Learn About Cremation



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Types of Cremation Services

Cremation doesn’t preclude having a funeral service, or limit your options if you’d like to have one. Planning a personalized service can be an important step in grieving and accepting the death of a loved one. The funeral service allows family, friends, and community an opportunity to gather and share in honoring the memory and celebrating the life of the person you’ve lost.

There are three basic options for cremation:

Traditional Funeral Service Followed By Cremation

As 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. The service is followed by cremation rather than burial in a casket.

A cremation casket, specifically designed to be used in the cremation process, or a rental casket is used. The service can be held at a church, funeral chapel, or another place that has meaning to the loved one or family, and the casket can be open or closed during visitation.

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

Memorial Service

A memorial service is, essentially, a funeral service without the body of the deceased present. The cremation usually takes place a day or two following the death, and the memorial service takes place sometime after – in some cases, weeks or months after the death.

An urn holding the ashes may be present at the service, held at a funeral home, a church, or any place that is meaningful, such as a park.

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 simple cremation. The body is cremated, and the cremated remains are returned to the family without a funeral, graveside, or memorial service. Read more about direct cremation.