What takes place during a cremation?

Cremation has been a funeral option in the United Kingdom for nearly 150 years, although many people are still unaware of it. We'll go over exactly what happens during a cremation so you and your family are prepared.

Matthew Ridyard avatar

Matthew Ridyard

07 January 2022

The cremation process explained.

1. How is the individual at the crematorium identified?

A unique identifying number and physical tag are issued to each person who is taken to a crematorium. This is an important safety that allows you to trace them throughout the cremation process. It also provides assurance to your family that the ashes you get are those of your loved one.

At the crematorium, the medical documents and certificate are also reviewed. This is done to ensure that the cremation has been approved by a doctor and the cremation authority.

2. What is the process of preparing a body for cremation?

Any medical devices (such as a pacemaker) are removed from the body before it is cremated. It is always recommended that families remove any jewellery before collecting their loved ones, but a second check will be made at the crematorium just to be sure.

After that, your loved one is placed in a modest wooden casket and transported to the cremation chamber.

3. What is the process for cremation?

Your loved one is placed in the cremation chamber once all of the forms have been authorised and the body has been prepared. The temperature is fixed between 1000°C and 1300°C. After the ashes have cooled, magnets are used to extract any leftover metal before a cremulator grinds any remaining bone pieces into a white powder. After that, the cremated remains are placed in a temporary urn before being restored to your family.

How long does it take to be cremated?

A cremation creates between 1kg and 3kg of ashes and takes about 2-3 hours to finish. Family members are permitted to see the cremation of the body as it enters the chamber, which is known as a "witness cremation." Families, on the other hand, rarely get to see the cremation process in action.

When the body is committed to the chamber during a funeral service, a curtain normally comes across. Family and friends frequently depart the crematorium at this time in the ritual.

How long do you have to wait for the ashes after a cremation?

After a cremation, it takes one to two weeks to receive the ashes. These are normally hand-delivered to you in a temporary urn if you choose direct cremation. The cremation ash may need to be retrieved from the crematorium or funeral home if you book a traditional cremation with a funeral director on the high street.

With direct cremation, the memorial service is held at a later date (typically with the ashes present), thus family and friends are not present during the cremation.

After a cremation, what happens?

The family is usually the first to depart the cremation after the service is completed. Depending on the family's preferences, a memorial or period of contemplation may be held, in which case guests and crematorium employees will depart. Depending on the cremation service you choose, the type of memorial you can organise and the number of persons who can attend may differ.

Traditional cremation vs. direct cremation

Direct cremations accounted for only 2% of funerals in 2016. By 2019, this figure had risen to 8%. Cost, personalisation, and convenience are just a few of the reasons for this unexpected surge in popularity.

We'll go through the main differences between direct cremation and traditional cremation in this article:

1 The memorial service

A funeral service is normally held at your choice of crematoria before the body is committed to the chamber in a traditional cremation. A funeral director is normally in charge of this.

What kind of service am I able to get?

The crematoria's available facilities for the service will vary, but you should be able to acquire the service you desire within reason.

The memorial service occurs after the ashes have been returned to the family via direct cremation. This is frequently organised by the deceased's partner, children, family members, or other loved ones, and can take place anywhere from your home to a favourite pub or restaurant.

2 A farewell to oneself

When planning a typical cremation, you'll have options for the casket, urn, funeral flowers, music, and readings, among other things. The majority of this, however, will need to be coordinated through your funeral director, and the service will need to be held in the crematorium.

When it comes to direct cremation, there isn't much of an option in terms of the cremation service itself. However, once you've received your loved one's ashes, you can plan a memorial that's appropriate for you and your family.

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