When considering cremation, today's families are concerned with many complex issues: how cremation affects the environment (especially when compared to traditional burial), personal finances and faith being amongst the top three. If you, or a family member, are curious about cremation or wondering if cremation is the right option for your situation, we invite you to read the articles in this section. And of course, if you have concerns or additional questions, we ask that you connect with us by calling (717) 432-5312. We will be pleased to take part in your cremation conversation.
Part of making funeral arrangements on behalf of a loved one involves choosing between burial of the body, or cremation. Certainly this is a big decision, based on any number of factors: religious or spiritual beliefs, finances, or ecological awareness are just some of the reasons we've heard for choosing cremation. Before you can make the choice, you need to know exactly what it is you're considering. You can learn the basics below, however, if the content here raises additional questions for you, please give us a call. One of our cremation specialists will address any of your inquiries or concerns.
Cremation services are becoming an increasingly common choice. We understand that this is not an easy topic to think about and discuss with your family.
The reasons for choosing cremation are varied and personal. You may choose cremation based on environmental considerations, philosophical or religious reasons, or even because you feel it is simpler or less complicated.
You may also choose cremation because it can be less expensive than traditional burial, although cremations vary widely in price based on your personal selections.
Regardless of the reason, cremation is only half of the story. Your plans for a viewing, visitation, funeral, or memorial service don’t have to change if you choose cremation.
You may wish to keep the remains at your home for a time, until you feel ready to let go of them, or when all family members can be present for a scattering ceremony.
Our professional Funeral Directors can advise you on unique ways to memorialize a loved one using the cremated remains, including the creation of art glass objects. We also offer a wide selection of cremation keepsake jewelry.
We can also recommend firms in the area that specialize in scattering the cremated remains at sea, or in the air.
Once the cremation-over-burial decision has been made, all that's required is authorization. This is provided by the person who is the legally identified or appointed next-of-kin. Once all authorization documents are signed, and service charges are paid; the body can be transported from the place of death to the crematory and the cremation process can take place. However, there are some additional things you may wish to consider, such as:
Cremation Costs are Only One Reason
Given the religious, ethnic, and regional diversity among us, there are many other reasons for the dramatic rise in the number of cremations performed each year. According to Tyler Mathisen of NBC, one of those reasons "is the softening of the Catholic church's views of the practice. For centuries—until 1963, in fact—the church outlawed it. The church's laws still express a preference for burial. But the outright ban is a thing of the past."
He goes on to tell readers that the decline in nuclear families is another reason. "As more Americans live far from hometowns and parents, and as family burial plots have waned in popularity and accessibility, millions have turned to cremation as a practical and cost-effective way to care for a loved one's remains."
Cremation also allows a family the flexibility they may need in planning and preparing for a memorial service, celebration-of-life, or a scattering ceremony. While the cremation process can occur almost immediately (once all the proper paperwork is complete), the decisions required in planning a meaningful memorial for a loved one can be made in a relaxed, rational way.
You can also be sure that concern for the environment ranks high among many who choose cremation. Casketed and embalmed remains take up cemetery space and can pollute the ground water but many still question the amount of atmospheric pollution created by the cremation process.
Cremation has been a part of the human death experience for a very long time. If you would like to understand more about the cremation process we invite you to read this section. We'll also take a look at cremation costs that will help you with your decision.
Traditional cremation is the process of reducing a body at very high temperatures until it is nothing but brittle, calcified bones. These are then processed into what we commonly call ashes. Returned to the family in a temporary urn (or a more personal urn selected by the family), these ashes can be kept, buried, or scattered. Some families even choose to place a loved one's cremated remains in a hand-crafted piece of cremation art.
The container housing the remains, which can be a casket or an alternative container, is placed in the retort or cremating chamber. It takes anywhere from two to three hours to reduce an average adult to skeletal remains. When the cremated remains are cooled, they are processed to a uniformly-sized pebble-like substance and placed in an urn or temporary container. The funeral director then returns the cremated remains to the family.
Cremation costs vary dramatically depending on the services selected. Some cremation services can be priced comparable to that of a traditional burial. Visit our page, Our Cremation Options to see all the options available. While it's true that cost is a big factor for many families, it's important to remember that cremation is simply a form of disposition, an alternative to burial or entombment, not funeral services as a whole. Coming to terms with the death of a loved one is important and can be achieved with a memorial service. Bringing family and friends together provides everyone with the opportunity to share memories and receive support.
We are caring cremation experts who promise each family we serve the highest level of:
Since every family is different and has unique needs, our funeral home knows it’s important to offer families in the Dillsburg area an array of various affordable cremation options, some of these include:
Direct Cremation Services
Direct cremation, also known as a simple cremation, is when the decedent is cremated without any viewing or memorial services. The cremains can be placed in a variety of containers such as an urn. Families may want this option if they are not ready to have a memorial service right away or if the deceased did not want to have a service at all. Our direct cremation service includes the transportation of your loved one into our care, climate-controlled cremation housing, the cremation itself, and returning the cremains to back the family. We obtain all permitting necessary to perform the cremation and as well as the certified death certificates.
Direct Cremation Service with Private Family Viewing
Like the direct cremation service listed above, this option gives families the option to see their loved one prior to cremation. This takes place at the funeral home and is an option for immediate family members to say a private goodbye.
Cremation with a Memorial Service
For this service, the deceased will be cremated prior to the funeral service. The ashes will be placed in the container of your choice. Then, we will hold a funeral service in honor of your loved one. Funeral services often include an officiant or family members speaking to pay tribute to a loved one. Typically, the cremains in their desired container are present. Families choose this option if they do not want a viewing of their loved one’s body but still want a service.
Cremation with a Graveside Service
When choosing a graveside service, a service takes place after your loved one has been cremated. Then, friends and family will gather at the cemetery or grave plot for a funeral service. The service can include having a minister or family members speak at the graveside. At the end of the service, the deceased’s ashes will be buried — they can be buried as is or in a selected container such as an urn.
Cremation with a Celebration of Life Service
Like the services above, the deceased will be cremated prior to the celebration of life service. However, a celebration of life service is not necessarily the same as a traditional funeral service. This service option gives families more options for creativity and can be held in any venue of their choosing. It’s a time for family and friends to gather and share memories of the deceased.
Traditional Cremation Services
These are much like a traditional funeral. The body of the deceased, placed in a specially-selected cremation casket or a rental casket, is the focal point of the service. A visitation can take place prior to the funeral service and the cycle is completed with the cremation rather than a traditional burial. Once the cremation has occurred, the cremated remains are returned to your family. You can then decide to scatter, bury, or retain the cremated remains in an urn.
Of course, with any of these services, you can choose to have a funeral service viewing or visitation before cremation. With this option, the deceased will be embalmed and prepared for a viewing. Then later they are cremated, and the family will receive their ashes.
Contact us today to explore cremation options, and the many creative ways you can memorialize a loved one either before, or after, the cremation has occurred.
The Cremation Association of North America describes cremation as, "The mechanical and/or thermal or other dissolution process that reduces human remains to bone fragments".
As we said earlier, people choose cremation over burial of casketed remains for any combination of reasons. Sometimes it's the simple fear of burial itself, which may stem directly from the Victorian phobia of being buried alive.
Sit down with us to discuss your cremation options. We appreciate the opportunity to share our insights and experience to fully support you in making end-of-life decisions for you and your family. Call us at (717) 432-5312 to schedule an appointment.