Cremation Funeral Service
As more people are choosing cremation, funeral service professionals are striving to give consumers a true sense of what their many options are for a funeral service. Often funeral directors find that people have a preconception that they have fewer choices for a ceremony when selecting cremation for themselves or a loved one. Therefore, they request direct cremation and deny the surviving friends and family an opportunity to honor them with a memorial service. In actuality, cremation is only part of the commemorative experience. In fact, cremation can actually increase your options when planning a funeral. The following information is meant to help you build an understanding of what cremation is, allowing you to make an informed decision when arranging a funeral for yourself or a loved one.
Cremation Service Options
Cremation is becoming increasingly popular, especially amongst the baby boomer generation. Among the many reasons for this growing trend is the breadth of options cremation provides for a final memorial service.
Cremation gives people the flexibility to search for types of tributes that reflect the life being honored. But this doesn’t mean that aspects of traditional funeral services have to be discarded. Even with cremation, a meaningful memorial that is personalized to reflect the life of the deceased could include:
- A visitation prior to the service
- An open or closed casket
- Special music
- A ceremony at the funeral chapel, your place of worship or other special location
- Participation by friends and family.
Commonly, cremated remains are placed in an urn and committed to an indoor or outdoor mausoleum or columbarium; interred in a family burial plot; or included in a special urn garden.
Cremation also gives families the option to scatter the remains. This can be done in a designated cemetery garden or at a place that was special to the person. Today, cremated remains can even become part of an ocean reef or made into diamonds.
What ever you choose, cremation or burial, traditional services or contemporary celebrations, we are here to help you.
Contact Us (810) 985-4351
1525 Hancock St.
Port Huron, MI 48060
1230 Seventh St.
Port Huron, MI 48060
Frequently Asked Questions About Cremation
What happens during the cremation process?
The casket or container is placed in the cremation chamber, where the temperature is raised to approximately 1400 degrees to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. After approximately 2 to 2 1/2 hours, all organic matter is consumed by heat or evaporation. The remaining bone fragments are known as cremated remains. The cremated remains are then carefully removed from the cremation chamber. Any metal is removed with a magnet and later disposed of in an approved manner. The cremated remains are then processed into fine particles and are placed in a temporary container provided by the crematory or placed in an urn purchased by the family. The entire process takes approximately three hours. Throughout the cremation process, a carefully controlled labeling system ensures correct identification.
How hot does the cremation chamber get?
The optimum temperature range is 1400 degrees to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit for the cremation chamber.
How long does it take to cremate a body?
Cremating at the optimum temperature (1400-1800 degrees), the average weighted remains takes 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Several more hours may be required before the cremated remains are available to the family.
Are cremations done individually?
Yes. State law generally provides that only one body may be cremated at a time. However, in some states, the remains of family members may be cremated together with the consent of the next-of-kin.
Is the body exposed to an open flame during the cremation process?
Yes, the body is exposed to direct heat and flame. Cremation is performed by placing the deceased in a casket or other container and then placing the casket or container into a cremation chamber or retort, where they are subjected to intense heat and flame.
When after death can a cremation take place?
Because cremation is an irreversible process and because the process itself will eliminate any ability to determine exact cause of death, many states require that each cremation be authorized by the coroner or medical examiner. Some states have specific minimum time limits that must elapse before cremation may take place. Your local funeral service provider can advise you of applicable regulations, if any.
Is any other preparation required prior to cremation?
It is essential that pacemakers and other medical devices be removed prior to cremation. They may explode when subjected to high temperature, which can be hazardous to crematory staff and equipment. In addition, any special mementos, such as jewelry, will be destroyed during the cremation process. Anything you wish to keep should be removed by the funeral director before the casket or container is transferred to the crematory.
Is it true that the bones are crushed after cremation? I've heard you don't get ashes back -- what do you get?
A complete cremation is a two-step process. Firstly, the actual exposure of the deceased to several hours of intense heat and flame; after which the remains are mostly ash except for certain bone fragments, then the entire remaining ash and fragment volume is gathered and run through a processor, creating a uniform powder-like texture.
Why is refrigeration of the remains necessary?
Due to the irreversible nature of cremation, most states require a waiting period before the actual process may begin. Unless a body is embalmed, refrigeration is the only alternative available that will retard tissue decomposition. Refrigeration is a necessity that protects family and friends, the crematory operator and the general public from potential health hazards.
Is embalming necessary for cremation?
No. In most cases, it is your choice. It may depend on such factors as whether the family selected a service with a public viewing of the body, whether there is to be a funeral service, or whether there is refrigeration available. Embalming may also be necessary if the body is going to be transported by air or rail, or because of the length of time prior to the cremation.
Is a casket required?
No. For sanitary reasons, ease of placement and dignity, many crematories require that the deceased be cremated in a combustible, leak proof, rigid, covered container. This does not need to be a casket as such. What is required is an enclosed, rigid, container made of wood or other combustible material to allow for the dignified handling of human remains. The type of casket or container selected is really a personal decision. Caskets and containers are available in a wide variety of materials ranging from simple cardboard containers to beautifully handcrafted oak, maple or mahogany caskets.
Are there special cremation caskets?
There is a choice of very affordable cremation caskets that are completely combustible. The selection includes options from a simple pine or cloth-covered casket to a hardwood casket.
Can a casket be rented instead of purchased when choosing cremation?
Many funeral homes offer a hardwood ceremonial casket for viewing or funeral services prior to cremation. The ceremonial (or rental) casket is specifically designed to provide a very aesthetically pleasing, affordable and environmentally prudent alternative to purchasing a casket for a cremation service.
Can I bring my own urn?
Yes — It would be advisable that you discuss this situation with your cremation provider prior to the cremation. The size of your urn will be of great importance if you plan to have all of the cremated remains included in this container.
Can I watch the cremation?
Arrangements can usually be made through the funeral home or crematory for relatives or representatives of the deceased to witness the cremation.
Do all funeral homes and cemeteries have a crematory?
No – actually only a small percentage of cremation service providers have their own cremation units.
Is cremation a substitution for a funeral?
No, cremation is simply a method of preparing human remains for final disposition.
Do I have to make different funeral arrangements if I chose cremation?
It really depends entirely on how you wish to commemorate a life. One of the advantages of cremation is that it provides you with increased flexibility when you make your funeral and cemetery arrangements. You might, for example, choose to have a funeral service before the cremation; a memorial service at the time of cremation or after the cremation with the urn present; or a committal service at the final disposition of cremated remains. Funeral or memorial services can be held in a place of worship, a funeral home or in a crematory chapel.