The popularity of cremation in the United States has been on a steady rise for the past 50 years. As the popularity grows, we receive more and more questions about cremation. Many people are still confused about cremation, and we often hear misconceptions about cremation. This section of our website is committed to teaching you all about cremation. The pages below have been written by our cremation professionals in hopes that families can improve their education about cremation and feel more empowered when making end-of-life decisions. Often people struggle to decide if cremation is right for them or their loved one. The starting point to this decision is to first understand and become informed with the facts of cremation.
What is Cremation?
First, here is a clear, simple definition of cremation:
Cremation is a method of body disposal that acts as an alternative to burial. Cremation reduces a body to ash by exposing it to very high temperatures within a large furnace. Many people simply think cremation involves setting the body on fire and letting it burn. However, the overall cremation process is much more technical in nature and done with complete care.
Part of making funeral arrangements on behalf of a loved one involves choosing between burial of the body, or cremation. Certainly this is a big decision, based on any number of factors: religious or spiritual beliefs, finances, or ecological awareness are just some of the reasons we've heard for choosing cremation. Before you can make the choice, you need to know exactly what it is you're considering. You can learn the basics below, however, if the content here raises additional questions for you, please give us a call. One of our cremation specialists will address any of your inquiries or concerns.
The Cremation Decision
What are some factors that you will have to consider when deciding on cremation? All of them are deeply personal and significant: there are your spiritual/religious beliefs, your level of environmental consciousness, financial considerations, and the expectations of your immediate family and your wider social group.
As you dive into the pages below, have these questions in mind:
1) How do you feel about the idea of cremation? What about burial? Purely based on emotions, which one makes you feel better?
2) Is cost a big concern for you? When it comes to end-of-life planning, are you most interested in saving you and your family money?
3) What does your religion say about cremation? Will your religious or spiritual beliefs have a great impact on the decision to cremate?
4) Do you have concerns about reducing pollution and being as environmentally friendly as possible?
5) How do you think your family and friends will react to your decision? What are their end-of-life plans?
Benefits: Why Choose Cremation?
Cremation has been a part of the human experience for a very long time, and is the preferred method of caring for a loved one in many parts of the world.
While we could recite statistics on the rising popularity of cremation in North America and other nations, they really won’t mean very much to you. After all, who picks cremation just because everyone else is doing so?
People choose cremation because they believe it to be the right choice for them. It’s as deeply personal of a decision as that of selecting burial. The decision could be based on:
Financial Challenges: On average, cremation is generally 45-50% cheaper than burial. Cremation allows you to avoid the big purchases of items like a headstone and a casket.
Because of Environmental Concerns: Cremation is considered to be more environmentally friendly than burial. Often the deceased is embalmed using harsh chemicals for a wake before he/she is buried. People have been critical that these chemicals can seep through a casket and create water and soil pollution. Secondly, burial plots take up land space and disturbs the Earth to inter a casket. Crematories do release carbon emissions into the air, but new technology is really starting to reduce the amount and impact.
The Desire for Simplicity: Often times, when people choose a traditional funeral they choose to have their loved one buried as well. In contrast, cremation is more associated with memorial services and celebrations of life. A traditional funeral involves many more components such as a wake, gathering pallbearers, organizing a mass with a church, coordinating the burial with the cemetery, and much more. Memorial service and celebrations of life can be much simpler if you choose them to be. Since these ceremonies are more based on what you want and are less about common rituals, you can choose just how complicated and sophisticated the ceremonies are.
The Need for Flexibility: With burial, you are either interred underground in a plot or above ground in a mausoleum. With cremation, you have several options in terms of what you can do with your loved one’s ashes. You can scatter your loved one’s ashes, store them in an urn, hold a small portion of it in memorial jewelry, blast them as apart of fireworks, mix them into the ink of a tattoo, and do some many other creative things with ashes.
The Intention to More Fully Commemorate a Loved One: A service can be planned for weeks, even months, after the cremation. This means more people can get involved and there’s plenty of time to gather meaningful scriptural passages, poetry, literary quotes, music, photos and videos.
