Following are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about cremation. Keep in mind that laws and procedures vary from state to state and from provider to provider.
What Is Cremation?
Cremation is a process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.
How long does the actual cremation take?
It depends on the weight of the individual. For an average size adult, cremation takes from two to three hours at normal operating temperature between 1,500 degrees F to 2,000 degrees F
What Happens After The Cremation is Complete?
All organic bone fragments, which are very brittle, as well as non-consumed metal items are "swept" into the back of the the cremation chamber and into a stainless steel cooling pan. All non-consumed items, like metal from clothing, hip joints, and bridge work, are separated from the cremated remains. This separation is accomplished through visual inspection as well as using a strong magnet for smaller and minute metallic objects. Items such as dental gold and silver are non-recoverable and are commingled in with the cremated remains. Remaining bone fragments are then processed in a machine to a consistent size and placed into a temporary or permanent urn, selected by the family.
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 size adult usually weigh between four to eight pounds of cremated remains.
In what kind of container are the cremated remains returned?
The cremated remains are placed in a basic container at no charge to you. Or they may be placed in the urn of your choice from our large selection of urns available for purchase.
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.
What Can Be Done With The Cremated Remains?
Remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, inurned in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered. If scattering, local restrictions may be in effect. If transporting, check applicable state laws.
Never. Not only is it illegal to do so, most modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size to accommodate more than one adult. Thus it would be a practical impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.
Can The Family Witness The Cremation?
Yes, our staff will allow family members to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber. Special scheduling is required and witnessed cremations will take place no later than 10:00am any day Monday through Friday.
Can The Body Be Viewed Without Embalming?
In accordance to Washington State law a family can only view a deceased family member without embalming for identification purposes only and for the period of no more than one hour. A deceased body can also be viewed without embalming if religious customs are a factor. Any unembalmed body viewed in relation to religious customs can only do so for no more than one 24 hour period.
Is Cremation Accepted By All Religions?
Today most religions allow cremation except for Orthodox Jewish, Islamic, Eastern Orthodox and a few Fundamentalist Christian faiths. The Catholic Church accepts cremation as long as it is not chosen for reasons which are contrary to Christian teachings.
Can An Urn Be Brought Into Church?
Generally, most denominations will allow an urn to be brought into the church for services. It is recommended that the family speak with their pastor/clergy to secure permission before any church service is scheduled.
How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?
We have developed the most rigorous set of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize our level of quality and minimize the potential for human error. Positive identification of the deceased is assured throughout each stage of the cremation process. We only allow certified professionals to operate our cremation equipment.
An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or the remains are to be buried in a cemetery. If an urn is to be buried in a cemetery many families desire to place the urn in a cremation urn vault. If an urn is not purchased through us, or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a cardboard container. What are some cremation options?
Traditional Funeral Service followed by Cremation
Cremation followed by Memorial Service
Is A Casket Needed For Cremation?
No, a casket is not required for cremation. All that is required is a rigid container constructed of wood or cardboard, which is cremated with the body. If desired, a combustible wood casket can be cremated.
Is Embalming Required Prior To Cremation?
Embalming is only required if the family requests public viewing or private viewing that doesn’t fall under identification viewing or special religious customs that don’t allow for embalming.
Can the body be viewed without embalming?
Yes, immediate family members may briefly view the deceased prior to cremation in our private viewing room. The deceased is first washed, dressed and prepared for viewing. However, under certain circumstances embalming may be required, such as a public visitation.