Cremation Process

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Today, an increasing number of people are choosing cremation for themselves or their loved ones. Cremation is appealing to many because it's simple, affordable and ecologically sensitive.

What is cremation?

In the cremation process, the container holding the body is placed in the cremation chamber, where the temperature is raised to approximately 1600 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. After approximately two to two and a half hours, organic matter is consumed by heat or evaporation. The residue remaining is bone fragments which are then carefully removed from the cremation chamber. Any ferrous metal is separated by a magnet and later disposed of in an irrecoverable manner. The bone fragments are then processed into fine particles to yield the cremated remains, which some people may refer to as "ashes." The cremated remains are placed into a temporary container provided by the crematory and returned to the family.

Most families transfer the cremated remains of their loved one to an urn, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Scattering urns allow for cremated remains to be scattered by air or by water. Other urns are appropriate for being kept at the home, or for inurnment or entombment in a cemetery space, such as a mausoleum, columbarium niche or cremation garden. Still other urns, called keepsake urns, allow for cremated remains to be divided among several family members.

Whatever your personal reasons for choosing cremation, you have a variety of choices when you use a National Cremation & Burial Society® provider.

Learn more about the cremation process by reading our Frequently Asked Questions.