Cremation is just one form of preparing the body for final disposition. It does not take the place of customary funeral services; it’s merely another form of final disposition. Funeral services are the way we, the living, share our grief, acknowledge the contributions the deceased has made to our lives, and prepare ourselves for going on with life.
Q1: What is cremation?
A: Procedure whereby dead bodies are reduced to ashes by fire.
Q2: At what temperature does a Crematorium operates?
A: The temperature at which a modern Cremator operates is between 800 °C and 1000 °C.
Q3: Is cremation more expensive than burial?
A: No. Generally the cost of graves in some countries are higher than the fee charged for cremation. Funeral agency fees are sometimes reduced because wood coffins are preferably required for cremation.
Q4: How is a cremation arranged?
A: The Cremation Regulations are known best by your Funeral Director or the Manager and Staff of the Crematorium. Immediately after death occurs contact either party and advise that you desire to arrange for a cremation. Discuss how soon you wish the cremation to take place and whom you wish to officiate at the service. The Funeral Director or Crematorium personnel will then do all that is needed to produce the necessary form of authorization for signing before any cremation is done.
You will need to sign this form in front of a witness if you are the next of kin or executor or any authorized person to do so. The death will have to be registered as required by law.
Q5: Do I have to sign anything else at this stage?
A: No. You would probably be asked how you wish to dispose of the cremation ashes. If you know, then the Crematorium will dispose of the ashes as per your request.
Q6: Is the coffin cremated with the body?
A: Yes. It is required that nothing must be removed from the coffin after it has been received from the chapel and it must be placed into the Cremator exactly as received, witnessed by a couple members of the deceased family if they so desire.
Q7: What would you recommend to people then about leaving items of jewelry on a body?
A: The best advice is that it should be removed after death unless it is intended that it should be cremated. Once the coffin is place in the Cremator, there is no way of recovering such items.
Q8: Does the cremation take place immediately or are the coffins stored up until a number are ready for cremation?
A: The cremation will follow immediately after the Committal Service.
Q9: What happens to the coffin after the Committal?
A: It is withdrawn into the Cremation Room when the name plate of the coffin is checked with the Crematorium order to ensure correct identity before being placed into the Cremator.
Q10: Is more than one coffin cremated at one time in a Cremator?
A: No. Only one person can be cremated at one time.
Q11: Can relatives witness the committal of the coffin into the Cremator?
A: Yes. Two or three family members are permitted to attend.
Q12: What does preparation of the ashes entail?
A: When the cremation is complete, that is when there is no further combustion taking place, the cremation ashes are withdrawn from the cremator into a cooling tray. Cooling can be accelerated by means of air or fan blowers or left over night.
When cool, the ferrous material is removed. The remaining ashes are then placed into a machine call a Cremulator which reduces the remains to a fine ash. The ashes are now totally bone ash and weighs usually between 4 and 6 Lbs.
Q13: How do I know I shall get the right cremation ashes?
A: Each coffin is identified on arrival and an identity card is placed on the outside of the Cremator as soon as the coffin is placed into it. The card stays there until the ashes are removed and then transferred to the cooling tray. The ashes then go to the preparation room and the card stays with them, finally being placed in the urns which contains only that cremains. The cremator can only accept one coffin at a time.
Q14: What happens to the cremation ashes then?
A: The cremation ashes are strewn or buried in the Garden of Remembrance. The Crematorium has nitches where urns may be placed but these are on a rental basis and if not renewed periodically the ashes will be strewn or buried.
The alternative is to remove the cremated ashes from the Crematorium in a suitable urn for disposal elsewhere. This may be by burying in a family grave or strewing the ashes in some favorite spot.
Q15: What happens to the coffin handles and other coffin fittings?
A: Crematorium regulations requires that all fittings shall be of combustible material and the handles and name plates are made of hard plastic Ferrous nails and screws do not burn and stay with the ashes until they are withdrawn from the Cremator when they are subject to a magnetic field which removes them.
Q16: What happens at the Crematorium on the day of the funeral?
A: The coffin is usually brought into the chapel followed by the mourners. While it is being placed on the Catafalque the mourners take their seats and the service proceeds. At the end of the service the curtain is drawn across the coffin separating the coffin from the chapel members. The coffin is then taken to the Cremator with two or three members of the family to witness the start of the operation.
Q17: What is the Garden of Remembrance at the Crematorium?
A: The Garden of Remembrance consists of areas set aside as a Flower Garden for the disposal of Cremation Ashes. Ashes may be placed in a small Niche which can be rented at the Crematorium or taken away to home or scattered as the person wishes. It can also be buried but without any spot being reserved to any one person. This is because the area is used again and again over the years and will be for as long as the Crematorium is in operation.
Q18: If ashes are strewn on the ground what happens to them?
A: As the highest biochemical activity exists at the surface of the soil and the cremation ashes are in a small granular form, weather and biochemical action quickly break down the ashes to form part of the earth and within a short time there is no trace of them.
Q19: What can I do if I want to bury the ashes and have a grave stone?
A: In such a case it would be necessary to purchase a grave spot in a cemetery where provision is made to erect a head stone.
Q20: Can I keep the cremation ashes if l want to or must I dispose of them?
A: The applicant may do what he or she wishes with the ashes and may keep them if this is their desire but it must be place in a Sealed Urn.
Q21: What memorials are possible then at the Crematorium?
A: The only permanent form of memorial available is an entry into the cremation record. At present we are planning a memorial wall for ashes scattered in the Garden of Remembrance where by a small plaque will be placed with the name of the person whose ashes were scattered there.
Q22: Are there any religious groups which forbid cremation?
A: Yes. Today all Christian denominations allow cremation but it is forbidden by the Muslim faith.
Q23: What religious ceremony can I have with cremation?
A: The service for burial and cremation is the same apart from the form of committal sentences. The Funeral Service can be held in one’s own church and then a short Committal Service held at the Crematorium Chapel by your own Minister.
Q24: How can I ensure that I am cremated when I die?
A: Clear instructions in writing should be given to the person who would be responsible for your funeral when you demise, such instructions are not binding by law so you should ensure that the person instructed is someone who is likely to carry out your wishes. The final decision will rest with your executors.
Q25: Can my remains be cremated against my wish?
A: No. The remains of any person who has been known to have left a written declaration indicating his/ her wish not to be cremated cannot be cremated. Unless the person died of an infectious disease and for reasons of public safety they would be cremated.
Q26: I understand on the form authorizing cremation you have to state if the deceased has a pace maker. Why so?
A: If a patient dies and he has a pace maker in his heart it must be stated because it have to be removed before cremation for if left it will damage the cremator.