Cremation …Another Choice

<< Return to Recommended Links

Cremation is a process for disposition of the human body. The body is placed into a casket or approved combustible container and then placed in a special furnace, commonly called retort. Under intense heat and flame the body is reduced to bone fragments, known as cremated human remains.

What Funeral Service Options Are Available?
As with traditional earth burial, the type of cremation service is subject to the personal choices of the family. Such services might include visitation (calling hours), public or private funeral service with the casketed body present, or a memorial service (without the body present) which may be held prior to or following the cremation process.


Much like a direct burial, a direct cremation is limited to the cremation process without any preparation of the body, services or memorialization.

Is Embalming Necessary?

Embalming is not necessary for the cremation process. However it may be appropriate for health concerns and time factors, and will be necessary if there is to be a public viewing.

Is a Casket Required?

Most crematories require an acceptable rigid, leak-proof container or a casket to provide for the health and safety of the crematory operator and the dignity of the deceased.

What is an Urn?

An urn is a permanent container in which cremated remains are placed. Usually urns are constructed of bronze, copper, marble, hardwoods or ceramic materials. Urns can vary in design and cost and are available from our funeral home..

What Can Be Done With Cremated Remains?

The family may elect to keep them in a permanent container, such as an urn, within their home. They may choose to place them in a family burial plot, in a niche at a mausoleum or in a columbarium providing a permanent area for future memorialization.


Survivors may choose to scatter the cremated remains over ground, water, or at a site of special interest. This alternative may be subject to local environmental protection laws.

What About Cost?

The charge for the cremation process is based on several factors. Making the personal choice to cremate involves many decisions. Consult us regarding the legal documents necessary for cremation and the pre-planning services available. It is wise to consider all the options and ask questions before making final decisions about such an important event.

Dealing With Children and Cremation

As in any death situation, it is important for the children involved to have a caring adult available to them; someone there to listen and to try to answer the children’s questions. Some basic cremation terminology also is needed:

    • Cremated remains or ashes – The dead body is reduced to cremated remains after the cremation process. (Cremated remains are often compared to fire ash but are actually a much courser material due to bone fragments.)
    • Cremation – Cremation is the process of reducing the dead body by heat into small pieces of bone and ash.
    • Crematory – A special building where bodies are cremated.
    • Dead – A person is dead or has died when their body stops functioning (total cessation of metabolic activity). The body no longer feels heat, cold or pain.
    • Funeral – A funeral is a service similar to a church service where family and friends come to share memories about the one who died and to say good-bye to that special person.
    • Funeral Home – a building or house where the body can be taken after death to be prepared for burial or cremation. A funeral home is a caring place where family and friends can possibly view the body and gather to remember the person who died.

Children should be considered in the service selection process. Whatever option is decided upon it is important for the children to be invited to participate. Always keep in mind that a child’s involvement should never be forced; that children should be allowed to make their own decisions whether or not to participate. A final consideration is memorialization. When children are involved, some families have found it helpful to select a permanent area for memorialization of the cremated remains. This area can provide a place for the children to identify with their deceased loved one in a tangible and concrete way.