"Memorialization with Dignity and Ease"
What Is Cremation?
The dictionary defines cremation as a process of incinerating the body of a dead person. It has also been defined as a rapid rate of oxidation accelerated by intense heat.
Cremation is performed by placement of deceased in a container suitable for combustion (i.e. alternative container). Followed by entry of the container into the cremation chamber or retort, where the contained deceased body is subject to intense heat and flame.
Incineration of the container and the deceased body is accomplished and all substances are consumed or driven off, except bone fragments (Calcium compounds), and metal byproducts such as dental gold, prosthesis, or any nonhuman material.
Following a cooling period, the cremated body, which normally weighs several pounds, is then swept from the cremation chamber. Please note cremationsource.com's associates make every effort to remove all of the cremated remains from the cremation chamber, but it is impossible to remove all the finite particles. Incidental and inadvertent commingling of minute cremated remains from the residue of previous cremations is a possibility and does exist.
Who can authorize Cremation?
Each state sets the list of parties who can authorize a cremation. Clear and firm documentation of a decedent's wishes for final arrangements is the best way to avoid family conflicts.
Laws vary from state to state. cremationsource.com will provide an authorization form that clearly defines who is eligible to authorize the cremation. It is always best if an agreement can be reached that the family will respect regarding the cremation decision. Discussion with a clergyman, chaplain, or other adviser may help with this decision. If agreement cannot be reached, then before death occurs, the person choosing cremation should prearrange their plans and file them with cremationsource.com, in addition to stating these wishes in their will.
Is there assistance available to help cover the cost of cremation?
There are several sources of financial assistance available. A short list includes:
Are There Any Laws Governing Cremation?
Cremation regulations vary from state-to-state. The staff and personnel of cremationsource.com abide by all regulations stipulated by the local jurisdictions. Further, cremationsource.com prides itself on only the highest standards and ethics in the industry.
Is A Casket Needed For Cremation?
No, in most states the minimum requirement is an alternative container usually made of combustible material such as wood or cardboard.
Is Embalming Required Prior To Cremation?
What Can Be Done With The Cremated Remains?
There are many options. Cremains can be buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, inurned in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered on private property.
Some options to consider are:
- City Taxpayers
Reduced inurnment prices in city cemeteries (some cities) or scattering of cremated remains in designated areas.
- Church Members
Inurnment in church columbarium or cremated remains scattering in memorial garden (verify with members church).
- State & Federal Parks and Forests
Many have an area to scatter ashes (check with a ranger for any restrictions). cremationsource.com's staff will be happy to discuss these options with you and make any arrangements.
How Long Does The Actual Cremation Take?
It depends on the weight of the individual. For an average size adult, cremation takes from two to three hours at normal operating temperature between 1,500 degrees to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Happens After The Cremation is Complete?
All organic bone fragments, which are very brittle, as well as non-consumed metal items are swept from the cremation chamber and into a cooling tray. All non-consumed items, such as metal from clothing, prosthesis, and bridgework, are separated from the cremated remains. This separation is accomplished through visual inspection as well as using a magnet. Items such as dental gold and silver are non-recoverable and are commingled in with the cremated remains. Remaining bone fragments are then processed in a machine to a consistent size and placed into a temporary or permanent urn, selected by the family.
Do I Need An Urn?
cremationsource.com requires all families to select an urn. The minimum requirement is the temporary shipping urn.
Are All The Cremated Remains Returned?
With the exception of a small amount of minute particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family.
What Do The Cremated Remains Look Like?
Cremated remains are primarily bone fragments, which are whitish to gray in color. The remains of an average size adult usually weigh between five to eight pounds.
How Can I Be Sure I Receive The Correct Remains?
Positive identification of the deceased is assured throughout each stage of the cremation process. cremationsource.com has developed industry standard policies and procedures to guarantee proper identification. cremationsource.com only allows certified professionals to operate the cremation equipment.
Can Two Cremations Be Performed At Once?
No. Not only is it illegal to do so, cremationsource.com uses only modern cremation chambers or retorts, which are designed to accommodate only one adult.
Is Cremation Accepted By All Religions?
Today most religions allow cremation except for Orthodox Jewish, Islamic, Eastern Orthodox and a few Fundamentalist Christian faiths. The Catholic Church accepts cremation as long as it is not chosen for reasons that are contrary to Christian teachings. Some people believe that cremation is against the teachings of the Bible, but according to one famous Biblical scholar, "what occurs to the body after death has no bearing on the soul's resurrection. The body that rises is not made of the same substances as the one that was buried, or cremated, but is immortal and incorruptible."
Can An Urn Be Brought Into Church?
Nearly all Protestant Churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service.
Cremation & Catholics
Are Catholics allowed to be cremated?
YES. Catholics may be cremated. In May 1963, the Vatican's Holy Office (now the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith) lifted the prohibition forbidding Catholics to choose Cremation. This Permission was incorporated into the revised Code of Canon Law of 1983 (Canon #1176), as well into the order of Christian Funerals.
Indult on Cremation
On April 18, 1997 Bishop Anthony Pilla informed the bishops of the United States that he had received a letter from the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments which responded favorably to the NCCB's request for an indult to allow the presence of the cremated remains of a body at the Funeral Mass.
Bishop Pilla called attention to the language of the indult which gives to each diocesan bishop the right to decide whether to allow the practice in his diocese. In his letter, Bishop Pilla alerted the bishops to the Committee on the Liturgy's statement,"Reflections on the Body, Cremation, and Catholic Funeral Rites" which is now available as a catechetical tool to help dioceses understand the Church's position on burial and cremation.
CONGREGATIO DE CULTU DIVINO
ET DISCIPLINA SACRAMENTORUM
Must I receive permission from the Church to be cremated?
No. However it may be helpful for you to discuss this with you local pastor.
Is the Catholic Church saying that cremation is the preferred form of disposition?
The Catholic Bishops have approved the use of cremation as an option. The ultimate choice remains with the individual.
Must a Catholic's cremated remains be buried or inurned?
Yes. The cremated remains are buried in a family plot or in an urn garden or in an above ground mausoleum niche. Burial at sea also is acceptable, in a worthy, heavy container. Scattering cremated remains does not fit within the guidelines approved by the Bishops.
We need to educate our people that, although cremation is valid, this does not mean that we have any disrespect for the body. One of our concerns is that the cremated ashes be properly buried with the proper ritual and properly remembered.
Detroit Catholic Cardinal Adam Maida
Detroit Free Press March 19, 2000