Questions People Ask About Cremation
Is cremation more expensive than burial?
Generally cremation is cheaper than burial. However, you should discuss the matter with a funeral director who will be able to advise you of the precise cost.
Is cremation an option for people of all faiths?
Cremation is usually not acceptable within Orthodox Judaism, Islam and Eastern Orthodoxy. However, most Christian denominations approve cremation, and it is the preferred method among Hindus and many Buddhists.
May Catholics choose cremation?
Although burial is its traditional choice, the Roman Catholic Church has accepted cremation for decades. Not only has the practice of cremation become more socially acceptable, but the church no longer considers there to be a danger that Christian cremation will be associated with non-Christian belief, or with denial of such doctrines as the resurrection of the body, immortality of the soul, and the existence of eternal life. The church recommends cremated remains be disposed of in a way that indicates respect for the body of the deceased person. A memorial in a public place is favoured so that even in death the deceased person's commitment to Christianity is still proclaimed.
Do I have to sign anything?
Yes. If you are the executor or the next of kin (or authorised by either to do so) you will be asked to complete an application for cremation and the crematorium's authority forms.
What happens to the coffin after the service?
It is withdrawn into a committal room where the nameplate of the coffin is checked with the cremation paperwork to ensure correct identification with a label giving all the relevant information. The identification then stays with the remains until final placement.
Is the coffin cremated with the body?
What happens about handles and other fittings?
Some crematoria remove the fittings because of the adverse effect their chemical composition can leave on cremation chambers and also because licenses issued by the Environment Protection Authority necessitate this. Any fittings removed are destroyed.
What about precious metals and other metal?
The temperature at which a modern cremator operates (usually between 800 and 1000 degrees) is such that metals are fused together with other materials so that they are not recognisable and have no salvage value. Any metallic material resulting from a cremation is disposed of in accordance with the instruction of the cremation authority.
Is more than one coffin cremated at one time in a cremator?
No. The only exceptions permitted to this rule may be in the case of a mother and baby or twin children, when some crematoria may accept both in the same coffin if the next of kin specifically request the two be cremated together, and permission is obtained from the relevant authority.
Can I be certain I get the right cremated remains?
Yes. Each coffin is identified on arrival and its specific identity label accompanies the remains throughout the process of cremation, cooling and packaging. Then each container is finally checked and labelled.
As each cremation chamber will only accept one coffin and the remains must be withdrawn before the cremator is used again, all remains are kept separate throughout the process.
What does preparation of the cremated remains entail?
When the cremation is complete, the remains are withdrawn from the cremator into a cooling tray.
When cool, the remains are placed into a machine that removes metallic materials (including nails, wire, prosthesis) and reduces any large residue to a fine, pale ash. The granular remains are then sealed in a suitable container identified by the name of the deceased person.
What can be done with cremated remains?
Cremated remains may be buried in a grave, kept in an urn, scattered in a favourite place, or interred with a lasting memorial at cemetery.