Even if you decide to have a more traditional funeral service
with the body present, you can still choose cremation as an option.
Most funeral homes will provide a rental casket and casket liner so
you don't need to have the extra expense of a casket, while still
having a traditional service.
What are cremains?
Cremation uses heat to reduce the body to its basic elements.
The final result is referred to as cremains, or ashes.
Some families may choose to accompany the body to the
crematorium after a church service - much the same as attending a
graveside service - however, this service is traditionally attended
by only close friends and family members.
The body is cremated shortly after death, without embalming. The
cremated remains are placed in an urn or other container. No
viewing or visitation is involved, although a memorial service may
be held, with or without the cremated remains present. The remains
can be kept in the home, buried or placed in a crypt or niche in a
cemetery, or buried or scattered in a favorite spot.
Direct cremation usually costs less than the traditional,
full-service funeral. Costs include the funeral home's basic
services fee, as well as transportation and care of the body. A
crematory fee may be included or, if the funeral home does not own
the crematory, the fee may be added on. There also will be a charge
for an urn or other container. The cost of a cemetery plot or crypt
is included only if the remains are buried or entombed.
Funeral providers who offer direct cremations also must offer to
provide an alternative container that can be used in place of a
|Types of urns:
- Cast bronze
- Stainless steel
- Memory chest
- Wind chimes
- Bird bath
What to do with cremains
Cremains, like a traditional burial, can be placed in a cemetery
plot or entombment. They can be kept in an urn or scattered
someplace meaningful. If you are considering scattering cremains,
you need to check with your local laws regarding this matter. The
crematorium could answer any questions you may have about
There are less traditional ways to handle the cremains, such as
having them made into diamonds or placing them in memorial jewelry.
There are artisans who make custom cremain urns or even have them
buried at sea in a coral reef.
Cremation remains controversial within Catholic circles.
Traditionally, cremation was viewed as denying faith in God and
resurrection. However, the 1983 Code of Canon Law (1176. 3) now
reads, "The Church earnestly recommends that the pious custom of
burial be retained; but it does not forbid cremation, unless this
is chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teaching."
Cremation is the final form of disposition and you may have a full
Mass with body and casket. If you are planning cremation, it should
occur after the funeral liturgy. The cremated remains of the body
should be buried or entombed. For more information, speak to your