Facts about Cremation
Cremation is an option
that's becoming increasingly popular. Today,
about 40% of families and individuals in California choose
cremation. Some prefer it due to its lower cost, some
for religious reasons, and still others because of their
views about land use or environmental concerns. Still,
many people know little about the cremation process itself
and what they should do with the cremated remains (commonly
called ashes). Cremation is simply one method of preparing
human remains for burial or interment. Throughout the
cremation process, the human remains are handled with
respect and dignity.
I have to make different funeral arrangements if I choose
It really depends entirely
on how you wish to commemorate a life. One of the advantages
of cremation is that it provides you with increased flexibility
when you make your funeral
and cemetery arrangements. You might, for example,
choose to have a funeral service before the cremation;
a memorial service at the time of cremation or after the
cremation with the urn
present; or a committal service at the final disposition
of cremated remains. Funeral or memorial services can
be held in a place of worship, a funeral home or in a
crematorium chapel. Whatever you choose, we can assist
you to give creative expression to your feelings and to
make the arrangements both personal and meaningful.
does the cremation take place?
All cremations take
place in a crematorium.
all religions permit cremation?
Some religions prefer
cremation; some do not recommend the practice; most permit
you to choose. Should you have any questions or concerns,
we suggest you speak with a member of your clergy, or
contact one of our Service Counselors.
a casket required?
No. What is required
is an enclosed, rigid, container made of wood
or other combustible material to allow for the dignified
handling of human remains. The type of casket
or container selected is really a personal decision. Caskets
and containers are available in a wide variety of materials
ranging from simple cardboard containers to beautifully
handcrafted oak, maple
or mahogany caskets.
the casket cremated with the human remains?
Yes. Under no circumstances
is the casket or container
opened by crematorium staff. If there are handles and
larger metal adornments on the casket
which can be removed in a dignified manner, they will
be, prior to the cremation taking place, as they may damage
the cremation equipment. Apart from that, the casket
or container is cremated exactly as it is received at
cremations done individually?
Yes. Only one casket
or container is cremated at a time.
No. It is your choice.
It may depend on such factors as whether or not there
will be viewing of the body with an open casket,
if the body is going to be transported by air or rail,
or the length of time prior to cremation, etc.
any other preparation required prior to cremation?
It is essential that
pacemakers and other medical devices be removed prior
to cremation. They may explode when subjected to high
temperatures, which can be hazardous to crematorium staff
and equipment. In addition, any special mementos, such
as jewelry, will be destroyed during the cremation process.
Anything you wish to keep should be removed by the funeral
director before the casket
or container is transferred to the crematorium.
you do the cremation right away?
Unless the specific
circumstances require otherwise, we will wait 48 hours
after the death before proceeding with the cremation.
documents are required prior to the cremation taking place?
A completed Application
for Cremation, a death certificate and a burial permit
showing that the death has been registered are the only
documents which are required for a cremation to take place.
happens during the cremation process?
The casket or container
is placed in the cremation chamber, where the temperature
is raised to approximately 1,700¼F. After approximately
1 1/2 hours, all organic matter is consumed by heat or
evaporation. The residue which is left is bone fragments,
known as cremated remains. The cremated remains are then
carefully removed from the cremation chamber. Any metal
is removed with a magnet and later disposed of in the
cemetery grounds. The cremated remains are then processed
into fine particles and are placed in the container provided
by the crematorium or placed into a cremation
urn purchased by the family, as instructed on the
Application for Cremation. The entire process takes approximately
three hours. Throughout the cremation process, a carefully
controlled labeling system ensures correct identification.
I witness the cremation?
Yes, if you wish. You
may witness the placing of the casket or container in
the cremation chamber. You may even start the cremation
process itself. The Service Counselor must be informed
of your wishes in advance, so that a mutually convenient
time can be arranged.
do I do with the cremated remains?
As mentioned, cremation
is just one step in the commemorative process _ the preparation
of human remains for memorialization.
