Cremation practice in recent years has become as common as traditional burial around the globe. Unforgiven the stats, about half of the Americans prefer cremation over burial. The numbers by the end of 2035 are expected to increase by 78%. How Does Cremation Work?
There are several factors leading to the rise of the cremation process. Here are some of them-
• Decrease religious affiliation
The report states that less than 40% of the Americans choose a religious funeral today.
• Increase in environmental awareness
With the increase in environmental awareness, people choose cremation to reduce land use, preserve natural resources like hardwood, and avoid the use of chemicals for the embalming process.
• Low cost
As compared to burial, cremation is less expensive and still allows the families of the deceased to hold the traditional service.
• More personalized
Cremation offers a choice of storing or scattering remains of the deceased. Thus, offers meaning of options that represent the decease in a better way.
• Flexible timing
In the case of burials, prompt attention is required. However, cremation allows time for the family to gather and makes final arrangements for the deceased.
Want to know if the cremation process is what you want for your loved one? Are you confused if cremation is the right choice for your loved one? Well, don’t worry, we have got you covered here.
To understand the cremation process, here in the article, we have covered all the required information starting from the process of FAQs that will help you decide if it is the right choice for you and your family.
How does cremation work?
The process of cremation usually depends on the location and the services performed. However, in general, a process of cremation takes place in the following manner-
• Identification of the deceased
The regulations for the identification of the deceased varies from state to state. The facilities decide their specific procedures based on various factors like industry recommendations. However, typically the identification process involves a family member confirming the identity of the deceased.
Once the body is identified, a metal ID tag is placed on it, which remains on it throughout the process and then is finally put to remains for the final verification.
• Authorising the procedure for cremation work
The crematory authority, before moving forward with the cremation process, must take official permission. Moreover, it is essential that the person making the final arrangements for the cremation must complete the paperwork that would authorize the crematory to carry forward the process.
The paperwork requires the person to fulfill information about the type of container, the crematory should use and who will be responsible for picking up the remains.
• Preparing the body
In general, the facilities handle the body’s preparation on their own, but usually, it involves cleaning and dressing. For a typical cremation process, there is no requirement for the body’s embalmment unless the beneficiary is requested for a public viewing or any other personal reason.
Any jewelry or items worn by the body is taken off for the loved ones to keep, except those that have been requested to stay with the body. The medical devices and prosthetics are medical or battery-operated jewelry or items removed from the body to avoid a reaction.
Finally, the body is placed inside a combustible vessel that is strong enough to hold its weight.
• Taking into the cremation chamber
The process of cremation takes place in a specially designed furnace, known as a cremation chamber or retort.
The body inside this chamber is exposed to an extreme temperature of 1800 degrees Fahrenheit, which only leaves behind ashes. Then there is a cooling period before the ashes are collected.
• Finalizing the remains
Once the process of cremation has taken place, the ashes are inspected for any metal remnants left behind. It can be from any items like screws, pins, and joints surgically placed inside the body of deceased during life.
The metals, if any found, are removed using hands or with strong magnets and are then sent for recycling. At the same time, the cremated remains are then ground down by a special processor into the final resulting ashes.
• Returning the ashes
Unless any specified restrictions are imposed, the remains of the deceased are placed in a urn, or any other container is returned to the family.
How long does the cremation process take?
Cremation is one of the most efficient traditional cremation process that can be completed in a shorter duration. However, the process of cremation depends on the factors like size and weight of the body, the type of container holding the body, and the efficiency of the equipment used for cremation.
The actual cremation process takes about 2 to 3 hours for a flame-based process and up to 16 hours for liquid cremation.
Note- Every crematory has policies regarding how long it will take to have the remains ready for the cremation.
What is a cremation chamber or crematorium?
The cremation chamber or retort is a specifically designed industrial furnace to hold one body. It is lined with fire-resistant bricks and is capable of withstanding temperature up to 2000 degrees.
Modern cremation furnaces are well equipped with automatic and computerized functioning and are fuelled with natural gas, diesel, or propane.
The crematorium is the term used for the facility that houses the cremation chamber or retort. It is possible for a crematorium to have multiple chambers. They can be a part of a funeral home, standalone facility, or Church.
Types of the cremation process
As compared to traditional burial methods, the process of cremation typically does not require embalming or unnecessary large burial plots. Also, there are a couple of different options that can be chosen for the process of cremation.
• Direct cremation
In the case of direct cremation, the body is transferred directly to the cremation center without having a funeral service beforehand. It is considered the cheapest type of cremation as it eliminates the need for funeral service and casket purchase.
