What Happens in the Cremation Process

While cremation becomes a more popular choice in planning final arrangements, we get an increasing amount of questions regarding what all is involved in the process. While some people prefer not to know details, others would like to know as much as possible. If you have ever wondered about the details of the cremation process, this article should answer most of your questions.

The goal of cremation is to reduce a body to its basic elements through the use of heat. The process can take from one to three hours. The cremation chamber is known as a retort.

The retort is preheated and when the internal temperature reaches from 1400 to 1800 degrees, the body will be placed inside of it. The body is contained in a casket or other container when placed in the crematory. Ultimately, only bone fragments and foreign materials like metal or prosthetic pieces will remain. Following cooling, these foreign objects will be removed. The cremains are gathered and processed further.

At this point the cremains usually weigh three to seven pounds and have a sandy, white to grey consistency. These cremains will be placed in an urn or other container and returned to the family for final disposition. Some families decide to keep the remains, others will have them buried, placed in a niche or columbarium, or scattered. Cremations are conducted one at a time. Families are encouraged to have all jewelry, watches and rings removed prior to cremation. Prosthetics will also be removed.

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