Types of Cremation Services

Cremation does not limit choices with regards to a funeral service. For some, planning an appropriate, personalized service can be an important step in grieving and accepting the death of a loved one. The funeral service honors the memory of the loved one and allows the family, friends, and community an opportunity to share in the final good-bye. There are three basic options for cremation.

Traditional Funeral Service followed by Cremation

A funeral service followed by cremation will be like a traditional funeral service except cremation will follow instead of burial in a casket. With a traditional funeral, there is usually a visitation for public viewing and a funeral service typically within two to three days of the death.

A cremation casket (casket that is designed to be cremated) or a rental casket is used. The service can be held at a church or funeral home chapel, and the casket can be opened or closed during visitation. The actual cremation would be performed after the funeral and the cremated remains returned to the family.

The funeral service is usually led by a member of the clergy or a funeral celebrant, and typically takes place in a church or funeral home chapel.  A typical service might include scripture readings, prayers, or sermon if the deceased was religious, or elements that are not religious in nature such as a eulogy, music and the sharing of stories.

Following the viewing, service or ceremony, and eventual cremation, the cremated remains can be buried, properly scattered, or returned to the family for safekeeping.

Memorial Service

A memorial service can be described as a funeral service without the body present. The cremation usually takes place within a day or two following the death, and then the memorial service takes place sometime after, which in some cases may be weeks or months after the death.

Typically, an urn would be present at the Memorial Service, which may or may not be religious, and can be held at the funeral home, a church, or any place that is meaningful such as a park, beach or other reception area.

The final disposition of the remains would typically take place after the service, which might include taking the urn home, burying the urn at a cemetery, placing the urn in a cremation niche or scattering the ashes somewhere meaningful.

Direct Cremation

This is the most basic type of service and is sometimes called “Immediate Cremation” or even “Simple Cremation”.  The body is cremated and the cremated remains are returned to the family without a funeral, graveside service or a memorial.