This type of cremation process does not allow for a viewing, wake, or visitation beforehand. The families have to schedule a memorial service on a later date for friends and family to pay their respects for the deceased.
• Liquid cremation
It is an alternative to flame cremation. With a combination of alkali, water, heat, and pressure, the process of decomposition speeds up and leaves behind only bone fragments and sterile liquid.
This type of cremation process results in about 30% more remains than flame-based cremation. However, the process takes about 3 to 16 hours, depending on the equipment and body mass.
• Green cremation
The green alternative to direct cremation is alkaline hydrolysis. Once the body is drained of remaining bone fragments, the resulting sterile solution is recycled through the wastewater treatment system.
This process of cremation is highly recommended and opted by environmentally conscious individuals due to the various environmental benefits it offers. In addition to its ability to recycle the liquid by-product, it is an environmentally friendly choice for several other reasons like-
1. The carbon footprint of the body is reduced by 75%
2. This process of remission uses only 1/8 of the total amount of energy used by a conventional flame-based cremation
3. As there is no usage of flame, this cremation process eliminates any concerns regarding the emission of mercury and thus reduces the use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gases.
What happens to the body during the cremation process?
The different process of cremation uses different technologies to affect the body. In the traditional methods for creation process, the body is placed inside a cremation chamber that reduces the body to bone fragments with the use of flame and heat.
The combustion of the body takes place in two stages. At first bones, organs, tissues, body fat, and some other container materials like gases gets decomposed. While the combinations work on the remaining inorganic particles and, finally, the gasses discharge, leaving the bone fragments pulverized into ashes.
In the alkaline hydrolysis cremation process, the body is placed inside a pressurized stainless steel chamber, that with a combination of 95% water and 5% alkali, raises the temperature to 350 degrees. Thus, speeds of the natural process of decomposition which can take up to 25 years.
The alkaline used in the process breaks the chemical bonds of the body and converts them into basic chemicals of calcium phosphate from bone fragments. The liquid containing tissue remnants like water, salts, and amino acids is sterilized. The bone is finally processed into ashes, and the liquid is disposed of into the water waste system.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What type of containers are used for the cremation process?
Though there are special caskets designed for the process of cremation, the container can also be simple box of cardboard. The only requirement that must be kept in mind is that the container must be combustible, non-toxic, and sturdy enough to hold the body’s weight.
2. What is the Cost of cremation?
Generally, the cost of the cremation process is lower than that of burial. However, the cost varies greatly depending on the type of products and services selected.
A cost of cremation process includes-
• Transfer of the deceased body
• Services of the licensed professional and staff
• Dignified care of the deceased i.e., required embalming or refrigeration
• Selected cremation services
• Type of cremation container selected
• Final resting place
Other studies here are the fees that can be included in the total cost-
• Remembrance items
• Catered events
• Stationery products
In the case of cremation, one has the option to rent some of the items rather than purchase it.
Based on the product and services chosen for the cremation process, the final cost varies from $2,000 for a simple cremation to $10,000 for a full-service cremation proces
3. What containers are used to keep the remains?
The crematorium usually places the remains in a sealed airtight container or bag. They can be placed inside virtually any receptacle.
4. What are the essential Legal requirements for funeral and cremation?
The process of cremation is regulated at the state level, and the laws of the state dictate the practices for the cremation, license meaning, and documentation.how does cremation work
In general, there are three basic legal requirements to meet it before a cremation process. They are-
• There must be a minimum 24 hours elapse between the date and time of cremation unless the legal authorities grant a waiver
• All legally authorized written formation must be gained by the individual for the process of cremation
• Before the cremation process, it is necessary that the body of the deceased is identified and has been performed by a family member, a trusted neighbor or friend or via photograph
• A burial transmit permit for cremation must be kept secured for the country registrar where the death has occurred.
The required forms are provided by the law-abiding funeral homes that authorize the loved ones for cremation.
Once determined that you are authorized for cremation, you need to gather personal information about your loved ones and details about their wishes. Now you need to select the type of container you would like your loved one to be placed in and said choose the final deposition method.
5. What happens to the remains after the process of cremation?
The process of cremation allows for more personalized storage than a traditional burial process. The remains can be moved easily, so if they deceased’s family relocates, the remains of the deceased can be relocated with them.
