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Why Cremation is Growing in Popularity

Why Cremation is Growing in Popularity

When a loved one dies, the kind of memorial service you choose to have for them is incredibly important in honorably commemorating their life and legacy.  In recent years, cremation has become a popular choice of memorial service amongst families in the U.S. In fact according to a 2017 report by the Cremation Association of North America, for the first time ever more Americans are choosing cremation ver traditional methods of burial to pay tribute to their deceased loved ones. 

What accounts for this growing popularity of cremation? Cremation offers a plethora of benefits  that make it the smarter choice for many families on various economic, social, demographic and religious levels. We will explore those factors here so you can decide whether cremation will be the best method of memorialization for your loved one. 

1. More Economical In Cost

Cremation is considerably less costly than that of a traditional burial. This is due to the fact that it is a simpler method of commemoration that requires far less steps and processes than that of traditional burial which requires a casket, embalming, burial plot, etc. All of those individual processes greatly add up in cost. Many families enjoy the simplicity of cremation, and the ease of being able to conduct such a service without having to worry about affording and coordinating all of the other processes required for burial, during an already challenging time. 

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Can You Still Hold Traditional Funeral Services if You Choose to Do Cremation?

Can You Still Hold Traditional Funeral Services if You Choose to Do Cremation?

Cremation is becoming a popular choice for families as a way of memorializing their loved ones. It is a common misconception however, that if you choose to do a cremation for your loved one, that you cannot hold a visitation, wake or other traditional funeral services. You need not be concerned about this. In truth, it is not only accepted to hold a visitation or funeral service before a cremation; it is completely appropriate to do so. The important thing is to honor your loved one in a way that will be sentimental and meaningful for you and your family that also abides by your loved one’s personal wishes. One of the benefits to choosing cremation is that families can enjoy more freedom in choosing which kind of ceremony they would like to hold to pay tribute to their loved one. So, the key takeaway here is that most likely, your needs and wishes can be accommodated to honor your loved one before or after cremation. 

Are Traditional Memorial Services Held Before or After the Cremation Process? 

While a traditional memorial service can be held prior to or after the cremation process, it is more common for it to take place before, This also enables you to have the opportunity to hold an open casket as well. Usually, in a wake, family members visit their loved one prior to the funeral service, with the casket present and the body of their loved one embalmed inside. With visitations on the other hand, it is not necessary for the casket or the body of the deceased to be present. Visitations usually occur one day before or the same day as the memorial services. 

How is the Casket Handled in Cremation? 

If your loved one is cremated prior to visitation, a “rental” casket would be used for the visitation or wake ceremony. The exterior of the casket would be of a hardwood shell, and would look as such to any one viewing it, but the interior would contain the cremation container holding your loved one’s remains. The hardwood shell casket would be re-used while the interior will be cremated with the deceased, making it a more environmentally conscious as well as economical option than if you were to use a cremation casket. 

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Is it Acceptable to Divide Cremation Ashes?

Is it Acceptable to Divide Cremation Ashes?

Cremation is becoming an increasingly popular method for paying tribute to a loved one who has passed. In addition to its eco-friendly, smaller global footprint, a decline in religious traditions, and its lower cost than burial services, the simple fact that it allows family members to equally divide the decedent’s ashes amongst them also accounts for its growing popularity. In the past, families would decide who amongst them would receive the ashes of their loved one. Thankfully, those days are gone, and families can now divide the remains into individual keepsake urns, and then equally divide those between family members.

If your loved one has passed, you may be wondering if it is even acceptable to divide their ashes amongst family members. Regardless of what the law and religions have to say about it, if it was your loved one’s wish to be cremated and then have their remains shared between family members, that is what should be done to pay homage to your loved one’s legacy.  We will explore the topic in more depth here, reviewing the various legal, religious, and personal implications of dividing cremated ashes.

What do Religions Have to Say About Dividing Cremated Ashes?

