Cremation is the most popular form of disposition in the United States, with more than 40 percent of the deceased cremated. That number is steadily growing, as cremation seems to be “catching on” with the American public.
In recent years, the average funeral has become more costly than ever. With the growing popularity of cremation, some families are beginning to realize that a traditional funeral service can be eliminated altogether.
Cremation is the process by which organic matter is reduced to bone fragments through the application of intense heat. It also refers to the original meaning of the word, “to reduce to ashes.” The burnt remains of a person or an animal is called cremated ashes or cremains.
A cremation chamber continuously operates at approximately 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to vaporize water and burn almost every organic material. This process causes the body to shrink significantly, down to approximately seven pounds or less.
The bones are pulverized during the next step of the cremation process at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, the cremated remains are transferred to a cooling chamber, then placed into a container known as an urn.
It’s important to note that cremated remains do not resemble ashes that we see coming out of a campfire. The remains look more like coarse sand and can have a variety of shades.
While this process may seem morbid for some, there are several reasons why people choose cremation rather than burial.
Here are three of the most common reasons why people choose cremation over burial.
Although the price of cremation has increased significantly in recent years, it is still significantly less expensive than a traditional funeral service. This is especially true as cremation becomes more popular and funeral homes begin offering “combination” packages that include the casket and the cremation.
In addition, many families decide to have the funeral home take care of the details and simply handle the cremation. This allows them to save additional money on the cost of a traditional funeral.
The desire to be cremated is often dictated by religious beliefs. In Hinduism, for example, it is believed that the body is just an empty shell, which is why a cremation is considered a requirement for the soul to be liberated. However, cremation has not been accepted in Judaism and Islam.
Furthermore, some religions, like the Catholic Church and the Church of England, allow the practice of cremation. In fact, it has become more common for families to cremate the deceased and have a burial service afterward.
Another reason why people choose cremation is that it has a smaller environmental impact. Most cemeteries require a body to be embalmed, which can require several gallons of embalming fluid.
This embalming fluid contains formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, which can leach into the groundwater and soil. Cremation is particularly environmentally friendly due to the lack of embalming fluid and the biodegradable urns that are used instead of an expensive casket.
A modern crematorium is one of the most environmentally friendly ways to dispose of organic matter. Cremation uses a fraction of the energy of cremation compared to what it would use for a traditional burial. For example, a burial could use several tons of earth and several hundreds of gallons of water.
In addition, cremation releases only a fraction of the carbon emissions that would be released if the remains were buried. Cremation is also an eco-friendly way to dispose of the body remains.
Cremation is a growing trend in the United States and has become more common in recent years. While it takes some time for some people to get used to the idea of cremation, it does have a number of benefits over burial. Whether you’re looking to save money or increase the environmental impact of your loved one’s funeral disposition, cremation is a viable option that many people are choosing in the modern day.
Ashes to Ashes Corporation provides one of the leading cremation services in Los Angeles. We understand the importance of you and your family making the right decisions. Let us help you make a sensible, thoughtful choice when it comes to your loved one’s cremation. See our cremation plans today!