THE CREMATION PROCESS
Here at Jerry Spears
Funeral Home we own and operate our own crematorium here on site. We are with
your loved one from the moment they arrive at our facility until the very end when
the ashes are returned to your family to make arrangements for urn burial,
memorial service/mass, scattering or for your retention. Putting your mind
at ease knowing that your loved one will NEVER leave our facility is part of
the service we provide.
What is Cremation
Cremation is the process of the body being reduced to its basic elements and dried bone fragments into ashes in a cremation chamber. Once the process is complete, the ashes are placed into an urn, or an alternative container and given back to you.
Cremation has become currently common considering the flexibility and low cost it provides to a family. Funerals add up quickly and a cremation service can be less expensive than a burial depending on the added services chosen by you. Although, this is depending on the service preferences of the deceased and the arrangements for a memorial service if chosen. Cremation also has its benefits of saving land, being a simpler service to arrange, and having the option to do what you wish with the ashes that would pay a tribute to your loved one.
Cremation Memorial Services
It is a common misconception that visitations and viewings only take place for a burial service. The option is available for a cremation service as well. In the case of a visitation before the cremation takes place, the family would either purchase a casket that will be cremated with the body, or they can rent one for a viewing. When a cremation service is selected rather than a burial, embalmment of the body is not included, although it is highly recommended to be done prior to an open casket viewing.
If your family chooses to first have a cremation and than have a ceremony, the urn would be placed at the front of the room, in the center, next to a photo of the deceased. There is also the option of a grave side ceremony after a viewing or visitation, in which the urn would be buried in a traditional grave plot.
FINAL RESTING PLACE AFTER A CREMATION
Although there is no public health risk involved in scattering ashes, refrain from scattering ashes in a place that would be obvious to others. Instead try places such as:
Scattering garden. Most cemeteries have an established scattering garden that you can inquire about when considering this option.
Scattering ashes by air. Cremains have been deemed a non-hazardous substance by the U.S. Government, therefore allowing you to scatter the ashes of a loved on by air in a place of your choosing. Be sure to consider others around you when choosing a scattering location.
At sea. After scattering the ashes of a loved one at sea you must notify the EPA within 30 days. When choosing a good place at sea to scatter ashes, keep in mind that the federal Clean Water Act requires cremated remains to be at least three nautical miles from shore while also refraining from beaches or wading pools.
On land. There are many different places you could choose to scatter your loved one’s ashes such as, public land, private land, and federal land. In most cases if you are respectful, have a quiet ceremony, and follow regulations and rules, you should have no issues with the decision of your location. However, it is in your best interest to seek permission from a private land owner, or a federal national park.
Also, depending on your zone, city, and county different regulations may be set in place for how cremated remains can be scattered. Use your best judgement and keep others in mind as well.
Frequently Asked Questions about Cremation
What is Cremation?
Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone
fragments using high heat and flame. Cremation is not the final
disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service.
Is a casket needed
No, a casket is not required, most states require an alternative
container constructed of wood or cardboard, however, in some states no
container is required.
Is embalming required
prior to cremation?
No. In fact, it is against the law for a funeral home to
tell you otherwise.
Can the body be
viewed without embalming?
Yes, most crematories allow immediate family members to briefly
view the deceased prior to cremation.
Can the family
witness the cremation?
Yes, they can; some cremation providers will allow family members
to be present when the body is placed in the cremation chamber. Some
religious groups even include this as part of their funeral custom.
Can an urn be brought
Nearly all Protestant Churches allow for the cremation urn to be present during the memorial
service. Most Catholic Churches also allow the remains to be present
during the Memorial Mass. It is encouraged that cremated remains be a
part of a funeral as it provides a focal point for the service.
What can be done with
the cremated remains?
While laws vary state by state, for the most part remains can be
buried in a cemetery lot or a cremation garden, interred in a columbarium, kept
at home or scattered.
How can I be sure I
receive the correct remains?
All reputable cremation providers have developed rigorous sets of
operating policies and procedures to maximize the level of service and minimize
the potential for human error. Since it is illegal to perform more than
one cremation at a time, and the vast majority of crematories can only cremate
one body at a time, it is next to impossible to receive the incorrect remains.
How long does the
actual cremation take?
It all depends on the weight of the individual. For an
average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal
operating temperature of between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
What do the cremated
remains look like?
Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light
grey in color. The remains of an average sized adult usually weighs between
7 and 8 pounds.
Are all the cremated
With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are
impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of
the cremated remains are given back to the family.
Do I need an urn?
An cremation urn is not required by law. However,
a cremation urn may be desired if there is to be a
memorial service or if the remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If a cremation urn is not purchased or provided by the
family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container.