What Is Cremation?
Cremation is the placing of the body in a cremation chamber where through the heat and evaporation, the body is reduced to its basic elements, referred to as cremated remains or “cremains”. It may surprise many to learn that ashes are not the final result since cremated remains have neither the appearance nor the chemical properties of ashes; they are in fact, bone fragments. Depending upon the size of the body, there are normally three to nine pounds of fragments resulting.
Is Cremation Increasing?
Yes. Cremation continues to grow as a viable alternative to burial for many reasons. Increasing funeral costs, weather constraints, environmental concerns, and a more mobile society are just a few. Cremation does not limit choices, but, in fact, increases one’s options. However, most choose cremation because it offers simplicity in planning a ceremony and offers more options for final disposition of the cremated remains.
How Do Costs Compare?
The charge for a Direct Cremation is considerably LESS than a traditional funeral service and burial. Typically, cremation may be arranged for a savings of 75% to 80% when compared to a traditional funeral service and burial using average merchandise (embalming, casket, vault, grave, opening/closing fee, monument, tent, etc.).
How Long Does It Take?
It depends on the size of the individual. For an average size adult, the initial cremation takes about 21/2 to 3 hours with an operating temperature between 1500-1600 degrees F. In addition the “cool down” cycle, which allows for the removal of the cremated remains after cremation, may vary depending on the type of cremation unit.
Is A Casket Required?
No. However, there are caskets designed for cremation. Most crematories require that a body be placed into a combustible container. This may be accomplished with a variety of wooden or cardboard “alternative containers.”
Is Embalming Required?
No. However, time constraints, health factors, and the type of service might make embalming appropriate or necessary. At Cremation Options, the body is held in a specially designed refrigeration unit until time for cremation. This greatly reduces the costs associated with short term preservation by eliminating the need for embalming. Short term preservation may be needed to allow for family travel schedules.
What About Scattering?
This may be done legally in most states; however, permits may be required. Federal, State and Local laws should be reviewed and permission granted prior to scattering cremated remains. Written permission may be required in some cases.
Is Cremation acceptable by all religions?
Today most religions allow cremation, except for Orthodox Jewish, Islamic, Eastern Orthodox and a few Fundamentalists Christian faiths. Most churches allow the cremated remains to be present during the Memorial Service or Mass and provide a focal point for the service. In addition memorial tables may be used with pictures, keepsakes, hobbies, awards and a variety of memorabilia defining a person’s life.
What can be done with the cremated remains?
A final resting-place for the cremated remains can be provided by various means. The family may choose from a full selection of urns for permanent containment to be kept at home, or the urn may be placed in a columbarium, a building or structure where a niche space may be selected. Niches are recessed compartments enclosed either by glass or granite. The fronts may contain the name and dates of the deceased. Also, most cemeteries permit more than one person in an adult space if cremation is chosen. Today, as the popularity for cremation increases, more and more churches are constructing Memorial Gardens on the church property for their members.
May services still be held?
Yes. In fact, cremation offers more options. Our philosophy allows families the opportunity to choose as much or as little formality and participation as they want or need. Memorial services may be held shortly after the death or they may be arranged at a later date to accommodate family travel schedules. Services usually center around “celebrating a life lived” by having memorial tables available with photos, memorabilia, crafts, hobbies and a variety items that showed the persons special interests or accomplishments. The fact that the family actually helps gather and arrange these items, provides the family a time of reflection, which sometimes offers a great deal of comfort. Friends and family are often encouraged to speak and share a fond memory. Memorial services may be held in a more familiar and comfortable surrounding as a church, park, banquet room, the home or any place where family and friends feel welcomed.
Is it advisable to arrange for cremation in advance?
Yes. Advanced planning allows you to use logic and reasoning, rather than be influenced by emotion. These arrangements are just as important as your other advanced directives such as a Will, Living Will, or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. By planning ahead, you make known your specific wishes. Advanced planning also enables you to take advantage of Today’s Prices. There are payment plans tailored to meet the needs of every family. Preplanning for cremation is not morbid; it just makes good sense. Your family will be spared from making countless emotional and financial decisions at a time when logical choices are seldom considered. Most important, your wishes may be carried out...down to the smallest detail.