Choices

To begin with, it is probably easier to describe what cremation isn’t. Cremation is not final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service. Rather, it is a process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.

Is A Casket Needed For Cremation?

Cremation No, a casket is not required for cremation. All that isrequired is an alternative container which is cremated with the body.

Is Embalming Required Prior To Cremation?

Absolutely not and it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.

Can The Body Be Viewed Without Embalming?

Yes, immediate family members may briefly view the deceased prior tocremation in our private viewing room. The deceased is first washed,dressed and prepared for viewing. As long as the viewing is concludedprior to the 48 hour state-mandated waiting period, no additionalrefrigeration charges would be incurred.

Can The Family Witness The Cremation?

Yes. Family members can be present when the body is placed into thecremation chamber. In fact, some religious groups include this as partof their funeral custom.

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 forreasons which are contrary to Christian teachings. Some people believethat cremation is against the teachings of the Bible, but according toone famous Biblical scholar, “what occurs to the body after death hasno bearing on the soul’s resurrection. The body that rises is not madeof the same substances as the one that was buried, or cremated, but isimmortal and incorruptible.”

Can An Urn Be Brought Into Church?

Nearly all Protestant Churches allow for the urn to be present duringthe memorial service. In fact, if the family is planning on a memorialservice, we encourage the cremated remains be present as it provides afocal point for the service.

What Can Be Done With The Cremated Remains?

There are many options. Remains can be buried in a cemetery lot orcremation garden, inurned in a columbarium, kept at home, or scatteredon private property. We also offer scattering services. Our staff willbe happy to discuss these options with you and make any arrangements.

Are There Any Laws Governing Cremation?

Cremation regulations vary from state-to-state. In Massachusetts thereare several laws of which the consumer should be aware. First, there isa 48 hour waiting period from the time of death until the cremation cantake place. Second, the deceased must be cremated in a suitablecremation container. Third, a cremation authorization form must besigned by the individual legally authorized to make the cremationarrangements. Finally, cremation cannot take place until the deceasedhas been viewed by a state-appointed Medical Examiner.

Do People Choose Cremation Only To Save Money?

While some people select cremation for economy, many choose this optionfor other reasons. The simplicity and dignity of cremation,environmental concerns, and the flexibility cremation affords in ceremony planning and final disposition all add to its increasing popularity.

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 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, 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 graycolor. The remains of an average size adult usually weigh between fourto six pounds.

Are All The Cremated Remains Returned?

With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which areimpossible 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?

Urns An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired ifthere is to be a memorial service or the remains are to be interred ina cemetery. If an urn is not purchased through us, or provided by thefamily, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic orcardboard container.

If I Don’t Want the Remains Back What Are My Options?

If the family does not want to pick up the remains or have them mailed to a person or cemetery we have formed the Cape Cod Scattering Service to properly give the person a dignified place of rest. Scattering would be done off the coast of Cape Cod at our convenience for a fee of$75.00. Please take a look under Resources section for more information.

What Needs To Be Done After the Funeral is Over

For a to do list of what needs to be done after a funeral, please click here.

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