Depending on differing theological perspectives, the standpoint of religion varies in its views on dividing cremated ashes. According to Muslim and Jewish religious traditions, the act of cremation itself is looked down upon as it is seen as an action that dishonors the human body. Buddhism, Hinduism and other Eastern religions, on the other hand support and even strongly encourage cremation, but do not offer any specific guidelines as to how cremated remains should be handled. The Christian church is silent, on the matter altogether.

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Find trusted cremation services near you to compare quality and prices

A Guide To the Cremations Process

A Guide To the Cremations Process

No matter how you choose to memorialize a loved one after their passing, it is a decision that carries great emotional sentiment. While the more traditional method of memorializing a loved one through a burial can seem like a much more straightforward process, the process of cremation can feel mysterious, foreign, and even scary in comparison. Choosing cremation to pay homage to your loved one carries many benefits such as lower cost, more personalization options after in regard to your being able to scatter the remains in various locations, and it is even a more eco-conscious choice for the environment. You may find that cremation is the best choice for you to pay tribute to your loved one and to honor their life and legacy in a meaningful way.

If you are arranging a loved one’s funeral, and are curious about cremation, we have assembled a basic guide to the process, so you are best prepared and know what to expect.

What is Cremation?

Cremation is the process of transforming a person’s remains through intense heat, flames, and evaporation into “ashes.” While most people think of these ashes as resembling that of fireplace ashes, cremated remains are more complex in composition, containing tiny fragments of bone as well.

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5 Important Things to Consider When Scattering a Loved One’s Ashes

5 Important Things to Consider When Scattering a Loved One’s Ashes

After a loved one passes, no matter what end-of-life plan that has been chosen for them, handling their remains is a sensitive and emotionally charged experience. Similarly to how a loved one’s burial in a cemetery is a ceremony of tremendous sentiment, scattering a loved one’s cremated remains can hold significant emotional and spiritual meaning too, symbolizing their loved one’s return to nature or delivery to heaven. Paying tribute to a deceased loved one in this fashion will help bring peace and closure to friends and family.

After the decedent’s funeral ceremony and cremation process is complete, you may choose to place your loved one’s remains in an urn and bury them at a Cemetery or scatter their ashes. If you choose to scatter their ashes in a special location or locations, there are some things to consider to best prepare you to memorialize your loved one successfully and meaningfully. We have put together an easy guide of helpful tips to keep in mind during this experience.

1)    Ash and Bones

It’s important to know when your receive your loved one’s remains after the cremations process has been completed, what you receive may not look anything like ash at all, or what you may have expected. Cremated remains do not resemble firewood ash, some having the texture of coarse sand and powder with hard, fragments of bone mixed in.

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Deciding between Cremation and Burial

Deciding between Cremation and Burial

We will all be confronted someday with the thoughts and decisions about what happens to our bodies when we pass on. Death is as much a part of life as is birth. In life we must confront choices, as in death. Honoring the body of our loved ones upon their death is as old a tradition as any other in the human experience. We have different ways to pay respect, but the respect is the same. And yet we often find this topic too uncomfortable to discuss, and so our final wishes may be unknown.  

Talk about it with family members

What are your wishes? Does your family know? Have you considered the options available?

These may not be Sunday dinner conversations, but they are important ones to have. If you do not let your loved ones know whether you would like to be cremated or buried, they will have to make the decision for you. Isn’t it better that they know what you want so they can honor you and your wishes when the time comes?

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A Guide to Attending Funeral Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A Guide to Attending Funeral Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

With respect to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic we’re living in, times are tragic, traumatic, and tricky. We are left with so many questions about how to console one another, and ourselves. People we love are passing away, friends are losing their loved ones. In addition to people we love dying of COVID-19, we are unsure how to lay to rest our departed and how to appropriately comfort those we love who are mourning. So, let’s take a minute to address the elephant in the room — should we be attending funerals during this pandemic?

Should I Attend a Funeral Service During the Pandemic?

