• on October 4, 2023

10 Common Questions About Cremations That Funeral Directors Are Asked

Of all the aspects of the work that funeral directors do, they receive more questions about cremations from, not just bereaved families discussing the funeral of loved ones, but also those who are very much alive, and who wish to pre-plan their funeral.

Given that making the arrangements for a funeral is not something people do every day, it is understandable that they have questions, however, such is the confusion surrounding cremations, it seems to raise more questions than you might expect.

So, rather than allowing much of that confusion to remain for those reading this, we thought it would be helpful to give answers to ten of the most commonly asked questions that funeral directors receive regarding cremations.

Are Cremations More Common Than Burials?

In Australia, the number of cremations is far greater than burials. Most funeral directors will state that for every four funerals they arrange, three of them will be cremations and one will be a burial. In some states, such as Western Australia, the occurrence is even greater with four out of five funerals being cremations.

Do Cremations Cost More Or Less Than Burials?

There are differences in funeral costs from state to state, and there will also be an impact on cost depending on how elaborate the funeral is to be. However, comparing the average costs of each, you should find that cremations are approximately one-quarter to one-third of the cost of a traditional burial.

Are Cremations Permissible For All Faiths And Religions?

For religions such as Buddhism, Hindi, and Sikh, cremation is the traditional and preferred method of saying goodbye to a departed loved one. In Christian churches, including Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Anglican, cremation is fully accepted. However, creation is not permitted in Islam and some Orthodox churches such as Greek and Russian. Read more about our Multicultural Funeral Services

What Services Are Suitable For Cremations?

Your funeral director can assist with arranging the service of choice. These consist of religious services which usually take place in churches or the chapel at the funeral home. Alternatively, a non-religious service, usually classified as a celebration of life, can take place at the crematorium.

What Is The Procedure For The Funeral At The Crematorium?

Either before the mourners enter, or just after they do, the coffin is placed on the committal table, called a catafalque. The service then takes place, and as part of that service, family and mourners might be invited to come forward and say their last goodbyes at the coffin. Thereafter, the curtain will be pulled around the coffin, or the coffin lowered from view into the catafalque.

What Happens To The Coffin Once The Service Has Concluded?

Once the mourners have left, the coffin’s nameplate is checked to confirm the identity of the deceased. The coffin might be given a further label with the deceased’s name as a further means of ensuring the correct identity. The coffin will then be cremated, and the remains placed in a container with an identity label attached.

Does Each Coffin Get Cremated Individually?

Absolutely. No multiple or mass cremations take place except in special and very rare circumstances. Even then, permission from the relevant authority must be sought. Two examples of when permission might be granted for joint cremation are twin children or a mother and her baby.

What Happens To Any Metal Jewellery Such Rings Or Chains The Deceased Is Wearing?

If the family wishes their loved one to be cremated wearing metal jewellery that is fine, although they should be aware that they cannot be returned. The huge temperatures created during a cremation mean all metals are melted and fused with other materials and are thus not salvageable.

How Do Funeral Directors And Crematoriums Ensure The Correct Ashes Are Given To The Family?

As we have mentioned, the identity of the coffin is tracked at all stages of the process, and that extends to the period after the cremation has taken place. We must also point out that many crematoriums will remove the container containing ashes before another coffin enters the building.

Are There Any Restrictions On What You Can Do With A Loved One’s Ashes?

Disposal of ashes is the responsibility of the deceased’s estate administrator, which in most cases will be an immediate member of their family. Whether the ashes are kept or disposed of is their choice. Permission might be required to scatter ashes on certain properties such as public parks.

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