Today, there are many different types of memorial
options from which to choose. Memorialization is a
time-honored tradition that has been practiced for centuries.
A memorial serves as a tribute to a life lived and provides
a focal point for remembrance, as well as a record for
future generations. The type of memorial you choose is
a personal decision. The limit is set only by your imagination.
type of urn do I need?
A simple, fiber container
is provided by the crematorium, free of charge. However,
you may prefer an urn
which more reflects your personal tastes. For your convenience,
a selection of urns is
on display at the cemetery office. Urns
come in variety of sizes, styles and materials. Indeed,
there is an urn to satisfy every preference, every requirement
and every budget. You may select a cast
bronze urn, one fashioned from selected hard
woods, a ceramic
urn or one made from another permanent material such
as marble or granite.
Urns range in size, from
single to multiple
capacity, and in styling, from traditional to modern.
Some urns are square or
rectangular, others are octagonal or cylindrical.
And, of course, if you cannot find an available urn
that meets your requirements, you can also have one custom
designed. With so many beautiful urns
available, you may find it difficult to make a selection.
Usually, the final choice depends in part on where you
will eventually place the urn.
the urn be seen or will it be concealed?
Once again, it is a
of Cremated Remains
The scattering of cremated
remains is permitted in designated areas only. Memorial
scattering areas are areas in the cemetery that will never
be developed for any other use in the future. Memorial
scattering areas range from natural settings to formal
gardens. Often, the individuals whose cremated remains
have been scattered in a memorial scattering area are
identified on a special memorial
plaque, or a unique garden feature such as a sculpture
on which the individual's name is inscribed. You may carry
out the scattering of the cremated remains, or you may
direct the cemetery staff to do so. You may, if you wish,
conduct or have conducted a form of committal or memorial
service at the time of scattering. Since the scattering
of cremated remains is an irreversible process, it requires
that all arrangements for the scattering process be made
Urn spaces are ideal
for those who prefer traditional in-ground interment of
A popular choice for
the placement of an urn
is in a columbarium niche. A niche is a recessed compartment
designed for the permanent placement of urns.
An arrangement of niches is called a columbarium. Some
are free standing structures located outdoors in picturesque
settings, for example, overlooking a pond. Others are
located indoors in either a chapel or a mausoleum, often
as a bank of niches along a corridor or a series of special
alcoves. Depending on the location of the niche, it may
have an open front protected by glass where the urn
remains visible, or a closed-front faced with granite
or marble where an inscription is placed on the niche
front. A vase may be placed on some closed-front niches
for the placement of flowers by those who care to commemorate
if I prefer cremation, but my spouse prefers interment?
This is a common question.
One solution is to purchase a grave. This would allow
for the interment of a casket
or container, as well as an urn
containing cremated remains.
it true that cremation is less expensive than a traditional
funeral or ground burial?
When comparing the basic
services required with each option, yes. Please keep in
mind that the overall cost depends on the other services
selected. Do you prefer a certain type of interment right
(urn space/niche)? Will you want an urn?
What type of memorial is important to you? Detailed price
lists for cemetery services are available.
I make all of the necessary arrangements in advance?
Yes. All arrangements
are made in advance. By planning ahead, you have the opportunity
to consider the many options available to commemorate
a life. You can make an informed decision about your funeral
and cemetery arrangements and the form of memorial
you prefer, in ways which are meaningful to you and your
family. You will gain peace of mind, knowing your family
and friends will be relieved of the emotional and financial
burden often associated with making arrangements when
a death occurs. If you pre-arrange
your funeral and cemetery
services, you benefit by purchasing at today's prices,
free from inflationary pressures in the future. Our flexible
payment plans enable you to purchase some cemetery
services in advance. Whether you choose to purchase
in advance or not, we recommend that you discuss your
preferences with your family before you finalize them.
Not doing so can cause anxiety if your wishes conflict
with what your family or survivors feel is appropriate.