3 Key Factors in Considering Cremation

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Did you know that cremation has been rising in popularity over the past five years? 

In 2016, cremation officially superseded traditional burials for the method of final deposition. This means more than fifty percent of Americans are opting for it. But, why and how are bodies cremated?

The recent increase in cremation rates is a result of many different factors. Firstly, it is worth noting there are three main options to choose from: burial, cremation, or medical donation. 

While cremation remains the most popular in recent times, the appeal of a traditional burial continues to pervade many American families.

Yet, in the event that cremation is the preference, many of the traditions associated with burials can be maintained with cremated remains.

As well, though it may be difficult to plan for the right resting place, it is more important than ever to decide what is the best one based on respective beliefs, lifestyles, and priorities. 

Ready to weigh your options? Here are three key considerations when deciding which final resting place is the right one for you or your loved one.

How are Bodies Cremated? Three Factors to Think About

It can be hard to know what the option is without in part understanding the differences between burial and cremation. 

Cremation, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is the reduction of remains to only the bones. These are then turned to powder. 

This allows cremated remains to be transported much more easily, as well as deposited in a wider range of places. For example, with cremated remains, you can have them scattered in a location special to someone during their life.

However, it is important to note in asking how are bodies cremated that it does not really reduce remains to "ash", but simply to bone. Therefore, if this was a concern, you can rest assured it is a relatively unadulterated process.

Read on to learn three factors to think about when deciding if cremation is the right option for your situation. 

1. Financial Considerations

The cost of the final resting place is a large factor for many families facing final deposition decisions for loved ones.

This is especially true for unexpected or unplanned deaths. These can leave loved ones with a large bill without clear ways to cover the expenses.

In terms of burial cost vs cremation, the latter can offer an affordable alternative, sometimes at up to a third of the cost as a traditional burial. Further, in the event that you would like a memorial, viewing, or funeral service prior to cremation, this can almost always be arranged.

Therefore, cremation is a great option for those that want to honor their loved one's wishes for remembrance within their budget.

2. Environmental Impact

The environmental aspect of traditional burials is difficult to deny. While still a valid choice and the preferred method for millions of Americans each year, the toxic chemicals released can be troubling for those interested in a more environmentally friendly option.

Cremation is a relatively favorable option as it sidesteps many of these concerns. Further, it can be done without sacrificing the traditional aspects of final rites.  

3. Religious Beliefs

Finally, religion and spiritual beliefs are often a key factor when deciding the final resting place for you or your loved one. Traditional burials are by far the most popular option for those adhering to Christianity

However, in recent years, many churches, including the Catholic Church, have modified their stances to be more inclusive.

There is not a right or wrong answer, but cultural and religious beliefs during life should be reflected in the celebration of their life.

Determining the Best Option

All and all, cremation can be the perfect option for those that may be limited in their ability to hold a traditional burial or funeral service.

Further, in the event that your loved one is interested in the scattering of their remains, cremation makes this wish possible.

Finally, environmental and religious beliefs should be considered when asking why and how bodies are cremated. Simply put, it does not have to be a choice of funeral vs cremation, as both can be held with some modification.

If you are interested in reading more about the different forms a funeral can take, regardless of the deposition option chosen, take a look at our post describing five key ceremony types.

View All Recent Posts