Cremation has become more popular in recent times. It is chosen by many people because of religious beliefs, a desire to use less ground space or a request by the person who died.
Some religions welcome cremation while others forbid it. The Catholic Church banned cremation up until 1963; burial remains its preferred form of disposition today. In other Christian denominations, cremation was historically discouraged, although nowadays it is more widely accepted. In some Eastern religions, such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism, cremation is prevalent. In Islam, cremation is avoided. While Orthodox Jews discourage cremation, other sects of Judaism support it, even though burial remains the preferred option.
Cremated remains can be scattered, buried, entombed, enniched or kept with the family in a decorative urn. They can also be placed in an artificial coral reef in the ocean, launched into space, sent up in helium balloons or spun into glass pieces of art or diamonds.
What is cremation?
Cremation is the process of using high heat and flames to reduce the human body to bone fragments. 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, however, in some states no container is required. We offer a ceremonial casket that can be rented for viewings. After the viewing, an alternative container will be provided.
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, most crematories allow immediate family members to briefly view the deceased prior to cremation.
Can the family witness the cremation?
Yes, they can. Some cremation providers will allow family members to be present when the body is placed in the cremation chamber. In some religious groups, this is part of their funeral custom.
Can an urn be brought into church?
Nearly all Protestant churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service. Most Catholic churches also allow the remains to be present during the Memorial Mass. Having the cremated remains present provides a focal point for the service.
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.
What is a columbarium?
Columbarium walls are generally reserved for cremated remains. While cremated remains can be kept at home by families or scattered somewhere significant to the deceased, a columbarium provides friends and family a place to come to mourn and visit. Columbarium walls do not take up a lot of space and are a less expensive alternative to a burial plot.
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.
How long does the actual cremation take?
It all depends on the weight of the individual. For an average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
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 weigh between seven and eight pounds.
Are all the cremated remains returned?
With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family.
Do I need an urn?
An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there will be a memorial service or if the remains will be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not purchased or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary container.