If any of those reasons ring true for you and your family, then cremation may be the perfect alternative for your loved one.
What is Required to Arrange for Cremation?
Once the cremation-over-burial decision has been made, all that's required is authorization. This is provided by the person who is the legally identified or appointed next-of-kin. Once all authorization documents are signed, and service charges are paid; the body can be transported from the place of death to the crematory and the cremation process can take place. However, there are some additional things you may wish to consider, such as:
Is there a special set of clothes (such as a military uniform or favorite dress) your loved one would appreciate the thought of wearing? This will be a focus of the cremation arrangement conversation, and you will be advised by your funeral director as to your best options regarding jewelry or other valuable personal items.
Are there any keepsake items you'd like to include in their cremation casket? Perhaps there's a special memento, such as a treasured photograph or letter? We sometimes suggest family members write cards, notes or letters to their deceased loved one, and place them in the casket prior to the cremation.
Would you or other family members like to be present for–or participate to some degree in–your loved one's cremation? Because we know how healing it can be to take part in an act of "letting go", we welcome the opportunity to bring interested family or friends into the crematory. Please discuss your desire to participate with your funeral director.
What will you keep the cremated remains or ashes in after the cremation or the service? Many families are simply unaware that they can purchase a cremation urn to be placed in a special place such as the family home. We offer a large selection of urns that will help memorialize your loved one. Ask one of our caring funeral director's to see the wide variety of urns.
Decisions You Must Make When Choosing Cremation
Who will perform the cremation?
Should you purchase an urn?
What kind of remembrance ceremony would you like to have?
What will you do with the cremated remains?
You may wish to keep the remains at your home for a time, until you feel ready to let go of them, or when all family members can be present for a scattering ceremony.
Our professional Funeral Directors can advise you on unique ways to memorialize a loved one using the cremated remains, including the creation of art glass objects. We also offer a wide selection of cremation keepsake jewelry.
We can also recommend firms in the area that specialize in scattering the cremated remains at sea, or in the air.
We are caring cremation experts who promise each family we serve the highest level of:
Courteous, professional service. Our dedicated staff will take care of all details, including prompt filing of required permits and notifications. Accurate completion of these essential documents not only ensures their acceptance by local or state agencies; it guarantees your loved one's cremation will not be delayed.
Respectful care of the deceased and timely completion of cremation process. Your loved one will be attended to by certified crematory operators; each of whom has been trained to provide both compassionate care for the deceased, and conscientious attention to detail throughout the cremation process.
Safekeeping and prompt return of cremated remains. We know it's important for the families we serve to know their loved one will be coming home as soon as possible. That's why we promise to notify you as soon as their ashes become available, and safeguard their urn until the time you are ready to receive them.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of the deceased. There are many advantages to taking some time to remember the life lived, share stories and laugh about all of the memories. Our team can help you plan a fitting memorial service with or without the cremation urn present, at our facility or in a place of your choosing.
We offer three cremation options; each can be modified to meet your needs:
Memorial Service After Cremation.This can occur at any time after the cremation process. The urn is usually on display at the service, which can take place in any setting preferred by the family.
Traditional Cremation Services. These are much like a traditional funeral. The body of the deceased, is the focal point of the service. A visitation can take place prior to the funeral service and the cycle is completed with the cremation rather than a traditional burial. Once the cremation has occurred, the cremated remains are returned to your family. You can then decide to scatter, bury, or retain the cremated remains in an urn.
Direct Cremation Services. This involves completion of all required paperwork and the transportation of the deceased from the hospital, home, nursing facility, or coroner's office to the crematory.
Our Trusted Cremation Services in Doylestown
We've had years of experience serving many families, so we understand and respect your decisions. Not only that, we will take all the time you may need to make an informed decision. Call us today or email us through the Contact Us form.
We encourage you to contact us to discuss the cremation services we offer and to explore cremation costs. We are here to help you make an informed decision.