Overview of Cremation
The number of people choosing cremation has increased significantly in the past few years, yet cremation carries a long tradition and remains largely unchanged.
Cremation simply expedites the process of reducing a body to bone fragments through application of intense heat.
What is done before or after the cremation is decided upon by the next of kin. You can relieve the burden of these decisions by pre-planning your arrangements in advance of need so that your wishes will be honored.
Contrary to what some people believe, cremation does not limit choices, but, in fact, increases one’s options. It is a process which is performed in a respectful and dignified manner and can be memorialized in many ways.
Cremation and Funerals
Choosing cremation neither eliminates nor does it require a funeral service. Traditional or contemporary services are often planned before or after the cremation process. A funeral service followed by cremation may be exactly the same as a funeral service followed by ground burial. They can be elaborate or simple, traditional or nontraditional. Arrangements and ceremonies tend to be as individual as the persons for whom they are made.
The Complete Cremation Service will be just like a Complete Funeral Service except cremation will follow the viewing, service, or ceremony instead of the casketed burial. This can be accommodated by the use of a cremation casket (casket that is designed to be cremated) or the use of a rental casket (a casket with a removable insert that reposes the deceased). Following the viewing, service or ceremony and eventual cremation, the cremated remains can be buried, properly scattered, or returned to the family for safekeeping.
Urns are used to hold the cremated remains. Urns can be constructed out of basic materials like cardboard or plastic, or constructed out of more protective materials like basic and semi-precious metals, ceramics, and woods.
The Immediate Cremation Service can be arranged as an immediate disposition of the body, but is most times prefaced by a viewing or followed by a memorial service at the church, funeral home or other location. A memorial service is one where the body is not present. We recommend that if you select an immediate cremation you allow yourself and your family a time, if possible, to privately view the deceased. If the viewing can be done in a matter of a few hours after the death, then embalming will not be necessary. If there is to be a long delay (more than 8-12 hours) then embalming is encouraged. State laws vary as to when embalming becomes required but, in Pennsylvania, that time restriction is twenty four hours.
Viewing of the deceased is usually an important step in emotionally acknowledging that the death has occurred. Having some type of service or ceremony, even if it is a memorial service, is also a key factor to a healthy recovery from a loss due to a death.
Some consideration also needs to be given as to what is done with the cremated remains after services are completed. For many people, a permanent and secure place for cremated remains is desired to help honor the lives of the deceased such as a burial plot or an outdoor niche. Other families choose to keep the cremated remains with them at home or to scatter the remains over land or water. Our directors can help provide for these options (among others) for cremated remains, but please note that the practice of cremation is discouraged by some religions. Other religions allow for cremation but have placed restrictions on what is permitted for the final disposition of the cremated remains.