Cremation is another form of disposition or handling a body after death. However, many people don’t know what happens during cremation.
Cremation takes place in a carefully maintained facility known as a crematory or crematorium. The funeral home may or may not have its own crematory on site, but your funeral director can take care of all arrangements either way.
Within the crematory is a special cremation chamber. The body is placed in a cremation container or casket and positioned inside the cremation chamber. Once the container or casket is in the cremation chamber, the door is tightly sealed. The operator then turns on gas jets, which create intense heat that reduces the body to bone fragments. This process takes approximately 2-3 hours.
After the cremation, the remains are collected and processed to the consistency of sand or a finer ash. The white or grayish remains, often called cremated remains at this stage, are then sealed in a transparent plastic bag along with an identification tag. The bag weighs about 5 lbs. and will often be returned to the family in a selected urn, which can then be buried, placed in a niche inside a columbarium, taken home or transported for scattering. Additionally, the cremated remains can be separated and placed into multiple urns, keepsakes or even jewelry specifically designed as a final resting place.
Cremation is a respectful, dignified process chosen by many families. However, some faiths discourage or prohibit cremation. If you plan to hold a religious funeral ceremony or have the remains buried in a church cemetery, check in advance to make sure there are no issues.
You may have many questions left so we have provided some commonly asked questions for you.
How are bodies prepared for a cremation?
Just like burial, the body is bathed, cleaned, and dressed before identification. Embalming is only needed if you plan to have a public viewing, or you request it. Furthermore, the technician removes any jewelry or other items that you would like to keep.
What happens to the body during cremation?
In the traditional flame-based method, the body is placed into a retort or cremation chamber that reduces the body to bone fragments using flame and heat. After that, the ashes are then collected and put in a container or urn.
Do you have clothes on when you are cremated?
When cremating a body, you can either have clothes on or without one. Typically, if there has been a traditional funeral present, the deceased will be cremated in whatever clothing they were wearing at that time.
How long does it take to get ashes after cremation?
After the body is cremated, it usually takes seven to ten days to return the ashes to the family. The crematorium will schedule a day and time to deliver the ashes to you.