There are two answers to this. First, it depends on your level of comfort being around others or if you prefer to stay at home for safety. Second, and even more importantly, it depends on what the family has decided to do for the funeral arrangements. Families are deciding between a few options for funerals. If the family does decide to hold an in-person service, they may limit the number of people in attendance or keep the gathering to immediate family members. Some might even postpone services until after social distancing guidelines are lifted.
Funeral home staff members have been particularly helpful with providing alternative solutions for funeral arrangements. Some funeral homes are offering virtual services, such as live streams of memorials or other tributes. Others are providing online guest books where friends can leave notes of condolences and other personal anecdotes.
If the family prefers to hold an in-person funeral service, whether you choose to attend in person will depend on your level of comfort. For instance, if you have a family member at home who is immunocompromised, you may not feel comfortable attending the service and potentially increasing you and your loved one’s exposure to the coronavirus. However, if you do feel comfortable with personally attending the memorial to offer your condolences and pay your respects, the funeral home will most likely be observing social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to increase the safety of all those in attendance.

If I Go, Do I Need to Wear a Mask?

Most likely, yes. However, beyond the practice of wearing masks, the most important factor to preserve yours and others’ safety while attending an in-personal funeral service is to engage in social distancing. In adherence to social distancing guidelines, you may be attending an outdoor funeral with seating, six feet apart from one another. You will want to keep distanced from anyone who does not live with you in your household. Make sure to wash your hands often as well. It is an unfortunate and difficult fact of these sensitive circumstances to not be able to show affection as support for your family members and friends, but it’s best for now. You can hug and kiss those in your household who are accompanying you to the service, but otherwise your presence will serve as the best demonstration of love and support you can give.

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Funerals: a consumer guide

Funerals: a consumer guide

When a loved one dies, grieving family members and friends often are confronted with dozens of decisions about the funeral – all of which must be made quickly and often under great emotional duress. What kind of funeral should it be? What funeral provider should you use? Should you bury or cremate the body, or donate it to science? What are you legally required to buy? What other arrangements should you plan? And, as callous as it may sound, how much is it all going to cost?

Each year, Americans grapple with these and many other questions as they spend billions of dollars arranging more than 2 million funerals for family members and friends. The increasing trend toward pre-need planning – when people make funeral arrangements in advance – suggests that many consumers want to compare prices and services so that ultimately, the funeral reflects a wise and well-informed purchasing decision, as well as a meaningful one.

A consumer product

Funerals rank among the most expensive purchases many consumers will ever make. A traditional funeral, including a casket and vault, costs about $6,000, although “extras” like flowers, obituary notices, acknowledgment cards or limousines can add thousands of dollars to the bottom line. Many funerals run well over $10,000.

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A Closer Look at the Costs

A Closer Look at the Costs

Costs of Funerals rank among one of the most expensive purchases people will ever make. We take a look at the costs associated with funerals and what you need to know when arranging or preplanning a funeral.

Funeral costs include:

1. Basic services fee for the funeral director and staff

The Funeral Rule allows funeral providers to charge a basic services fee that customers cannot decline to pay. The basic services fee includes services that are common to all funerals, regardless of the specific arrangement. These include funeral planning, securing the necessary permits and copies of death certificates, preparing the notices, sheltering the remains, and coordinating the arrangements with the cemetery, crematory or other third parties. The fee does not include charges for optional services or merchandise.

2. Charges for other services and merchandise

These are costs for optional goods and services such as transporting the remains; embalming and other preparation; use of the funeral home for the viewing, ceremony or memorial service; use of equipment and staff for a graveside service; use of a hearse or limousine; a casket, outer burial container or alternate container; and cremation or interment.

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Things to know about preplanning

Things to know about preplanning

There are many reasons to consider preplanning your funeral. The most important one is that it takes away from your survivors the pressure of making a decision under very difficult circumstances.

Prearrangements also let you choose exactly how you want to be memorialized and allows for personal preferences in all aspects of the funeral service.

In years past, preplanning your funeral was considered taboo. However, more and more people are becoming educated about the funeral process. Learning more about what is involved in this event and planning ahead is a major benefit for your loved ones.

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