitable for placement on a mantle or shelf. Urns are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials.
How big of a price difference is there with cremation compared to standard ground burial?
The cost depends on the type of permanent memorial, location of the memorial, urn and placement selected.
Do all religions permit cremation?
Some religions prefer cremation; some do not recommend the practice; most permit you to choose. Should you have any questions or concerns, we suggest you speak with a member of your clergy.
As with any of the services we offer, we are available to address any questions or concerns that you may have regarding cremation. Contact Us.