What is your reason for Choosing Cremation?
"I would rather leave my money to my children than spend it on a funeral."
"It's a nice feeling knowing that my survivors will not have to
go through the ritualistic scene of a funeral."
"We are running out of burial space...cemeteries are using up our scarce land."
"When my time comes...I just want to keep it simple"
The reasons for choosing cremation abound. Enlightened consumers are increasingly changing their belief systems and feelings towards the traditional funeral. Cremation is not only a considerate alternative, it is an environmentally responsible choice. In addition, cremation allows for a wide range of personally meaningful options for final repose of our mortal remains which are simply not otherwise available - sea scattering, kept at home, burial or inurnment in a cemetery at a convenient time are but a few.
Below are common questions relating to Cremation:
What Is Cremation?
To begin with, it is probably easier to describe what cremation isn't. Cremation is not final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service. Rather, it is a process of reducing the human body to it's most basic elements using high heat and flame.
What Services Are Available With Cremation?
Any traditional funeral service with the body present can precede the cremation. Alternatively, a memorial service can take place after the cremation has been completed.
Is A Casket Needed For Cremation?
No, a casket is not required for cremation. All that is required by OSHA is the OSHA approved minimum cardboard leakproof container which is cremated with the body. Other OSHA approved cremation containers are available for purchase as well. The only time a casket is required is when the family chooses a public service with the body present prior to cremation.
Is Embalming Required Prior To Cremation?
No it is not and it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise. The only time embalming is required is if the family chooses a service with an open casket prior to cremation.
Can The Body Be Viewed Without Embalming?
Yes, immediate family members are permitted to briefly view the deceased prior to cremation for an additional charge.
Is Cremation Accepted By All Religions?
Today most religions allow cremation except for Orthodox Jewish, Islamic, Eastern Orthodox and a few Fundamentalist Christian faiths. The Catholic Church accepts cremation as long as it is not chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teachings. Some people believe that cremation is against the teachings of the Bible, but according to Billy Graham, a famous Biblical scholar, "what occurs to the body after death has no bearing on the soul's resurrection. The body that rises is not made of the same substances as the one that was buried, or cremated, but is immortal and incorruptible."
Can An Urn Be Brought Into Church?
Yes. Churches will allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service. In fact, if the family is planning on a memorial service, we encourage the cremated remains be present as it provides a focal point for the service. Please check with the clergy of the church you are working with the determine what is proper and customary for that church.
What Can Be Done With The Cremated Remains?
There are many options. Remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, inurned in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered on private property.
Do People Choose Cremation Only To Save Money?
While some people select cremation for economy, many choose this option for other reasons. The simplicity and dignity of cremation, environmental concerns, and the flexibility cremation affords in ceremony planning and final disposition all add to its increasing popularity.
How Long Does The Actual Cremation Take?
It depends on the weight of the individual. For an average size adult, cremation takes from two to three hours at normal operating temperature between 1,500 degrees F to 2,000 degrees F.
What Happens After The Cremation is Complete?
All organic bone fragments, which are very brittle, as well as non-consumed metal items are "swept" from the cremation chamber and into a stainless steel cooling pan. All non-consumed items, like metal from clothing, casket hardware, joint implants, and bridge work, are separated from the cremated remains. This separation is accomplished through visual inspection as well as using a strong magnet for smaller metallic objects. Items such as dental gold and silver are non-recoverable. Remaining bone fragments are then processed in a machine to a consistent size and placed into a temporary or permanent urn, selected by the family.