Why cremation? Some people like the idea of a simple funeral process; others prefer cremation to the decomposition process that occurs in a burial. For others, it’s cost; a cremation is often – but not always – less expensive than a funeral and burial in a traditional casket.
For a whatever reason, cremation has been growing in popularity over the past 10 years or so. Even as late as 1998, the cremation rate in the United States was just 28 percent. Today, the number of cremations has surpassed burials, and by 2030, the cremation rate is expected to be over 70 percent. New Hampshire is among the top 10 states when it comes to cremation at almost 72 percent.
Still, many people aren’t really familiar with the cremation process, and may misunderstand the process, which is simple and dignified. If you’d like to learn more about cremation, read on: Here are 5 facts you may not have known:
- Cremation does not involve fire.
It’s true: The deceased’s body is placed in a special furnace that reaches extremely high temperatures – 1,500 to 2,000 degrees F. The entire process takes two to three hours, and there is never any flame involved.
- Cremains are not ashes.
Cremation reduces the body to bone fragments. Those are placed in a processing machine that makes the fragments a consistent size. The final material – known as cremains – is then placed in a container. Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light gray in color, with a weight of between 4 to 6 pounds for an adult.
- Most religions allow cremation.
A few – such as Orthodox Jews and Muslims, Eastern Orthodox and some Fundamentalist Christians – don’t, but most others do. Most Protestant churches accepted cremation in the early 1900s, while the Catholic ban on cremation was lifted by the Pope in 1963.
- You can only cremate one body at a time.
You may have heard horror stories about the cremains of loved ones being mixed up with the cremains of other people, but that won’t happen. Not only is it illegal put more than one body in the cremation chamber, most aren’t big enough to fit more than one. Our 10-Step Cremation Process ensures human error is minimized and that the cremains you receive are the correct ones. However, if you would like your cremains to be mixed with those of a loved one, you can get a companion urn created for that
- Neither a casket nor embalming is required for cremation.
All that is required by state law is an alternative container constructed of wood to be cremated with the body. Embalming is absolutely not necessary and it’s against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.In addition, you do not have to buy an urn from the crematorium or funeral home, but you do need to provide a container of at least 200 cubic inches that can accommodate the cremated remains.