Introduction to Cremation

Although cremation dates back to the ancient times, it has only recently become a common choice with families of today. Whether you are currently in need, or planning in advance for yourself or a family member, we hope this information will help you in recognizing the various choices associated with cremation.

Why Cremation?

People choose cremation for a variety of reasons. Some do so based on environmental considerations. Others have philosophical or religious reasons. Still, others choose cremation because they feel that it is less complicated.

A Variety of Options

Many people believe that choosing cremation means limiting your options. Actually, there are a variety of options available with cremation. Most families hold services which help the bereaved cope with the loss of a loved one. Many people find that opting for cremation gives them the opportunity to create and personalize the various service options for a more meaningful experience. Cremation offers families choices for final disposition of the cremated remains. And with cremation, you have the opportunity to select from a wide array of caskets and urns.

Gatherings & Ceremonies

The greatest misunderstanding about cremation is the belief that there is no need for services. However, a service or memorial is very important when helping the bereaved overcome their grief and offers family and friends the opportunity to honor a loved one.

People have relied on the comfort of funeral and memorial services to help them through with their grief. There is not an exception when cremation has been the selected option.

These gatherings allow:

  • acknowledgement of the grief of family and friends
  • the sharing of stories, giving eulogies, and reaffirming the value of the deceased in others’ lives
  • and most importantly, they help the immediate family begin the healing process

Types of Services

Services or ceremonies can precede or follow the actual cremation. Prior to the cremation, there may be a gathering which can be either public or private, with an open or closed casket.

When the service follows the cremation, a receptacle (or urn) containing the cremated remains may take a place of prominence. Following the ceremony, the final disposition of the cremated remains takes place.

Ceremonies can be simple, contemporary, religious, or secular. Music, readings, stories and poetry can be added to personalize the event to both reflect on and celebrate the life that was lived. Some families arrange a memorial table with personal items that reflect the personality, accomplishments, and interests of the person’s life, allowing others to share positive and happy memories. Most services, with the exception of some religious ceremonies, can be held in the funeral home. This enables the staff to assist with many of the details involved.

Final Disposition

Deciding what to do with the cremated remains will help you decide what kind of urn to select. An urn can be buried in a family plot at the cemetery, placed in a niche at a columbarium, or kept in the home.

Cremated remains may also be scattered over land or water. However, many communities may have a law prohibiting scattering. Your funeral director can advise you of any local ordinances in this regard.

When scattering or any other form of final disposition is chosen, a portion of the cremated remains may be retained in a smaller keepsake urn created to become a focal point of memorialization in the home.

Making The Right Choice

Making any kind of arrangement involves many choices and decisions. It is helpful to consider all of the options and take the time to ask questions before making a final decision about such an important event. Funeral service professionals are there to make the experience as emotionally satisfying for you as possible. Making an informed choice can help assure peace of mind for everyone involved.