The number of people choosing cremation has increased significantly over the years, yet cremation carries a long tradition and remains largely unchanged. Cremation simply expedites the process of reducing a body to bone fragments through application of intense heat.
Contrary to what some people believe, Cremation does not limit choices, but, in fact, increases one’s options. It is a process which is performed in a respectful and dignified manner and can be memorialized in many ways.
Choosing cremation neither eliminates nor does it require a funeral service. Traditional or contemporary services are often planned before or after the cremation process. A funeral service followed by cremation may be exactly the same as a funeral service followed by ground burial. They can be elaborate or simple and traditional or nontraditional. Arrangements and ceremonies tend to be as individual as the persons for whom and by whom they are made. They may be personalized specifically to reflect the life of the deceased, and thus have a special meaning.
The Traditional Cremation Service will be just like a Traditional Funeral Service except cremation will follow instead of burial. This can be accommodated by the use of a cremation casket (casket that is designed to be cremated) or the use of a rental casket. Following the viewing, service or ceremony, and eventual cremation, the cremated remains can be buried, properly scattered, or returned to the family for safe keeping.
Cremation and Memorial Services
The memorial service is a gathering where the body is not present. Some families will choose to have cremation take place after visitation and have a memorial service to follow. This may allow for final disposition of the cremate remains on the same day.
Others may choose to not have the body present during the time of visitation, but would prefer a memorial gathering. This still allows closure and the comfort of family and friends. Most often cremated remains are present during the service or gathering in an urn.
Direct Cremation Only
People who prefer not to have any service or gathering can contact the funeral director for transportation of the deceased from the place of death and the cremation.
Although direct cremation without any type of gathering or service is an option, many people later regret this decision because it ignores the need for closure. By viewing the body after death, participating in arrangements, meeting in a formal or informal setting with supportive friends and family, the ceremony or gathering becomes a meaningful ritual like a baptism, wedding or anniversary. Some people do not like the idea of a viewing, but can see the value in a gathering of close personal friends to talk, reminisce and support each other.