What is Cremation?
Cremation is the process by which a body is exposed to extreme heat, usually 1800-2000 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or more. Through this process the body is reduced to its basic elements, which are referred to as cremated remains. Cremation occurs at a crematorium in a special kind of furnace called a cremation chamber or retort. It may surprise you to learn that ashes are not the final result since cremated remains have neither the appearance nor the chemical properties of ashes. They are, in fact, bone fragments. These fragments are further reduced in size through a mechanical process. After preparation, these elements are placed in a temporary container suitable for transport. Depending upon the size of the body, there are normally three to nine pounds of fragments or cremated remains resulting.
If the body is cremated:
Why people choose cremation
Here are some other reasons you might choose cremation:
Decisions you must make if you choose cremation
If you are distributing the remains
Some jurisdictions have laws prohibiting the scattering of remains; others require a permit. Ask your funeral director.
Also, ask if there are any firms in your area that specialize in unique ways of distributing the remains, such as a plane to spread them over a mountain, or a ship to scatter them at sea.
Think of places that were especially loved by the deceased, close to home or far away. You can walk in the woods, by a favorite lake, or on the old family farm.
Be sure to ask permission if you want to use private property.
What about using the remains to create new life, by planting a tree? Some survivors choose to mix the remains with the soil in flowerbeds and rose gardens at home. Every time the roses bloom, you will be reminded of your loved one.
If you decide to do this, however, consider what will happen if, some day, you move away.
Other Commonly ASked Questions About Cremation
Are there any religions that do not approve of cremation?
Orthodox Judaism and Islam forbid cremation. Today all Christian denominations allow cremation. All other main religions are happy fort heir members to choose cremation. The Catholic Church accepts cremation provided it is not chosen for reasons which are contrary to their teachings.