|How Much Does Cremation Cost?
If an mortician is used to transport the deceased, obtain permits, and file the
death certificate, the fee for services may be well over $1,000. The cost will
naturally be higher, if a visitation or a funeral service is held before cremation.
Families who care for their own deceased can use crematories directly at
charges from $100 to $300.
Since 1984, before a funeral purchase, all funeral homes are required to explain
the firm's charges in detail. You may also ask for these prices over the phone.
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|How do Religious Groups View Cremation?
Most religions permit cremation. Since Vatican II Council in 1964, the Code of
Canon Law allows Roman Catholics a choice between burial and cremation.
The Roman Catholic Church has only officially permitted cremation since 1983.
Rev. Billy Graham responded when asked about cremation,
"At the resurrection it will not make any difference whether a person's body has
been buried or cremated. God knows how to raise the body, either in the
resurrection of life or the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:28-29)."
The Greek and Jewish Orthodox faiths oppose cremation, and some religions
still don't allow it because of it associations with pagan customs.
|Are "Memorial Societies" the Same as "Cremation Societies"?
No. The most important difference is that memorial societies are non-profit
consumer groups which are democratic organizations, whereas direct cremation
"societies" operate for profit. They usually do so by charging a "membership"
|Is a Casket Required for Cremation?
No, a casket is not required for cremation. However, most crematories do
require that the body be enclosed in some type of rigid container. The Federal
Trade Commission Rule of 1984, said that all mortuaries must make available to
the customer an unfinished wooden box or similar inexpensive cremation
container. Customers may make or furnish their own suitable container.
Can a Casket be Rented?
In many parts of the country, mortuaries will rent a casket to a family that wants
to have the body present for visitation or for a funeral service preceding
cremation. After the service, the body is moved to an inexpensive cremation
|Must an Urn be Purchased?
No. Crematories return the cremated remains in a metal, plastic, or cardboard
container that is more than adequate for burial, shipping, or placing in a
columbarium. The family may prefer an aesthetic or other receptacle. Urns
usually cost in excess of $150, however, alternative containers are equally
|Do I Have to Hire an Mortician?
Maybe not. Most states permit private citizens, or religious groups to obtain the
required death certificate and permits for transit and disposition.
|Is a Funeral Service Necessary?
No, although visitation and a funeral service with a body present may be held
before cremation, many have found it helpful to have a memorial service
without the body present. It costs less, and family and friends will be thankful
for the opportunity to pay tribute to the memory of a loved one.
|What can be Done with Cremated Remains?
They can be placed in a niche in a columbarium, buried, scattered, or kept by
the family. Cremains are sterile and are no pose health risk. New options are
being offered all the time, such as artificial reefs in the ocean into which
cremated remains have been mixed.
A columbarium is an assembly of niches designed to hold containers of
cremains. It is most often located in a mausoleum within a cemetery. Some
churches provide niches within the church or as a part of a memorial wall.
Earth burial can be in a cemetery, either in a grave or in a special urn garden.
Many cemeteries will permit two or three containers in one adult-size plot.
However, the family, can bury the cremains anywhere it wishes, with the
property owner's permission.
Scattering cremains over some area that had significance to the deceased,
appeals to many and is legal in most jurisdictions. Although there are
commercial firms which will handle the cremains for a fee, most families prefer
to do this themselves. Remains should be processed by the crematory to reduce
all fragments to fine particles.
|Frequently Asked Questions about Cremation