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Cremation Today And Memorialization Options

By Peter Watts

Cremation today is becoming increasingly popular. The number of people choosing incinerations has increased significantly over the past few years.
Statistics show that in the United States 15% of all services are incinerations and the trend shows by 2040 this will increase to over 40%.
In Canada statistics show that 56% of services today are incinerations and it is projected to increase to over 60% by 2040.


Incinerations have been in existence since the early Stone Age. It is probable that incinerations were performed during those times in areas such as Egypt, Asia and Europe.
During the late Stone Age, incinerations then began to expand across northern Europe, Spain and Portugal. Cinerary gardens developed in Italy, Hungary and continued to spread to Ireland.
The Grecian Trend then evolved influencing cremations became quite a popular custom. So much so that the by the 5th century, the Romans issued a decree to disallow incinerations entirely in the city.
During the Roman Empire, incinerations were common and the remains were transferred in designated funerary urns and then stored in Columbariums for permanent memorilization.


When we describe the cremation process, it is the simple process of reducing the body to small particles that resemble sand and bone fragments. The bone fragments themselves are further processed to reduce them to small particles as well.
Without limiting families wishes, incineration increases one's options when it comes to planning a funeral service.

This by no means eliminates the wish to have a funeral ceremony. On the contrary, a service is often planned before the incineration itself takes place and in most cases is very similar to a funeral service that opts for ground burial.
In fact, today ceremonies can be as traditional as they can be contemporary. The choices made are personalized to every individual and will always reflect and commemorate the beloved lives of those that have passed on.


When making arrangements to plan a cremation ceremony, after you have chosen your funeral director, he/she will have a significant role in the final outcome.
Understand that they are there to provide you with advice and guidance.
Some general information will be required such as:
- Does the family wish to have a period of visitation?- Does the family wish to have an open or closed casket viewing?- What type of music does the family wish to have if any?- Does the family wish to have a religious ceremony in a chapel or your place of worship?- Does the family prefer to have a private ceremony reserved only for the immediate family?


Once the cremation ceremony has been planned, the next step is to establish a permanent resting place for remembrance.
The disposition of cremated remains is entirely dependant on the type of memorilization the family wishes to have.
Cremated remains are permanently transferred to a funerary urn or funeral urns before the permanent resting place is established.
The funerary urn can be burried at the cemetery in either a family plot, an urn garden or conditional to local, provincial/state laws, scattered in a scattering garden.
Other choices may be to place the urn in a columbarium or mausoleum.
If a burial plot or an urn garden is chosen, a permanent memorial can be erected. Choices may include a monument or grass marker made of granite or bonze.
If scattering is preferred, a Book of Rememberance is what is commonly used where the deceased name is added to provide a place of pilgrimage to celebrate the life of a loved one.
These and other decisions will need to be made. Whenever possible, pre-arrangements are much less of a daunting task and more often than not, the family truly appreciates when arrangements are made ahead of time.
When grieving, planning a ceremony is not an easy task.


When explaining death to a child and the death of a beloved family member it's important for parents to know that this experience has a profound impact not only adults but children as well. Children will experience grief as much as adults do.
What is essential to remember is that children react and deal with death in various different ways as age progresses.

Their level of understanding, emotional development and ability to grasp life's experiences must be taken into consideration when explaining death to children.
Helping a child understand that death is a natural occurrence in life and grief is completely normal is dependant on an adult's ability to speak about it comfortably and openly.
Children rely on adults to confirm that feeling sad and it's all right to cry.


It's not uncommon to have a multitude of questions when planning a cremation service especially when we're doing it for the first time.
How do we describe the cremation process?
What's appropriate for funeral dress, Funeral etiquette?
How do we explain cremation to a child?
Where can we find cinerary and funeral urns and what do they look like?
These answers and more...
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