Cremation is a form of disposition sometimes chosen by families rather than burial. The cremation process is highly regulated in the Province of Ontario allowing only one cremation to take place at a time. Caskets or specialized containers used for the cremation process must be made of wood or other combustible materials. The casket and deceased are placed in the cremation chamber where through heat and evaporation they are reduced to their basic elements, which are referred to as cremated remains. At this point within the process the remains have neither the appearance nor the chemical properties of ashes, they are, in fact, bone fragments. These fragments are then mechanically reduced into minute particles and placed in a permanent urn.
Cremated remains can be scattered or buried, or they may be kept with your family in a decorative urn.
Some religions welcome cremation while others forbid it. The Catholic Church had banned cremation up until 1963, and burial remains the preferred form of disposition today. In other Christian denominations cremation was historically discouraged but nowadays it is more widely accepted. In eastern religions such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism cremation is mandated, while in Islam it is strictly forbidden. Orthodox Jews also forbid cremation; other sects of Judaism support cremation, but burial remains the preferred option.
What is Cremation?
Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame. Cremation is not the final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service.
Is a casket needed for Cremation?
No, a casket is not required, most provinces require an alternative container generally constructed of fibrewood for those families who may choose for their loved one to be transfered directly to the crematorium prior to visitation or a funeral service taking place.
Is embalming required prior to cremation?
No. In fact it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.
Can the family witness the cremation?
Yes they can; some cremation providers will allow family members to be present when the body is placed in the cremation chamber. Some religious groups even include this as part of their funeral custom.
Can an urn be brought into church?
All Churches allow for one's urn to be present during a memorial service or Memorial Mass. It is encouraged that cremated remains be a part of a funeral as it provides a significant importance for one's service.
What can be done with the cremated remains?
Often, we are asked here at the Malcolm, Deavitt & Binhammer Funeral Home for assistance with options which families have regarding the final disposition of cremation remains.
Here are some choices which are permitted;
- You may purchase rights to bury or scatter cremation remains in a designated part of a cemetery. Cremated remains may only be buried in a registered cemetery. Scattering rights may not be available at all cemeteries.
- You may purchase rights to place the cremation remains in a compartment in a columbarium, called a niche. A columbarium is a structure that houses a number of niches.
- You may scatter the cremated remains on private property with the consent of the land owner.
- You may also choose to scatter cremation remains on unoccupied Crown Lands and Crown Lands covered by water.
What do the cremated remains look like?
Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an average sized adult usually weighs between 7 and 8 pounds.
Are all the cremated remains returned?
With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family.
Do I need an urn?
An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service, burial of the cremation remains or to be kept at home with you. If an urn is not purchased, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container.