Planning a funeral for a loved one is not an easy task. The process can be especially emotional when you are unsure of how to fulfill the wishes of your friend or family member. This is especially true when a family member requests cremation as a substitute for a more traditional burial service.
Many people are choosing cremation over a more traditional burial. Yet, their loved ones have no clue how to plan a cremation service in a way that honors the deceased or what cremation entails. You may feel lost and alone when it comes to cremation or planning the service, but you are not. If you are faced with this daunting issue, I urge you to read further for tips and traditions related to cremation services.
What Constitutes A Cremation Service?
If your loved one has requested cremation, there are many ways to honor their remains. Cremation services have become a renowned and respectable way to celebrate the life of a loved one who has passed away.
After the cremation, which is a precise process performed by specialized individuals, the ashes (also known as cremains) are delivered to the designated funeral home. Common ceremonial activities involving the ashes include scattering, burial or placement in a mausoleum, and presentation of the ashes in a cremation urn to the family.
Cremation Memorial Services
The most common ceremony associated with cremations are memorial services. This service is a way for loved ones to grieve the life lost, to say goodbye, or to celebrate the life lived. When it comes to a memorial service, you will want to think about how the service can best honor the life of your loved one. During the memorial service, you can display pictures and/or items that honor and celebrate the life of the deceased. Cremation urns are are often displayed during this service. As with a traditional burial service, many people choose to send funeral flowers and plants as a way to offer their condolences at this service. This type of cremation service is typically performed at a religious location or a place with special significance to the deceased.
Cremation memorial services do not have to differ from those of the burial services. Casket viewings and visitations may be performed with the body before undergoing cremation. The other option is to have a direct cremation, followed by either a traditional funeral service or scattering of the ashes.
No matter what type of memorial service you choose, you should include pictures, flowers, and treasured items that reflect the life of the loved one. If the details were not specified by the deceased, you should choose a location, speaker, music, etc. that would satisfy the religious and/or personal wishes of the deceased.
Other Cremation Services
Below you can find a detailed description of each cremation service offered. You will find a comparison between cremation services and traditional burial services as well.
- Scattering the Ashes (Cremains): scattering is more often a tradition requested by the deceased before passing. It is likely that you may already know where they would like to have their ashes scattered. The location is often a place of sentiment for the deceased. It is important to check into legal regulations of the area you wish to scatter the remains.Many funeral homes assist in scattering the ashes aerially, off a cliff/mountain, into bodies of water etc. However, family members can scatter the ashes without the assistance of a funeral home. Scattering urns can be purchased to make the process easier and more respectful.
- Burials/Mausoleum Placement: cremation urns containing the remains of your loved one may also be buried. This cremation tradition is the most common because the process involves a funeral and burial service. The urns can also be placed in mausoleums, often a less expensive alternative.Typically, the urns used for burials are not adorned with the same intricate designs as keepsake cremation urns. These urns are solid colors and the materials used are either wood or ceramic.
- Keepsake Cremation Urns: if you do not plan on scattering the ashes, keeping the remains in a keepsake urn is the best method for permanent interment. This option is less expensive than a burial. The keepsake urns come in many shapes, sizes and colors giving you the ability to honor your loved one in a personalized fashion. The urns are typically kept at the home of the closest relative or friend of the deceased.
Compare Costs of Cremation to Burial
Cremation services can start out at 1/5 the cost of the average burial service ($5000). Although it is possible to spend thousands of dollars on cremation services, they are often a more affordable option depending on the region in which you live.