Common Questions

How to Make Your Cremation Wishes Known

posted Nov 30, 2010, 9:34 PM by Guido Santella   [ updated Dec 2, 2010, 9:50 AM ]

An individual making a personal choice for cremation as the final means of disposition of their body can make pre-arrangements as with any other type of funeral.

Simply stating that you wish to be cremated is not legally enough to insure that your wishes are carried out.

A person who feels strongly about your decision can best insure that this will happen through pre-need cremation arrangements.  Your funeral director can assist you in prearranging this option, along with other plans.

We encourage families to ask their funeral director questions about cremation and all the options it provides.

Options After Cremation

posted Nov 30, 2010, 9:33 PM by Guido Santella   [ updated Aug 26, 2019, 1:21 PM by Guido Santella ]

Cremated remains may be placed in a small space in the ground in an urn garden at a cemetery or in a niche in a mausoleum, which can be inside a building or in an outdoor structure.  They may also be buried in a traditional cemetery lot.

All these option permit the identification of a loved one with a permanent marker.

Choosing Cremation Containers

Cremation options include a choice of container to hold the body, which may be a traditional casket, a specially constructed cremation casket usually of simpler design, or an alternative container. There are a wide variety of styles and designs available at varied prices.

Following cremation, another choice must be made about disposition and memorialization of the cremated remains.  There mare many types of urns and containers that may be selected by the family, including some that may represent an aspect in the life of the deceased person, such as a favorite hobby or past-time.  Funeral homes maintain a stock of such items.

Containers with ashes may be buried in family plots or urn gardens.  They may be placed in a niche mausoleum or kept at home.  Or, they may be scattered at a selected site of special significance, where permitted.  The choice of disposition may influence your choice of container.

What Cremation Choices Are Available?

posted Nov 30, 2010, 9:32 PM by Guido Santella   [ updated Dec 2, 2010, 9:56 AM ]

Choosing cremation is one of a number of options you have about the type of overall funeral service.

With cremation, you may also choose:

  • a traditional public visitation and service at the funeral home or church
  • a private vieweing with a service
  • a private vieweing only, or
  • a memorial service, either closely following the death or later.

With the choice of traditional visitation and service, you schedule a time for your family to gather with friends at the funeral home to comfort each other at your time of loss.  The visitation is open to all, and can be followed by a religious service, a “contemporary” service where family members and friends are encouraged to participate and share their feelings or a combination of these approaches.

If you select a private viewing and service, you may request close friends, relatives and acquaintances to be with you for an observance in honor of your loved one.

A private viewing only, which may be chosen by those who do not want a formal service, provides invited family members and friends with a final opportunity to see a person.  It can be helpful in leaving a positive and peaceful image in memory.

“Viewings are confirming.  They provide emotional reinforcement that a death has taken place,” says the Rev. Paul Irion of the Lancaster Theological Seminary.

A memorial service following cremation can be held at the funeral home, with the staff handling many of the related details and assisting with arrangements.

Some families have found it helpful to hold a second memorial service on an anniversiry or other important date, or to supplement a service in another location.

The serivce may be religious or contemporary.  The option of having the cremated remains present can help provide a focus for remembering.

As with many traditional funerals, families are encourage to provide their input and share special feelings about a person that can add to the memorial serivce.  This may include memorable photographs, favorite readings or music, or other reflectitions of the life, business, hobbies, and interests of the person remembered.

Why Choose Cremation?

posted Nov 30, 2010, 9:31 PM by Guido Santella   [ updated Aug 26, 2019, 1:22 PM by Guido Santella ]

Individuals may choose cremation for religious, cultural, philosophical, or economic reasons.

Sometimes cremation is chosen because of a perceived lack of land for burial purposes.

Cremation can provide a dignified lower-cost option.  In most cases, the choice for cremation as a final means of disposition generally costs less than a traditional funeral service.  The overall cost is based on your selection of merchandise and services, plus some fixed expenses.

But, cremation does not mean giving up time-honored traditions of gatherings of family and friends for observances to commemorate a life that has been lived.

What is Cremation?

posted Nov 30, 2010, 9:31 PM by Guido Santella

Cremation uses intense heat and evaporation to return the body to its natural components.  It is an age-old practice used around the world.  Cremated remains consist primarily of elemental bone fragments.

Before cremation, the body mat be placed in a variety of containers, depending primarily on the type of funeral service selected.  A casket or cremation container in which the body is encased is usually designed to be consumed in the cremation process.  Following cremation, the cremated remains are normally placed in a container called an urn.

Embalming is not required if there is no viewing, or if the funeral takes place within 24 hours of the death.  Otherwise, it is a requirement of Penssylvania law.   The purposeof embalming is to disinfect and help preserve the body.

Cremation provded and unlimited time to decide the ultimate disposal of ashes, bit it offers other options for funeral services too.

Funeral homes offer counseling on all these possibilites.  They also provide facilities for families and friedns to assemble and honor their loved one.

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