Can you have visitation if you choose cremation?

Many people believe the myth that cremation services only cremate the deceased with no formal wake services. However, this is a fallacy as most crematoriums offer visitations and/or memorial services for those who want it. Those who opt for direct cremation will only receive the remains in their chosen urn. Meanwhile, those who want visitation can add this to their final invoice. Visitations are permitted before cremation and are, in fact, a popular choice for most families. After all, many find it appropriate to celebrate the deceased’s life before the actual cremation process commences.


What is a Visitation?

Simply put, a visitation is awake where you can view your loved one’s body before it enters the cremation chamber. In this modern era, many family members choose to hold a final visitation to spend more time with the body before it is gone from the earthly world for good. With visitation, a program can be prepared with eulogies, songs, and readings. A visitation typically occurs with the casket taking center stage.

Visitations will vary depending on what the family members want. At times, religious ceremonies are also infused during this period. The gathering will take place the day before the cremation or even a few hours before the procedure. For others who do not want to go through this process, they opt to receive the ashes in the urn. Then they hold a memorial service after, with the picture of the deceased and the urn, instead.


Will the Body Undergo Embalming?

Most people think that when the final disposition method is cremation, you can no longer embalm the body. However, this is simply not true because you can ask for embalmment if you want to hold a viewing or visitation service. For some people, it is easier to let go and find closure when they spend time with the deceased before the body is cremated. Of course, the body needs to be properly prepared and preserved if you wish to hold an open casket for viewing.

Remember, there is no right or wrong way to get things done when it comes to funeral customs. You can opt for a rental casket for the viewing. It is also made of a hardwood shell. The interior is your chosen cremation container which will go into the cremation chamber after the visitation is done. The hardwood shell is the one that is eventually reused. This is an economical and ecologically-sound choice than buying a completely new casket.


What About Family Traditions?

If you don’t want an open casket during the service, you can have it closed. Just place a picture of the deceased on top. Similarly, if your cultural tradition calls for a shroud; you can use that, too. When it comes to meeting the deceased’s final wishes and assuaging the requests of the family left behind, everything can be personalized. Just ask your funeral director for help and other input if you need it.


What Should The Family Do After Visitation?

Following the visitation services and wake program, the cremation will take place at the crematory. After the entire final disposition method is done, the cremated remains or ashes are returned to the family members. Some family members opt to wait until the whole process is done. They just later return to pick up the ashes at the appointed time given by the staff. Depending on their preferences, the ashes can be:

  • Placed in a temporary urn for release in their chosen place.
  • Transferred to a funeral urn for burial in a cemetery.
  • Put inside a niche or in a columbarium.

The funeral director and crematory staff will execute the final services based on the family’s instructions. At times, inurnment or committal services are requested after the cremation is completed. Usually, this service takes place in the cemetery setting. It is often performed when military rites are conducted for those who have rendered services to the nation as veterans. Again, speak with your funeral director regarding specifications because they will gladly help fulfill your wishes.


Final Wrap Up

Cremation is an increasingly popular choice because it offers flexibility with what you can do with the ashes afterward. If you want to memorialize your loved one, you can keep the ashes at home. Some opt to scatter the ashes in a location that feels special to the deceased. You can also opt to bury it in the family plot or place it in a columbarium. However, keep in mind that cremation also offers flexibility before the cremation services. Instead of just receiving the ashes, you have the option to say goodbye to the deceased’s body with all your relatives and friends. As the one planning the details, you always have the power of choice.