Cremation Process: Understanding the Steps Involved
Cremation is a popular end-of-life option for many people. This process involves reducing the body of the deceased to ash through high temperatures. After cremation, the ashes can be scattered, kept in a special urn or jewelry, or buried in a cemetery.
In this article, we will explain the cremation process and the various steps involved. We will also discuss the benefits of cremation and the types of urns available to store cremated remains.
Step 1: Obtaining Consent
Before the cremation process can begin, the family or executor of the deceased must give their consent. This is typically done in writing, and the funeral home or crematorium will have forms available. In some cases, a pre-planned cremation may already have been arranged.
Step 2: Identification
The next step involves identifying the deceased. This is important to ensure that the remains are handled correctly and returned to the correct family. The funeral home or crematorium will typically use a numbered metal disc, known as an identification tag, to track the body throughout the process.
Step 3: Preparing the Body
The body is then prepared for cremation. This involves removing any jewelry, prosthetics, or medical devices that could interfere with the process. The body is then placed in a sturdy cardboard or wooden cremation container.
Step 4: Placement in the Cremation Chamber
The container is then placed in a cremation chamber, also known as a retort. The chamber is heated to temperatures between 1400-1800 degrees Fahrenheit, and the body is exposed to intense heat and flames. This process typically takes between two to three hours.
Step 5: Cremation and Ashes
After the cremation process is complete, the remains are removed from the chamber and allowed to cool. The remaining bone fragments are then placed in a special machine called a cremulator, which grinds the fragments into a fine powder. These ashes are then placed in an urn or container and returned to the family.
Benefits of Cremation
Cremation has become a popular end-of-life option for several reasons. First, it is typically less expensive than traditional burial options. Second, it allows for greater flexibility in terms of memorialization and disposition of the remains. Finally, it can be a more environmentally friendly option, as it requires less land and resources than traditional burial.
After the cremation process is complete, the family may choose to store the ashes in a special urn. There are many types of urns available, including:
Metal Urns: These are typically made from brass, copper, or bronze, and come in a variety of finishes and designs.
Wood Urns: These are made from a variety of wood types, including oak, cherry, and maple, and can be personalized with engravings or inlays.
Ceramic Urns: These are made from fired clay and can be glazed in a variety of colors and designs.
Biodegradable Urns: These are made from natural materials such as recycled paper, salt, or sand, and are designed to break down over time.
The cremation process is a popular and increasingly common end-of-life option. Understanding the steps involved can help families make informed decisions about memorialization and urn options. With the wide variety of urns available, families can choose a memorial that best reflects their loved one's life and personality.