A Guide To Your Options

Cremation An Introduction

Although cremation dates back to ancient times, it has only recently become more common choice throughout the United States and Canada Since you are thinking about cremation, you may want to know about the many options which are available to you. Whether your in need, or planning in advance for yourself or a family we hope this information will help you in reaching the various choices associated with cremation.

Why Cremation

People choose cremation for a variety of reasons. Some do so based on environmental considerations. Others have philosophical or religious. Still others choose cremation because they feel it is less complicated. We’re here to help you with any questions you may have regarding cremation.

A Variety Of Options

Many people believe that choosing cremation means limiting your options Actually, there are a variety of options with cremation. Most families hold services , which help the bereaved cope with the loss of a loved one. Many people find that opting for cremation gives opportunity to create and personalize the various service options for a more meaningful experience. Cremation offers families choices for final disposition remains. And with cremation you have the opportunity to select from a wide array of caskets and urns.

The Funeral Director’s Role in Cremation

You funeral director is available to answer any questions about the cremation process or procedure and provide you with guidance thought the entire planning process. He or she is there to assist you with whatever products and services you determine are appropriate and the funeral director can advise you on the final disposition of the cremated remains. By law, most areas require that a licensed funeral director or direct disposer transport the deceased and obtains necessary permits for the final disposition of the remains.

Gatherings and Ceremonies An Important Part of Healing

The greatest misunderstanding about cremation is the belief that with cremation, there is no need for services. However, a service or memorial ceremony is an important step in helping the bereaved overcome their grief, and offers family and friends the opportunity to honor a loved one.

Throughout the ages, people have relied on the comforting rituals and ceremonies of funeral and memorial services to help them through their grief. The value of those services hold true today for those who choose cremation.

Gathering together for a service acknowledges the grief of relatives and friends by helping them feel included in the grieving process. Gatherings also allow loved ones to share stories, give eulogies and otherwise reaffirm the value the deceased person had in others’ lives. And, most important of all, these gatherings help the immediate family with the healing process.

Types of Services

Services or ceremonies can precede or follow the actual cremation. Prior to cremation there may be a gathering which can be either public or private, with an open or closed casket. When the service follows the cremation, a receptacle (or urn) containing the cremated remains may take a place of prominence. Following the ceremony, the final disposition of the cremated remains takes place.

Ceremonies can be simple, contemporary, religious or secular. Music, readings, stories and poetry can be added to personalize the event to both reflect on and celebrate the life that was lived. Some families arrange a memorial table with personal items that reflect the personality, accomplishments and interests of the person’s life, allowing others to share positive and happy memories. Most services, with the exception of some religious ceremonies, can be held in the funeral home. This enables the staff to assist with the many details involved.

Cremation Containers

Cremation containers are available in a wide variety of styles and prices. When a service has been scheduled, some prefer the design and ornamentation of traditional caskets.

Cremation caskets are simpler in design, built with less ornamentation and made from different materials. As a result, they are typically less expensive than traditional caskets, yet are crafted with the same quality and care. They are also appropriate when services have been scheduled.

Alternative containers are also available and typically are made of cardboard.

Your funeral director will be able to advise you as to what type of casket or container is most appropriate.


The selection of the urn is very important since the urn provides both a protective and dignified receptacle for the cremated remains. It can become an important focal point at a memorial service, and can serve as a permanent memorial to the deceased. Permanent urns are crafted from various materials in a wide range of prices. Cast bronze urns are made of solid bonze, offering strength, durability and beauty. Some have a traditional vase shape, while others are crafted works of art featuring contemporary designs. Wood urns are crafted from a wide range of wood species. Each urn is hand finished to enhance the wood’s natural luster. No other material can duplicate the warmth and beauty of wood. Marble urns are fashioned from solid blocks of marble. Natural marble offers distinct and unique veining patterns and is available in various shapes and colors. Sheet bronze urns are constructed of solid bronze sheets and are available in cube or chest shapes. Many feature a beautiful brushed or painted finish which can be enhanced with ornamentation and other personal touches.

The selection of the urn offers an excellent opportunity to individualize one’s interests and lifestyle.

Final Disposition Deciding what will be done with cremated remains will help you decide what kind of urn to select. An urn can be buried in a family plot at a cemetery, placed in a niche at a columbarium or kept in the home.

Cremated remains may also be scattered over land or water. However, many local communities have laws prohibiting scattering. Your funeral director can advise you of any local ordinances in this regard. When scattering or any other form of final disposition is chosen, a portion of the cremated remains may be retained in a smaller keepsake urn created to become a focal point of memorialization in the home.

Permanent Memorialization

In any case, a permanent memorial whether through a cemetery marker, planting a tree, or keeping a decorative urn can have important emotional value. A permanent memorial establishes a place where current and future generations can go to remember a departed loved one.

Make The Choice That’s Right For You

Making any kind of arrangements involves many choices and decisions. It is helpful to consider all the options and take the time to ask questions before making a final decision about such an important event. Funeral service professionals are there to make the experience as emotionally satisfying for you as possible.

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