Often cremation services are the same as a traditional funeral. In fact, some type of service is recommended because it provides an outlet for the family’s expression of grief and loss and allows friends and family to demonstrate their support.
Many service options are available with cremation including:
- Visitation with urn present
- Church or Chapel Service with urn present.
- Memorial service after cremation
- Delayed final committal to allow for bad weather or arrival of family
- Interment of cremated remains in previously occupied family plot or special section designated by the cemetery
- Placement of cremated remains in internal or external columbaria niches
- Scattering of cremated remains
Containers or Caskets
It is our requirement that the deceased be placed in a rigid container or casket in order to cremate. If visitation and viewing is requested, the normal procedure for casket selection is followed. If “direct cremation” or cremation without any preparation, embalming, viewing or ceremony is chosen, a rigid container would be suitable.
Before cremation can take place, approval must first be granted by the Chief Forensic Pathologist. The “Pathologist’s Certificate of Approval” may be obtained by either the funeral home or a family member. Secondly, an “Authorization to Cremate Form” authorizing the funeral home to cremate the deceased must be completed and signed, in the presence of a Funeral Director, by the next-of-kin, executor or legal representative of the deceased. Finally, an “Instructions for Disposition Form” outlining instructions for final disposition of the cremated remains must also be completed and signed. Each document will be thoroughly explained by the Funeral Director and should be fully understood by the family before leaving the arrangement meeting.
Committal and Final Disposition
Many options are available for committal and final disposition of cremated remains.
- The urn may be taken home
- The urn may be placed in an indoor or outdoor columbarium
- Cremated remains may be placed in an urn for interment in a family plot, a regular plot or a specifically designated cemetery area
- Cremated remains may be scattered at sea, in a garden or a place that may have had special meaning to the deceased
Cremation is essentially preparation for memorialization. Whatever final resting place is chosen for the cremated remains, the family may choose from a variety of ways to identify it with the name and dates of the deceased. Headstones and bronze markers are commonly used as are inscriptions on walls, columbaria or similar structures. When cremated remains are scattered some type of memorial, in the form of a cross or name plate, may be erected at the scattering site.