Overview of Cremation
The number of people choosing cremation has increased significantly in the past few years, yet cremation carries a long tradition and remains largely unchanged.
Cremation simply expedites the process of reducing a body to bone fragments through application of intense heat.
What is done before or after the cremation is up to the survivors, or up to you. You can relieve the burden of these decisions by pre-planning your arrangements in advance of need so that your wishes will be honored.
Contrary to what some people believe, Cremation does not limit choices, but, in fact, increases one’s options. It is a process which is performed in a respectful and dignified manner and can be memorialized in many ways.
Cremation and Funerals
Choosing cremation neither eliminates nor does it require a funeral service. Traditional or contemporary services are often planned before or after the cremation process. A funeral service followed by cremation may be exactly the same as a funeral service followed by ground burial. They can be elaborate or simple and traditional or nontraditional. Arrangements and ceremonies tend to be as individual as the persons for whom and by whom they are made.They may be personalized specifically to reflect the life of the deceased, and thus have a special meaning. M. David DeMarco Funeral Home, Inc. is able to assist in any and all of your Funeral Service needs. To obtain more information on funeral services click here or call 732-521-0555.
The Complete Cremation Service will be just like a Complete Funeral Service except cremation will follow instead of the casketed burial. This can be accommodated by the use of a cremation casket (casket that is designed to be cremated). Following the viewing, service or ceremony, and eventual cremation, the cremated remains can be buried, properly scattered, or returned to the family for safe keeping. Urns are used to hold the cremated remains. Urns can be constructed out of basic materials like cardboard or plastic, or constructed out of more protective materials like basic and semi-precious metals, ceramics, and woods.
The Immediate Cremation Service can be arranged as an immediate disposition of the body, but is most times followed by a memorial service at the church, funeral home or other location. A Memorial Service is one where the body is not present. We recommend that if you select an immediate cremation that you are allowed a time, if possible, to privately view the body as a family. If the viewing can be done in a matter of a few hours after the death then embalming will not be necessary. If there is to be a long delay (more than 8-12 hours) then embalming would be encouraged. If the viewing could not be done within 48 hours then embalming may be required. Viewing of the deceased is a very important step in acknowledging that the death has occurred. Having some type of service or ceremony is also a key ingredient to a healthy recovery of a loss due to a death.
A Direct Cremation refers to a cremation being provided, while limiting funeral services to the removal and transportation of the deceased into our care.
Importance of Memorialization
Memorialization provides a permanent, secure place for cremated remains to be placed, and for family members and descendants to honor the lives of the deceased.
Cremation allows families many choices for memorializing a loved one. Some families choose to keep the cremated remains with them at home, or to scatter the remains over land or water. M. David DeMarco Funeral Home, Inc. allows the following memorialization options, among others, for cremated remains:
Memorialization Options for Cremation
Outdoor Niches – The cremated remains of your loved ones may be inurned in one of many local, or non-local cemetery above ground columbarium niches.
Scattering – Your loved one’s remains may be scattered freely within a dedicated, natural environment. There are also certain services which offer scattering among the sea or the stars.
Traditional Burial – In ground burial on a family plot – Urns may be buried at the head or foot of a grave site.
Personalized Memorialization – Inscribe your family member’s name and a special saying on a tree plaque, park bench or other special memorial. We also have custom, unique urns and keepsakes, perfect for displaying inside your home. For an overview of these items, please visit our Merchandise pages, or contact us directly and we will help you with your needs.
Questions About the Cremation Process
What is cremation?
To begin with, it is probably easier to describe what cremation isn't. Cremation is not final disposition of the remains, nor is some type of funeral service. Rather, it is a process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.
How long does the actual cremation take?
It depends on the weight of the individual. For an average size adult, cremation takes from two to three hours at normal operating temperature between 1,500 degrees F to 2,000 degrees F.
What happens after the cremation is complete?
All organic bone fragments, which are very brittle, as well as non-consumed metal items are "swept" into the front of the cremation chamber and into a stainless steel cooling pan. All non-consumed items, like metal from clothing, hip joints, and bridge work, are separated from the cremated remains. This separation is accomplished through visual inspection as well as using a strong magnet for smaller and minute metallic objects. Items such as dental gold and silver are non-recoverable and are commingled in with the cremated remains. Remaining bone fragments are then processed in a machine to a consistent size and placed into a temporary or permanent urn, selected by the family.
What do the cremated remains look like?
Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light gray in color. The remains of an average size adult usually weigh between four to eight pounds of cremated remains.
In what kind of container are the cremated remains returned?
The cremated remains are placed in a basic container at no charge to you. Or they may be placed in the urn of your choice from our large selection of urns available for purchase.
Are all the cremated remains returned?
With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family.
What can be done with the cremated remains?
There are many options. Remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, inurned in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered on private property. Our staff will be happy to discuss these options with you and make any arrangements.
Concerns About Cremation
Are there any laws governing cremation?
Cremation regulations vary from state-to-state.
Can two cremations be performed at once?
Never. Not only is it illegal to do so, most modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size to accommodate more than one adult. Thus it would be a practical impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.
Can the family witness the cremation?
Yes, for a nominal fee, and from an observation room at the crematory, family members may view the initial part of the cremation process. In fact, some religious groups include this as part of their funeral custom.
Questions About Urns, Caskets Embalming
Do I need an urn?
An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or the cremated remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not selected, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary cardboard container.
Is a casket needed for cremation?
No, a casket is not required for cremation. All that is required by state law is a rigid container which is cremated with the body.
Is embalming required prior to cremation?
Absolutely not and it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.
Can the body be viewed without embalming?
Yes, immediate family members may briefly view the deceased prior to cremation in our private viewing room. The deceased is first washed, dressed and prepared for viewing. However, under certain circumstances embalming may be required, such as a public visitation.