Cremation has been around as a funerary service and disposition method in the United States, legally, since 1876, but its popularity didn’t become prevalent until the 1960s. It’s only recently soared in dominant popularity until the last couple of decades. As of 2019, cremation services in Mooreland, IN, were ranked as the top disposition method with well-over half of residents choosing cremation services as their preferred funerary option. It’s a quick, efficient, eco-friendly alternative to burials, and it’s less expensive than traditional burial and funeral services.
While many people now have no qualms about choosing cremation as a preferred funerary and disposition method, it wasn’t always revered. Cremation was once reviled, and many people thought the process was both morbid and evil since it involved the burning of a loved one’s body to “dispose” of organic matter (hair, skin, etc.).
Are Cremated Remains Really Ashes?
Yes and no. Cremated remains are burned and pulverized bones and teeth. Cremation is a word that means “to burn,” and that’s what happens during the process. The decedent (deceased person) is placed in a retort, which is a crematorium oven, under intense heat of between 1,400 to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. The intensity of the fire burns down organic matter, but bones are more difficult to incinerate because they are made of harder, more resistant materials.
Bones don’t always burn down completely. Instead, the calcium phosphates in bones begin to break down, allowing a crumbling deterioration that makes them easier to crush. Hence why crematorium staff will use a special machine to pulverize and grind bones down to fine powders, also known as ashes or cremains (cremated remains), after cremation.
In some cases, families and friends can make a request that the bone fragments be left as-is instead of pulverized to uniform granules. However, cremains are easier to scatter in ash form. The cremation process purifies bone matter, so ashes are sterile and harmless to the health of humans.
Do Decedents Have to Be Embalmed Before Cremation?
No, it’s not necessary for decedents to be embalmed before cremation. However, if loved ones have chosen a public viewing or traditional funeral services, the deceased will be either refrigerated or embalmed to slow decomposition. This doesn’t have any effect on the cremation process. It’s simply another step towards decedent preparation, allowing family and friends to say goodbye before the body is reduced to ash.
Does There Have to Be Body Preparation and Funeral Services Before the Cremation Process?
No, funeral services and traditional preparation are at the request of either 1) the decedent before death (when they planned their own funeral services while alive), or 2) loved ones planning the funeral and disposition. There’s also the option of direct cremation, which is a quicker, more efficient method of cremation that requires no extra preparation or funerary service.
Direct cremation begins with the decedent being brought to the funeral home or crematorium directly from the place of death. From there, they are placed in a makeshift, biodegradable casket before being placed in the incinerator for direct cremation services. You can learn more about cremation services in Mooreland, IN. Talk to us at Sproles Family Funeral Home to schedule a consultation and learn about cremation services/funeral home services. Visit our offices in Indiana or call our locations.