Some of the choices include-
• Adding remains to a unique locket or piece of jewelry
• Placing the remains in a memorial bench, sculpture or a tree plot
• Converting the remains into a gem like that to a diamond
• Scattering the ashes in a natural area that was had a special significance to the deceased.
6. Difference between cremation and burial?
In the process of burial, the deceased body is placed in a grave and buried in the ground. Before burial, the deceased’s friends and family hold a visitation, gathering, funeral, or memorial for the deceased.
These particular services for the disease can occur anywhere at a funeral home or a church or a place of special significance to the deceased.
Cremation is not a substitute for any of the services. However, the memorial services or the funeral can be conducted before or after the process of cremation and may or may not have the body’s presence. Additionally, the cremation produces cremains that is given to the family.
7. What are the human ashes made up of?
The remains consist mostly of bone fragments along with any residue left from the container or other associated results of the cremation.
8. What type of Cremation services can be conducted?
The process of cremation service offers same options as burial. It can be a simple gathering to a full viewing or formal service. However, the families have the option to choose if they want the service before or after the process of cremation.
Also, they can decide if they want the body to be present at the services or not. Here are some of the common cremation services-
Also known as a visitation or gathering, a wake usually takes place before the process of cremation. In this cremation service, the body is present for the people to pay their respect and offer condolences to the loved ones of the deceased.
The service can occur at a funeral home or Church and normally last up to a few hours.
A funeral is the cremation conducted to honor the deceased with a cremation to follow. The ceremony takes place within a week of the death of the person.
In this service, the casket is carried to the front of the Church, gathering or at the funeral home for the attendees. Although the deceased’s body is present at the gathering, it is up to the family if they want to keep the casket open or closed.
• Memorial service
A memorial service is just like a funeral. However, the only difference is the body is not present at this time. Discrimination service takes place within a day or two of the death of the person.
The deceased’s cremains is displayed in and on with the friends and family present in the gathering. The service usually takes place at a funeral home, a place of significance to the deceased or Church.how does cremation work
• Offsite gathering
Followed by a funeral or a memorial service, the deceased’s family may choose to hold an offsite gathering. This service can be held at the favorite park or restaurant or at a location that the deceased loved.
Cremation services differ based on what you choose. It can be a simple, direct, or complete cremation service.
However, no matter what type of services you choose, a reputed cremation provider would provide you with a transparent chain of custody throughout the cremation process, which means the chronological documentation of the custody, analysis, control, transfer, and disposition of the remains and personal property.
Some of the funeral homes use third party providers or a standalone crematory where the body is temporarily left under the funeral home’s care.
While the others have got an onsite crematory to ensure that the body remains under the care of 1 facility throughout the entire process of cremation and thus, there is proper maintenance of a controlled chain of custody.
9. How much is Ash left behind after the cremation process?
The amount of ashes usually depends on the body’s size and specific processes used by the crematory. However, there are often 3-9 pounds of remains.
10. What are the products required for the cremation process?
The products used for cremation vary in style and price and are often dictated by the type of services the family wants to have for the deceased.
For instance, if the family is planning to have a formal funeral followed by a cremation, they will need to purchase or rent a cremation casket.
Keeping aside the type of service chosen, a fully combustible container is essential for the cremation process, which will allow your loved one to be placed into the cremation chamber.
There are funeral homes that keep sample products of the cremation products on site. Thus allows the family and friends of the deceased to browse to the available cremation products with them.
The products can include decorative urns, cremation caskets, and keepsake jewelry like a thumbprint, glass, and necklace that can hold cremains. \
By choosing to buy this item at a funeral home, you can see, feel, and touch each item to ensure that the product is of high quality and value.
11. Do the bodies move during the process of cremation?
In case the body is burned at low temperature quickly after death, then there are possibilities of movement. However, due to the efficiency of the modern cremation chambers, the body immediately begins to dissolve, and the movements are unlikely to happen.
Although the process of cremation costs lower than the traditional burial process, they still come with high costs. If you are considering a cremation process for yourself or a loved one, it is essential to think about how you will pay for the procedures and the cremation services.
It will not just help you to settle up but will make the complete process easy and hassle-free.
The best shot is to cover the final expenses from your life insurance, also known as burial insurance or funeral insurance. They are specifically designed to help cover up the end of life expenses like funeral and cremation cost.
Do not led the heavy expense fall on you and share it with the ones who care are available as for the investment you have been making since years upon the same.
We hope that the details mentioned above have cleared your mind about how does cremation works. However, it ultimately depends on you what you choose in the end, as giving a final farewell to your loved one must be personalized and productive.how does cremation work