Cremation is on the rise in the U.S. In fact, 50.2% of Americans opted for cremation in 2016, while 43.5% opted for burial, according to the National Directors Association’s (NFDA) 2017 Cremation and Burial Report.
With projections in favor of cremation in the coming years, the NFDA report suggests that, “Many consumers are still unaware of the full spectrum of choices available for end-of-life services.”
In response to changing consumer preferences, it’s important for families to know what is and isn’t true about the general process, costs and services associated with cremation.
To help you understand your options better, we debunk common cremation myths below.
1. Myth: Cremation is Cheaper Than Burial
Many people believe that the overall cost of cremation is cheaper than burial, but the truth is, the costs are comparable when configuring the products and services selected.
The NFDA suggests the average cost of a funeral with viewing and burial in 2017 was $7,360, compared to $6,260 for a funeral with viewing and cremation.
Some factors that may influence the final dollar amount of a cremation include:
- Transfer of the deceased
- Services of licensed professional and staff
- Care of the deceased (embalming, refrigeration)
- Selected services (visitation, wake, funeral, gathering, memorial)
- Container (urn, casket, vault, grave liner)
- Service personalization (music, flowers, candles, cards)
- Final resting place (plot, columbarium, mausoleum)
Therefore, it’s hard to deem cremation cheaper than burial and vice versa. After all, the final price comes down to what you and your family are willing to pay.
2. Myth: Cremation Limits Memorialization Options
Contrary to popular belief, cremation does not limit the ability to memorialize the deceased.
For instance, decorative urns are available online and offline, varying in size, shape and style for those who wish to keep their loved ones at home. New technology can even engrave words and designs into urns, similar to what is seen on grave markers. Contact us for personalization.
If you’d prefer to memorialize your loved one in or out of a cemetery, such receptacles can be recessed into memorials and monuments for remembrance. These include:
- Natural granite rocks and boulders
- Lawn-level, bevel and slanted markers
- Upright memorials
Scattering cremains in a place that was meaningful to your loved one is another option for memorialization. You may choose to have a small gathering as the ashes are scattered, including close family members and friends. A permit or permission may be required depending on the location for scattering.
Because the scattering of ashes is an irreversible process, families who choose cremation should strongly consider a way to memorialize a lost loved one through a physical place that can visit forever. Seek out a memorial specialist for ideas on how to do this outside of a cemetery.
3. Myth: Cremation Restricts Service Options
Many people believe that you can’t have a funeral with cremation, but that’s simply not the case.
Cremation offers the same options as burial. The only difference is that these services may occur before or after the cremation, and may or may not have the body or cremains present.
Some common cremation services include:
- Wake. A wake is a public event for friends and family members to gather. The body is present at this time for people to view and offer condolences to loved ones of the deceased.
- Funeral. A funeral is a private ceremony that takes place before the deceased’s body is buried or cremated. Similarly to a visitation, the body is present during this time, but the family may choose to keep the casket open or closed. A funeral is typically held at a church or funeral home.
- Memorial Service. A memorial service is a ceremony that takes place after the deceased’s body is buried or cremated. In the event the body was cremated, the cremains are displayed in an urn with friends and family present. Memorial services may be held at a funeral home, church or other place of significance to the deceased.
- Gathering. A gathering takes place after a funeral or memorial service, and gives close friends and family members time to spend together and remember the life lost. The body is typically not present at this time. Since gatherings are more casual, friends and family may congregate at a restaurant, park, home, event space or social hall.
When you choose cremation, there are many options for commemorating a loved one.
Are you looking for a unique and meaningful way to memorialize your loved one’s cremated remains? Contact us today to learn about the many cremation memorials and monuments we offer.