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What Is Cremation?


What is cremation

 

What is Cremation?


Because cremation is often more affordable and flexible than traditional funeral and burial options, it has risen in popularity greatly in recent years. However, many families don’t fully understand the cremation process. To educate our National Cremation families and readers on cremation, we’ve created this brief post on the cremation process and commonly misunderstood industry terms.


*Please note that the content detailing the cremation process in this post may be a bit too graphic for less mature readers. For information on helping children understand cremation, please see our article here.


Cremation is a method of body disposal that serves as an alternative to traditional burial in a coffin or casket. Placed in a cremation container, the remains are incinerated in an industrial furnace (called a cremation chamber) and reduced to basic chemical compounds – gases, ashes and mineral fragments, which are called cremains.


Cremains pose no health risk and are generally returned to the deceased’s family who will either keep them in an urn or another special container, inter them at a memorial site or crematory or disperse them during a special ceremony.


What happens during the cremation process?

The entire cremation process takes roughly three hours to complete, though it will take more time for the family to actually receive the cremains. Since most state laws dictate that only one body can be cremated at a time, a carefully controlled labelling system is used for identification throughout the process.


Once the remains are surrendered to the crematory, any medical devices (such as pacemakers) will be removed before the body is placed inside a cremation container. The container will then be placed inside the chamber, whose temperature is increased to approximately 1400°F to 1800°F. After a couple of hours, all organic matter will have been consumed by heat or evaporation.


The bone fragments that remain are carefully removed from the chamber, cleared of all metal components, processed into a fine particulate that resembles ash and placed in a temporary container or an urn the family purchased.


What is "Direct Cremation"?

With this option, the body is cremated soon after death with no embalming, viewing or visitation. Families who choose this option do so because it is one of the most affordable. If they work with a funeral home, the cost will generally include any necessary paperwork, a basic service fee, transportation, container, and the crematory fee. Families will still have the opportunity to hold a memorial or dispersal service once they receive the cremains.


Why do people choose cremation?

Making final arrangements is a very personal choice that is either prearranged by the deceased prior to his or her death or chosen by the next-of-kin if no pre-arrangement has been made.

Some of the most popular reasons a person will choose cremation include:

  • Lower costs
  • Better for the environment
  • Fear of burial/natural decomposition
  • Simpler arrangements
  • Flexible service options


Thinking about cremation?

Cremation is not a substitute for a funeral or memorial service. It is simply one method of body disposal that’s been regaining popularity in recent years. When it comes to the commemorative experience, choosing cremation can actually increase your options and make planning a service much less stressful, as there will be more time for the distant family to make travel arrangements.

Find a cremation service near you.

Preferred Provider

A preferred provider in the funeral home industry is a funeral home that has been specifically chosen by a particular insurance company to provide funeral services to policyholders of that insurance company. In some cases, a funeral home may be a preferred provider for multiple insurance companies.

The term "preferred provider" is often used to describe a funeral home that has agreed to accept prearranged funeral contracts from a specific insurance company, or group of insurance companies, at a pre-negotiated price. This means that policyholders of the insurance company can purchase funeral services from the preferred provider at a lower cost than if they were to purchase the same services from a funeral home that is not a preferred provider.

It's important to note that the term "preferred provider" may have a different meaning in different context, but in context of funeral home, it's a funeral home that has agreed to accept prearranged funeral contracts from a specific insurance company or group of insurance companies, at a pre-negotiated price.