Cremation as a method of body disposition is an increasingly popular alternative to the more traditional methods of underground burial or entombment. In Victoria, for example, the cremation rate has been increasing steadily with the national average rate rising to to 72%.
This article provides key information about cremation that will help you and your family decide whether cremation is the best choice, and issues that need to be considered when choosing cremation.
What is Cremation?
Cremation is the process of reducing a body to ashes and small bone fragments through the use of intense heat. The process usually takes from two to four hours. The cremated remains are then crushed into a mostly fine, sand-like material, which can be kept in an urn or scattered at a desired location.
Does Cremation Mean You Can’t Have a Funeral Service?
There is a common misconception that choosing cremation means that you and your family are forfeiting a funeral service. This is simply not true. Cremation is not a substitute for a funeral service.
Cremation is a method of body disposition, while a funeral service is a type of ceremony to honour the life and legacy of the person who passed away.
With cremation, there are a number of ways to have a ceremony:
- Traditional Funeral Service: You are able to have a traditional funeral or a religious ceremony where the deceased’s body is present in a casket. This option also allows families to have a visitation and viewing of the body before the funeral service. After the funeral service is completed, the body would then be cremated.
- Memorial Service: If the deceased’s body is cremated before the service, you can have the person’s ashes in an urn present at the ceremony if you wish. You may also incorporate the scattering or the burial of the ashes into the memorial service, or this could be done at some other time with only close family and friends present.
- Celebration of Life: This type of ceremony is a much less formal affair than a memorial service, with everyone invited to take part and to share stories with one another. It’s for people who don’t want tears at their passing, only fond memories. Like a memorial service, it is up to the family whether or not the deceased’s ashes are present, as well as whether or not the ash scattering or burial will be part of the ceremony.
Here is a youtube link for the Cremation Process here.