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Scattering at Sea

Informed families make wiser decisions

What is Cremation?

Cremation is the process by which a body is exposed to extreme heat, usually 1800 - 2000 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours or more. Through this process the body is reduced to its basic elements, which are referred to as the "cremated body" or "cremated remains". Cremation occurs at a crematorium in a special kind of furnace called a cremation chamber or retort. It may surprise many to learn that ashes are not the final result since cremated remains have neither the appearance nor the chemical properties of ashes. They are, in fact, bone fragments. These fragments are further reduced in size through a mechanical process. After preparation, these elements are placed in a temporary container that is suitable for transport. Depending upon the size of the body, there are normally three to nine pounds of fragments resulting.

How can one be certain that all remains are kept separate, and receive the correct remains?

All responsible cremation providers have thorough operating policies and procedures in order to provide the highest level of service and reduce the possibility of human error. If you have questions, ask the cremation providers what procedures they use.

Is a casket required for a cremation to take place?

A casket is not required for a cremation to take place. All that is required is an alternative container in most states. The construction can be made of wood or cardboard, which is cremated with the body. In some states, no container is required.

Is it required for an embalming to take place prior to cremation?

This is completely untrue. Actually it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you it is required.

Do most funeral homes have a crematory onsite?

Most funeral homes have to contract out this very vital process to third party providers whereas the funeral home has very small or no control over the crematory's operating procedures. Often, the family incurs additional transportation operating cost and unnecessary delays. Several of the cremation providers listed on cremation info manage and operate their own cremation facility.

Are there any religions that do not approve of cremation?

Orthodox Judaism and Islam forbid cremation. Today, all of the Christian denominations allow cremation. All other main religions are happy for their members to choose to be cremated. (The Catholic Church accepts cremation as long as it is not chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teachings.)