Cremation is the process in which a body is transformed into bone fragments using heat and flame. The remaining fragments are then compressed into cremated remains. Metal objects are removed from the body prior to the compression.
Cremated remains, also referred to as "cremains," describes the ashes that remain after the cremation process. The bone fragments present following the cremation are compressed into ash.
Cremation has increased in popularity in recent years. In addition to being more affordable than a traditional burial, cremation is chosen for its simplicity, reduced environmental impact, and the many options in service planning and disposition.
A family may attend the cremation of their loved one depending on the facility. Talk to your funeral director about your options on a viewing ceremony.
State law does not mandate embalming prior to cremation. Refrigeration may be used to preserve the body prior to the services. If a visitation or service will be held prior to cremation, embalming may be required. A funeral director can discuss embalming requirements with you.
You are not required by law to supply an urn for a cremation. If the cremated remains will be interred, a cemetery may require the selection of an urn. An urn can also be used to place the remains in a columbarium or to be present at a memorial service. Cemeteries may also require an urn vault.
A casket is not required for a cremation. Cremation caskets are available, however, if desired. Rental caskets may also be used for viewings and funeral services. If no casket is selected, a combustable container made of either wood or cardboard will be used for the cremation process.
Following a cremation, the remains may be handled in a variety of ways depending on the desires of the family. Cremated remains may be interred in a cemetery or columbarium, kept in a home, or scattered. State law may mandate where remains can be scattered.
Traditional and personalized funeral services can still be held when cremation is selected. Examples of cremation services include visitations, funeral services, memorial services, or a scattering service. A funeral director can help to choose the services that will best honor your loved one.