Cremation is a process by which the body of the deceased is incinerated in an electric furnace, where temperatures of around 2000 degrees Fahrenheit quickly cause combustion and transform the body into ash. The ashes are then taken out of the chamber, allowed to cool down to room temperature and are then sealed in an urn or other similar container prior to handing them over to the deceased’s family members.
Where does cremation take place?
Cremation takes place in a crematorium. The family of the deceased can contact them directly or through a funeral home. In the crematorium, the body is placed in a coffin, and then inserted into the crematory chamber. The entire cremation process can take as long as three to four hours. The bones that are not disintegrated naturally are pulverized to facilitate complete burning and in the end, all that is left are ashes with uniform sand like consistency. Prior to cremation, the crematorium authorities may ask for confirmation that any mechanical devices such as pacemakers, prosthetic limbs, dentures and so on; have been removed from the body of the deceased. The ashes obtained once the process is complete weigh around 5-7 pounds (determined by the size and bone density of the body).
Dealing with the remains:
The ashes can be kept either by the family in an urn, buried in the church cemetery, or placed in a vault. Some choose to scatter the ashes in a place that was frequented by the deceased, in the backyard of their homes or into a river.
Advantages and Disadvantages:
Cremating a body has several advantages over burial. These include,
- Cremating a body is a lot more affordable than arranging for a burial service. It does not cost more than $500 to cremate the body.
- Safe for the environment, hygienic, and there is no risk of the body being exhumed.
- The remains can be stored easily and take up little space.
- In areas where land is at a premium, buying a plot in the cemetery can be very expensive. Storing the ashes after cremation requires just a vessel that is not inconvenient to keep.
The disadvantages of cremation are very few. However, a few religions such as Islam, orthodox Christian sects, the Jewish and some Greeks do not favour cremation, as they feel that the process is disrespectful or not in keeping with their religious teachings.