How Cremation Works: A Quick Guide

Monday, January 10, 2022

If you've recently lost a loved one, you're now in charge of a lot of decisions. Between planning a funeral, finding the right venue, and picking the right disposition method, there's a lot on your plate.

When it comes to disposition methods, many people are opting for cremation. They may prefer the (relatively) more affordable cost and the idea of keeping their loved one's remains with them. 

Do you know how cremation works? Is it right for your loved one? Keep reading to learn all about the process with this brief cremation guide.

Body Preparation 

Before cremation, the mortician must prepare the body so the process goes smoothly. After loved ones confirm the identity of the deceased, a metal identification tag is placed on the body for the duration of the cremation.

Most of the time, bodies that are set to be cremated won't go through the embalming process unless there's an open-casket funeral or viewing. 

All pieces of jewelry will be removed from the deceased and returned to the family unless it goes against the family's wishes. If there are any battery-operated devices, the funeral home will remove them to ensure that they don't react with the cremation chamber.

The body will go into a combustible container for the cremation process.

The Cremation Chamber: How Cremation Works

A cremation chamber is a special furnace. After the body is ready for cremation, it goes into the chamber alone. Many people think that multiple bodies are in the chamber at the same time, but this isn't true

The chamber will heat up to around 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. It takes between two and three hours. 

After the cremation itself, the cremation chamber must cool down before a worker can collect the ashes and finalize remains. 

Finalizing Remains

There will often be remains left over after the cremation. Most of the time, the remains are metal which can withstand the heat of the cremation chamber. Metal can come from screws, implants, or even piercings if the mortician did not remove them while preparing the body. 

The family can choose to keep these leftover remains. If they choose not to, those metal pieces may go to a recycling center. 

Transferring And Returning the Ashes

Did you know that the remains from cremation aren't really ashes? They're bones that have been pulverized after the cremation process. The funeral home will return these cremated remains to the family. 

You can choose an urn from the funeral home beforehand, you can choose to receive remains in a simple box, or you can bring your own vessel if it was special to the deceased. 

When you receive the remains, they're yours to do with as you wish

Cremation: Is It The Right Choice For Your Loved One?

Now that you know how cremation works, do you think it's the best choice for your situation? If you're unsure, talk to the director at your local funeral home about your options. 

We know that this is a stressful time. At Schumacher & Benner, our experienced team wants to help you create the best possible funeral service for your loved one. Contact us to learn more about our services today.

At Schumacher & Benner Funeral Home and Crematory, we want to take care of you and your family in any way possible. Our services include traditional funeral services, celebration of life services, cremations, selection of memorial and headstones, and more.  

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