Cremation is an alternative to the burial process. Cremation occurs when 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. Cremation is an alternative to burial or other forms of disposition.
Services for a person who desires cremation can occur before or after the cremation takes place:
- Cremation following funeral (body present)
- Memorial Service (cremated remains may be present in an urn or may not be present)
- Direct Cremation (without ceremony)
Following any services, cremated remains can be scattered on private property or buried, or they may be kept with the family in a urn.
Common Cremation Questions
Is a casket needed for Cremation? No, a casket is not required, most states require an alternative container constructed of a material such as wood or cardboard. Missouri does require an alternative container. However, some families select a simple casket designed for cremation when they desire to have a service with the body present prior to cremation.
Is embalming required prior to cremation? No. In fact it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.
Can the body be viewed without embalming? Yes, we encourage immediate family members to briefly view the deceased prior to cremation.
Can the family witness the cremation? Yes they can. Our cremation provider allows family members to be present when the body is placed in the cremation chamber and they may remain present until the body is removed from the cremation chamber.
What can be done with the cremated remains? While laws vary from state to state, for the most part remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or a cremation garden, interred in a columbarium, kept at home or scattered on your private property.
How can I be sure I receive the correct remains? Our cremation provider has developed a rigorous sets of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize the level of service and minimize the potential for human error. Our staff personally ensures to the following of these guidelines for every cremation.
How long does the actual cremation take? It all depends on the weight of the individual. For an average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
What do the cremated remains look like? Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an average sized adult usually weighs between 7 and 8 pounds.
Are all the cremated remains returned? With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family.
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 if the remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not purchased or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container.