The reasons for preferring cremation are varied. For some, it seems a more natural process than burial. Others have environmental concerns with burial. Still others are not sure why they feel more comfortable with cremation but are interested in learning more. This article is for all of you.
Most funeral homes provide some type of cremation service, but some specialize in providing cremation services. For many consumers it is important the funeral home they select own and operate their own crematory as opposed to transferring the deceased to an off-site crematory. The peace of mind of knowing one funeral home is prepared and experienced to provide the services you require is well worth the effort required to become educated and make an informed choice.
Because it is important to be informed, many people choose to make their decisions in advance. Making pre-arrangements with your selected funeral home will help assure your wishes will be carried out following death. It also spares your family from the burden of making decisions during the emotional time after a death.
Many people wonder whether cremation is consistent with their religious beliefs. There was a time when some religions disapproved of the cremation process. Today, most permit cremation. It is a good idea to discuss your concerns with your clergy, as individual congregations may differ from nationwide or worldwide church policies.
Another reason for preferring cremation is the many options available for services and final disposition. In fact, cremation offers more options than does traditional burial. For example, choices are available in the type and scheduling of gathering or celebration, the final disposition of cremated remains, and ways to remember or "memorialize" the deceased.
The Top Four Things Yoou Should Know:
1. Become educated and make an informed choice.
2. Find a funeral home that is prepared and experienced to provide the services you require.
3. Make decisions and pre-arangements in advance.
4. Pre-pay your final expenses as a way of relieving your family from this burden and saving money.
Those preferring to have no services or gathering can arrange for removal of the deceased and immediate cremation. You will want to review cost, administrative requirements, and other details with your funeral director. Many families who choose direct cremation later regret the decision because it ignores their need for closure. Participating in arrangements, viewing the body, and meeting in a formal or informal setting with supportive friends and family are meaningful parts of a ritual, like baptisms and weddings, that help us understand and cope with loss.
Cremation followed by Memorial Service:
Following either private or public viewing, the body is cremated. A service or gathering is held at a place of the family's choosing, to commemorate the life of the deceased. Eulogies, readings, music and the sharing of photos, videos, and personal collections and hobbies are often part of the gathering. The gathering is an opportunity for those who cared about the deceased to remember them in a special way, and to say good-bye.
Funeral Service followed by cremation
Probably the greatest misconception about cremation is that there can be no funeral. Many people choosing cremation have a traditional funeral service, followed by cremation. The funeral service may be conducted in a funeral home, church, or any other appropriate setting. Clergy may conduct the service, but this is not required. Some will prefer a less formal format of sharing memories and feelings. The funeral service is personalized by including things to help those attending to better know and remember the deceased, such as flowers, photos, videos and music. Choosing a casket, urn, burial vault, and stationery items that reflect the loved one's life complements these items. Funeral directors who specialize in cremation will have many examples for you to look at and choose from.
Anyone who has ever tried to write a family history knows it can take a little time. Planning to personalize a memorial service or funeral service is much the same. The plan may consist of simple, brief notes or a detailed set of directions.
With so many choices and options, the value of pre-planning becomes evident. No one better understands your wishes than you. Meeting with a funeral director who specializes in cremation services allows you to collect information on options and costs, and to record your wishes for your family to refer to later. You may even want to pre-pay your final expenses as a way of relieving your family from this burden and saving money.
There are many good reasons why thoughtful families are beginning to strongly consider cremation. Let an informed funeral professional with experience and special interest in cremation make suggestions as to your options and choices.
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