CREMATION: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Each of our dedicated arrangers is trained to provide helpful information and advice to all who inquire with questions regarding cremation service options. Our goal is to help tailor every service to fit the desires and needs for each unique situation and request. Offering services that provide lasting value in the memories that they provide is of utmost importance to us. We are cremation specialists.
What is cremation?
It is a process that reduces the body to bone fragments through application of intense heat. The process of cremation begins with an identification procedure that is designed to provide peace of mind to family members and ensure the integrity of the cremated remains. Because cremation is an irreversible process, positive identification of the deceased is crucial. Once positive identification is known and all necessary authorizations and permits have been obtained the cremation casket or container is placed in to the cremation chamber. The casket or container is then exposed to intense heat and flame for a period of approximately 2-3 hours. The exact length of time necessary for cremation will vary depending on the size and weight of the deceased. Temperatures will range from 1500 to 1800 degrees. During the cremation process all matter will be consumed except certain bone fragments and non-combustible items such as prosthesis and casket hinges.
After cremation is complete, a cooling down period is required prior to the recovery of the cremated remains. Following the cooling down period, the cremated remains are carefully gathered from the cremation chamber and all non-combustible items are separated and disposed of properly. The remaining bone fragments are further processed, reducing them to a fine, grayish-white, granular or powdery consistency that generally weighs between 4 to 8 pounds. Crematory personnel then carefully place the cremated remains into an urn selected by the family or into a container designed for temporary storage.
Why do people select cremation?
Families may choose cremation for several different reasons, ranging from religious beliefs, environmental concerns, to cost factors. The simplicity and dignity of cremation, the flexibility that cremation affords in ceremony planning and final disposition all add to its increasing popularity.
What are my options for cremation?
When considering cremation you can decide whether to have a public or private viewing, or no viewing at all. Your family will also consider what type of service would be most appropriate, a service with the casket present or a memorial gathering with an urn. Some individuals may choose to have a viewing followed by a ceremony at a later date and others may wish to have a ceremony in conjunction with the burial or scattering of the cremated remains. Arrangements can be elaborate or simple and traditional or non traditional. They may be personalized specifically to reflect the life of the deceased, and thus have special meaning. Beecher & Bennett staff is able to assist with all of your planning needs.
Is a casket required for cremation?
No, a casket is not required for cremation. Crematory requirements state that the body must be placed in a rigid closed container constructed of fiberboard or wood which is cremated with the body. A casket may be selected for arrangements which include public viewing and visitation before cremation.
Can the family witness the cremation?
Yes, in many cases family members choose to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber. Some religious groups include this as part of their funeral custom.
What can be done with the cremated remains?
Most commonly, remains are buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, inurned in a columbarium niche, kept at home, or scattered. When scattering, care must be observed to abide by local laws. There are also private companies that offer scattering at sea.
Do I need an urn?
An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service, or the remains are interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not purchased through us, or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container.
Are all cremated remains returned?
With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber, the processing machine, and brushes, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family.
Beecher & Bennett's Cremation Code of Ethics
- We believe in dignity, respect in the care of the deceased and compassion for the living who survive them.
- You have the right to select services from our General Price List.
- You have a right to view and select from a variety of cremation merchandise that is used in cremation process (cremation containers) and that is used to subsequently contain the cremated remains (Urns)
- You have the right to understand all facets of the cremation process and to have all questions answered prior to signing the Cremation Authorization Form.
- You will be advised of all funeral home policies and applicable legal requirements prior to finalizing cremation arrangements.
- The cremation process will be provided in an atmosphere of respect by all.
Identification of The Body
- Due to the fact that cremation is an irreversible process, positive identification of the deceased is imperative.
- If the body is transferred from a residence or health care facility positive identification can be established.
- When the body is transferred from a hospital or medical examiner facility, when the chain of custody is interrupted it is in the best interests of the survivors, the funeral home and crematory personnel to insure the correct identification of the deceased before cremation.
- Unless the deceased is embalmed for public viewing or funeral before cremation, the identification must be for a limited time and may be done by anyone who represents their ability to do so.
- Prior to identification, the mouth and eyes of the deceased are closed by accepted methods of mortuary science (for aesthetic purposes). A disinfectant topical cleansing is performed when embalming is declined.
Cremation Authorization Form
Download PDF of Cremation Authorization Form for printing here *
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