Cremations have been around for thousands of years but have changed a lot in recent times due to technological advancements. You’ve probably heard about cremation services in Monroeville, PA, but how much do you really know about them? How does cremation work? What happens after a cremation? Keep reading for more cremation details.
- Body Preparation – There are a lot of steps that must take place before a body is cremated. First, a funeral director or crematory manager needs to obtain a cremation authorization document signed by closest surviving family members. The funeral director then goes through a series of checks to ensure proper body identification to make sure the remains are returned to the proper family. The body is then checked and processed to remove any items that cannot be cremated with the body. These items include jewelry and medical devices, especially pacemakers. Once prepared, the body is put inside a cremation casket and checked again for identification. A metal identification tag that won’t burn or melt is also placed inside the cremation casket as a final check for identification.
- The Cremation – A cremation chamber, sometimes called a retort, is built from fire resistant bricks and special masonry compounds designed to stand up to extremely high temperatures. The body, inside its cremation casket, is placed inside the chamber. Cremation chambers generally get to at least 1800 degrees Fahrenheit with burners fueled by propane or natural gas. It usually takes 2 hours for a body to be reduced to bone fragments and ash, but the time can vary depending on factors such as the size of the body, type of cremation casket, or even the percentage of body fat to lean muscle.
- Ash Processing – After the cremation is completed, the remains are left to cool for about 30 minutes after the incineration. They are then processed and checked again for any remaining medical debris and for proper identification. Then, the remaining bone fragments go through a processor that grinds the fragments down into fine ash. This ash is what is returned to the family for funeral services, interment, and other post-cremation options.
- After Cremation – There are lots of different things loved one’s can do with the deceased’s ashes after the cremation. Some ideas include casting or tossing the cremated remains into the wind; raking, a process in which the ashes are poured over loose earth and raked into the soil; trenching or burying the ashes in a shallow grave; water scattering; or simply scattering the ashes into a body of water. The bereaved are free to choose whatever process is best for them and their grief process.
Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help if you want to learn more about Monroeville, PA cremation services or other post-death body disposition options. We have years of industry experience ready to put at your disposal. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call for more information on what we can do to help you in your time of loss or of preplanning.