Cremation allows for a variety of services to meet the needs of family, friends and guests. Many choose to have a "traditional" funeral service prior to the cremation, giving family and friends an opportunity to view the deceased's body and pay their respects. If the cremation takes place prior to a memorial service, since there is no regulations for the storage of the cremains, services can take place at a future date that is convenient for the family. You also have the option of returning home with the cremated body in order to retain them or scatter them at your discretion at a place and time of your choosing.
The deceased's body is placed in a container that is combustible and placed in a special furnace called a cremation chamber or a crematory. Where through prolonged exposure to intense heat, the remains are reduced to bone fragments which are then processed and further reduced to particles of common size. The cremated body of an adult will weigh, on average, about 7-8 pounds. Cremation is not an alternative to a funeral, but rather an alternative to burial or other forms of disposition.
The cremated body can be scattered or buried or they may be kept with the family in a decorative urn. Presently, there are many new and different ways to dispose of the cremated body. Remains can be placed in an artificial coral reef in the ocean, they can be launched into space or sent up in helium balloons, or they can be spun into glass pieces of art or diamonds.
Some religions welcome cremation while others forbid it. The Catholic Church had previously banned cremation as a means of disposition until 1963. However, burial remains the preferred method of disposition of The Catholic Church. In other Christian denominations cremation was historically discouraged but, nowadays, it is widely accepted. In eastern religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism, cremation is mandated. While in the Islamic faith, cremation is strictly forbidden. Orthodox Jews also forbid cremation; other sects of Judaism support cremation, but burial remains the preferred option.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cremation
What is Cremation?
Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame. Cremation is not the final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service.
Is a casket needed for Cremation?
No, a casket is not required, most states require an alternative container constructed of wood or cardboard, however, in some states no container is required.
Is embalming required prior to cremation?
No. However, if you choose to have a public viewing and ceremony prior to the cremation, embalming may be necessary.
Can the body be viewed without embalming?
Yes. Pennsylvania law allows for the private viewing of remains without the remains having been embalmed.
Can the family witness the cremation?
Yes they can; Our facility has a viewing window which can allow family members to witness the body placed in the cremation chamber. Some religious groups even include this as part of their funeral custom.
Can an urn be brought into church?
Nearly all Protestant Churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service. Most Catholic Churches also allow the remains to be present during the Memorial Mass. It is encouraged that cremated remains be a part of a funeral as it provides a focal point for the service.
What can be done with the cremated remains?
While laws vary state by state, for the most part remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or a cremation garden, interred in a columbarium, kept at home or scattered.
How long does the actual cremation take?
For an average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of between 1,800 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. In Pennsylvania the required minimum temperature at which a cremation can take place, as regulated by the Department of Environmental Protection, is 1800 degrees Fahrenheit
What do the cremated remains look like?
Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an adult body usually weighs on average, between 7 and 8 pounds.
Are all the cremated remains returned?
With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to recover from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family unless specified otherwise.
Do I need a Cremation Urn?
An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or if the remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not purchased or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container.
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