The Process of Cremation

Cremation is an alternative to the burial process and it is chosen by many people because of religious beliefs, the desire to preserve the environment, or more personal reasons.  Cremation is also a less expensive option in comparison to a  tradition funeral and burial.  The remains are placed in a container that is combustible and placed in a special furnace called a cremation chamber or a crematory.  Intense heat reduces the remains to bone fragments that are then crushed to resemble course sand.  The cremated remains of an average adult body will weigh about 7-8 pounds.  Cremation is not an alternative to a funeral, but rather an alternative to burial, or other forms of disposition.

Cremated remains can be scattered or buried, or they may be kept with the family in a decorative urn.  There are many new and different ways to dispose of ashes today. Cremated remains can be placed in an artificial coral reef in the ocean, they can be launched into space or sent up in helium balloons, or they can be spun into glass pieces of art, or diamonds. Our online merchandise catalog showcases many different types of urns for these processes, including sand, scattering, and biodegradable urns.

Some religions welcome cremation while others forbid it.  The Catholic Church had banned cremation up until 1963, and burial remains the preferred form of disposition today.  In other Christian denominations cremation was historically discouraged but nowadays is more widely accepted.  In eastern religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism cremation is mandated, while in Islam it is strictly forbidden.  Orthodox Jews also forbid cremation; other sects of Judaism support cremation, but burial remains the preferred option. 

If you're not sure cremation is the choice for you, or your loved one, consider discussing the pros and cons (presently, and for the future) of both cremation, and burial. Our resource section entitled, Honoring Cremation may also help provide some more insight. Remember that no matter your choice of disposition or funeral service, it is most important that you relay your final wishes to your closest family members; as they will be the ones responsible for making those decisions upon death.