Cremation has increasingly become more popular, and for good reasons. First, it’s more affordable than traditional burial services. Another is it’s a more eco-friendly option, as it doesn’t involve embalming or the use of environmentally harmful chemicals. Cremation also gives people more flexibility when planning and organizing the service.
By definition, cremation is the process of reducing the departed’s body into ashes. However, there are different ways to go about it. Each cremation service may vary slightly different from the next, including how it is done down to the types of cremation urns used.
First off, here are the different kinds of cremation services.
- Direct Cremation
Otherwise known as ‘immediate cremation’ or ‘simple cremation’, direct cremation is the most basic form of the service. The body is directly cremated and the remains, handed over to the deceased’s loved ones without any ceremony, visitation, graveside service or a funeral.
- Traditional Funeral Service Followed by Cremation
A traditional funeral service embodies all the usual, conventional means of commemorating the departed: From visitation to public viewing, except that the final step of the service is cremation, not burying the casket.
Cremation.com explains: “A cremation casket (casket that is designed to be cremated) or a rental casket is used. The service can be held at a church or funeral home chapel, and the casket can be opened or closed during visitation. The actual cremation would be performed after the funeral and the cremated remains returned to the family.”
This type of service is typically led by a clergy and is conducted in a funeral home. It also may include sermon, prayers, readings, sharing of stories and the like. After the service, the body will be cremated and the ashes buried, kept, scattered or dealt with by the loved ones accordingly.
- Memorial Service
Cremation explains, “A memorial service can be described as a funeral service without the body present. The cremation usually takes place within a day or two following the death, and then the memorial service takes place sometime after, which in some cases may be weeks or months after the death.”
In most cases, the urn would be present at the memorial service and can held in any venue, namely a funeral home, a park, a beach, at home or anywhere that is meaningful to the departed and the living loved ones.
Methods of Scattering the Ashes
Once the body is reduced to ashes, there are various ways to scatter the ashes. Here are some of the following ways to do so.
Casting means to literally toss the cremated remains on the wind, particularly downwards. At times, there is more than one person doing the casting. Each significant person takes his/her turn to partially cast the ashes.
This process involves digging a shallow area in the soil and pouring the ashes in the hole then covering it once again with soil.
In this process, the ashes are scattered on soil then raked into the ground. This usually involves finding a scattering garden with the help of a funeral director.
Whether it’s a shape of a ring on the soil or something that shaped like a heart, star o the like, the ashes are then poured onto this shaped-area as a final resting place.
- Water scattering
This is one of the most common means of scattering the ashes wherein the loved ones toss the ashes into a lake, ocean or sea. Sometimes, a water-soluble cremation urn is used in this process, which floats and eventually sinks into the water as it dissolves.
- Aerial scattering
This process requires a professional to have the remains scattered using a private plane at a specific location. This can be quite an expensive option, as more fees are needed to be paid.
Different Types of Cremation Urns
Here are some of the most popular types of cremation urns:
- Keepsake urn – the keepsake urn often comes in various, smaller sizes. This is usually distributed to various loved ones, each with a portion of the departed’s remains
- Picture urn – this is an urn that’s designed like a picture frame but comes with a secret compartment for the departed’s ashes
- Religious urn – this kind of urn is often designed after the appearance of a bible
- Theme urn – this is a specialty urn made after the departed’s specific passion
- Biodegradable urn – this is the most common kind of urn that is made of mulberry bark, organic compost, newsprint, cornstarch, blocks of salt, paper clay, earthenware clay and unglazed ceramic.
- Art urn – this kind of urn is one that comes with a fine art design.