In this guide to a cremation funeral, we explore common questions about the process and what to expect.
More people are choosing cremation as their end-of-life disposition method. Within eight years, more than half of Americans will choose cremation over burials.
Choosing what happens to your body at the end of your life is a very personal decision. Your end-of-life plan should be something you communicate with your family to ensure your wishes are met.
What do you want your service to look like? Do you want a plot in a cemetery? Will there be a viewing?
These are all things you need to discuss with your family and a funeral director before your passing.
If you’re on the fence about whether a cremation funeral is right for you, we’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list of the most common cremation FAQ we hear, so keep reading to learn more.
1. Will There Be Witnesses?
There can be, though it depends on which facility you use. If there is a cremation viewing room, it’s up to each person whether they want to watch the process.
Why would anyone want to watch the cremation? Some people may find solace in watching the process. It provides them with a way to view the body one last time.
For some people, witnessing the cremation helps with the grieving process. They like to know that their loved one’s remains have been treated respectfully and with dignity.
2. How Does a Cremation Funeral Work?
When someone chooses to cremation, there is often a memorial service in place of a funeral. A memorial service happens when the deceased loved one’s body is not present.
A cremation funeral is run at the discretion of the family, who also will take their deceased loved one’s wishes into consideration.
The grieving family and friends may choose to have the cremains present in an urn. Some people want to have a headstone fitted with a spot for an urn. In this case, there may be a graveside memorial service.
3. What Does Cremation Cost?
This is one of the most common cremation questions. Many people choose cremation because it’s cheaper than a traditional burial funeral.
We provide three different packages, ranging from the most basic to premium. What works best for you will depend on your wishes and needs.
4. Why Be Cremated in the First Place?
Some people choose cremation because it’s more affordable than a burial. You won’t need to purchase an expensive casket. If there will be no viewing, there’s no reason for embalming or cosmetic procedures either.
In some cultures, cremation is the only logical choice for end-of-life body disposition.
Some choose cremation for the flexibility it provides their family members. Grieving is a long and complicated process. Services for lost loved ones can be held well after their family and friends have had time to comes to terms with their loss.
5. What Happens with the Ashes?
When someone chooses a burial, we know what happens to their bodies. They’re taken to the cemetery and eventually lowered into the ground.
Choosing cremation gives you more options. Some may choose to display the ashes in an urn in their home. For those who have chosen to have a headstone, the urn may be displayed at the cemetery.
Others may wish to have their ashes scattered someplace that has meaning for them. The spreading of ashes is also typically combined with a ceremony of some kind. It’s essential to look into the local laws regarding the scattering of ashes as some places are off-limits.
Some choose to take the ashes of their loved ones with them wherever they go. They usually accomplish this by incorporating their ashes into jewelry. Whether you want a ring, necklace or bracelet, you’ll have them with you wherever you go.
6. How Long Does a Cremation Take?
The cremation process length depends on two things. First, the size of the person and, second, the container they’re being cremated in.
The process for a smaller person in a cardboard box will be shorter than for a larger person in a wooden casket. Generally, it will take around three to five hours.
Once the body has been cremated, it will take several days before the ashes are delivered to the family.
7. Will I Need to Purchase a Casket?
If you’re planning to have a funeral with a viewing, you’ll need a casket. You may not have to purchase one, however, as you can sometimes find them for rent.
When it’s time for the cremation procedure, the body will need to go in an alternative container. These containers must not have any metal parts whatsoever and be made of combustible materials.
8. Can I Put Special Items in the Cremation Casket?
It depends on what type of items you’re considering.
The families and friends of the deceased sometimes wish to put special items like letters in the cremation casket. Rosary beads or wooden mementos have also been requested to be in the coffin. These would not pose a problem at all as they will burn without issue in the cremation chamber.
You can leave personal items like jewelry in the cremation container, but it’s important to note they won’t be retrievable afterward. Some people choose to remove special jewelry, like rings and necklaces, and keep them near the urn in their home.
Any item that would be combustible in the cremation chamber should be removed. This includes things like pacemakers and glass bottles.
Clothing made from materials like treated leather or vinyl can’t go through the cremation process as they can release harmful emissions when burned.
Your Cremation Questions, Answered
We understand thinking about end-of-life wishes can be overwhelming. But, we hope you feel more informed after reading our cremation funeral FAQ.
If we missed your questions about body cremation, be sure to contact us. Someone from our team will be happy to provide guidance during your decision-making process.