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As more people are choosing cremation, funeral service professionals are striving to give consumers a true sense of what their many options are for cremation services. Often funeral directors find that people have a preconception that they have fewer choices for a ceremony when selecting cremation for themselves or a loved one. Therefore, they request direct cremation and deny the surviving friends and family an opportunity to honor them with a memorial service.
Actually, cremation is only part of the commemorative experience. In fact, cremation can increase your options when planning a funeral. The following information is meant to help you build an understanding of what cremation and cremation services are, allowing you to make an informed decision when arranging a funeral for yourself or a loved one.
Cremation Services Options
Cremation is becoming increasingly popular, especially amongst the baby boomer generation. Among the many reasons for this growing trend is the breadth of options cremation provides for a final memorial service.
Cremation gives people the flexibility to search for types of tributes that reflect the life being honored. But this doesn’t mean that aspects of traditional funeral services have to be discarded. Even with cremation, a meaningful memorial that is personalized to reflect the life of the deceased could include:
– A visitation prior to the service;
– An open or closed casket;
– Special music;
– A ceremony at the funeral chapel, your place of worship or other special location; and
– Participation by friends and family.
Commonly, cremated remains are placed in an urn and committed to an indoor or outdoor mausoleum or columbarium; interred in a family burial plot; or included in a special urn garden. Cremation also gives families the option to scatter the remains. This can be done in a designated cemetery garden or at a place that was special to the person. Today, cremated remains can even become part of an ocean reef or made into diamonds.
What ever you choose, cremation or burial, traditional services or contemporary celebrations, a funeral director can help you.
What happens during the cremation process?
The casket or container is placed in the cremation chamber, where the temperature is raised to approximately 1400 degrees to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. After approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours, all organic matter is consumed by heat or evaporation. The remaining bone fragments are known as cremated remains. The cremated remains are then carefully removed from the cremation chamber. Any metal is removed with a magnet and later disposed of in an approved manner.
The cremated remains are then processed into fine particles and are placed in a temporary container provided by the crematory or placed in an urn purchased by the family. The entire process takes approximately three hours. Throughout the cremation process, a carefully controlled labeling system ensures correct identification.