Talking About Funeral Home Products and Services

Understanding Cremation: Your Most Pressing Questions Answered

While traditional burials are relatively well understood by most people, cremation may not seem as straightforward. This may be due to the fact that cremation was extremely rare in the United States before 1876 when the first crematorium was constructed in the state of Pennsylvania. This relatively short history of cremation in America is a major reason why many people have questions about the process. If you are considering cremation as part of planning your final arrangements, the following information is designed to answer many of your most pressing questions. 

What temperature and period of time are required for the cremation process? 

The optimum temperature used during the cremation process can range from 1,400 to 1,800 degrees and take 2 to 2.5 hours to complete. Once the exposure to flame and heat is completed, the remains of the body are processed to crush any remaining bone fragments and create a texture that is more uniform. 

Is the body encased inside a casket or container for the cremation process?  

While the body does not technically have to be contained during the cremation process, many crematoriums do require the use of some type of combustible, leak-proof container to make the process neater and more hygienic. Many suitable options are usually available for this process, ranging from compressed cardboard to solid wood. 

Are group cremations legal? 

In most areas, there are laws in force that require cremations to be performed individually. 

Must the body be embalmed before cremation? 

While there is no requirement for embalming before cremation, many people do opt for embalming for other reasons, such as: 

  • if a public viewing is planned as part of the final arrangements
  • if the body must be transported long distances
  • if the body must be held for an extended period of time before the cremation is done

In most states, a body must be held at least 48 hours before cremation can take place, unless this requirement is waived by a properly authorized official, such as a medical examiner. 

What kind of urn is required to hold the ashes after cremation?

The crematorium or funeral home you choose for your final arrangements can provide you with several options for an urn to hold the ashes after cremation. In most cases, it is also possible for you to provide your own urn, as long as it meets basic guidelines, such as being able to be sealed securely and made of unbreakable materials. 

To learn more about cremation, take time to discuss your needs and concerns with a reputable crematorium like American Cremation Society (Ridgemoor Chapels)