Cremation is a growing choice in our country and one that is widely accepted within many religions. When a body is cremated, it is reduced to its natural elements, quickly and without chemicals. A variety of disposition options is available for those who choose cremation, including ground burial, cremation benches, urns, cremation niches, columbariums and scattering gardens. Cremation also relieves stressful time factors, since the process allows services to be conducted at any time.
Questions about Cremation
Following are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about cremation. Keep in mind that laws and procedures vary from state to state and from provider to provider.
What Is Cremation?
To begin with, it is probably easier to describe what cremation isn’t. By
Arizona law, cremation is final disposition of the remains, but to a family’s needs it is not, nor is it a type of funeral service. Rather, cremation is the process of reducing human remains to basic chemical compounds in the form of gases and bone fragments. This is accomplished through high temperatures and vaporization. Contrary to popular belief, the cremated remains are not ashes in the usual sense, but rather dried bone fragments that have been pulverized in a device called an electric cremated remains processor. This leaves the bone in a fine sand like texture and color, able to be scattered without any foreign matter.
Is Embalming Required Prior To Cremation?
No, Embalming is required for a public viewing, and is a choice and your decision. You will be asked by your funeral director for permission to embalm after he explains your options. The value of being able to view and say goodbye is documented. Your decision needs to be based on your family’s needs.
Is A Casket Needed For Cremation?
No, a casket is not required for cremation. All that is usually required is an alternative container constructed of wood or cardboard, which is cremated with the body. The choice and type of an alternative container or cremation casket will be mostly determined by whether the family wishes to view the deceased or has an aversion to the cardboard box.
Can The Body Be Viewed Without Embalming?
Yes, immediate family members to briefly view the deceased prior to cremation. Mountain View has several options to help families.
Identification Viewing is encouraged because of the legal ramifications. The deceased is placed on a dressing table under sheet and blanket for the family to view.
Interpersonal Service offers family members time to view their loved one after they have been dressed and placed in an alternative container with a pillow and interior of their choice.
Public viewing for a visitation or funeral service requires embalming and an appropriate alternative container with handles
Can The Family Witness The Cremation?
Yes, Mountain View will allow family members to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber.
Is Cremation Accepted By All Religions?
Today most religions allow cremation except for Orthodox Jewish, Islamic, Eastern Orthodox and a few Fundamentalist Christian faiths. The Catholic Church accepts cremation as long as it is not chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teachings.
Can An Urn Be Brought Into Church?
Nearly all Protestant Churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service. Most Catholic Churches also allow the cremated remains to be present during the Memorial Mass. In fact, if the family is planning on a memorial service, we encourage the cremated remains be present as it provides a focal point for the service. It is also good to incorporate personalization.
What Can Be Done With The Cremated Remains?
There are many options and laws vary state to state. Remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, inurned in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered.
Don’t Most Funeral Homes Have A Crematory?
Most funeral homes subcontract this delicate procedure out to a third party provider where the funeral home has little or no control over the crematory’s operating procedures. Often, the family incurs additional transportation expenses and needless delay. By contrast, Mountain View has their own crematory on premises.
How Can I Be Sure I Receive The Correct Remains?
Mountain View has developed rigorous operating policies and procedures in order to maximize the level of service and minimize the potential for human error. If you have questions, please ask your funeral director. Cremations at Mountain View are done by licensed cremationist which are also funeral directors.
How Long Does The Actual Cremation Take?
It depends on the weight of the individual. For an average size adult, cremation takes from two to three hours at normal operating temperature between 1,500 degrees F to 2,000 degrees F.
What Happens After The Cremation is Complete?
All organic bone fragments, which are very brittle, as well as non-consumed metal items are “swept” into the back of the cremation chamber and into a stainless steel cooling pan. All non-consumed items, like metal from clothing, hip joints, and bridge work, are separated from the cremated remains. This separation is accomplished through visual inspection as well as using a strong magnet for smaller and minute metallic objects. Items such as dental gold and silver are non-recoverable and are commingled in with the cremated remains. Remaining bone fragments are then processed in a machine to a consistent size and placed into a temporary or permanent urn, selected by the family.
Can Two Cremations Be Performed At Once?
Never, not only is it illegal to do so, but most modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size to accommodate more than one adult. Thus it would be a practical impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.
What Do The Cremated Remains Look Like?
Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an average size adult usually weigh between four to six pounds.
Are All The Cremated Remains Returned?
With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family.
Do I Need An Urn?
An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or the remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not purchased through us, or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary container.