Cremations, chosen by over 70% of British families, may present an air of mystery due to the discreet nature of the process. Barnsley Municipal Funerals is here to unravel the intricacies of cremation services, providing clarity to assist you in making informed decisions about planning a funeral cremation service.
What is a Cremation?
Cremation involves utilising intense heat to transform the remains of a deceased person into ashes. This process unfolds within specially designed cremation chambers, where the deceased is exposed to intense heat for approximately two hours. After completion, small amounts of bone residue remain, which are then cooled and processed into ashes, placed in a container. Families may choose to receive the ashes after the cremation.
What Happens at a Cremation Service?
Mourners Arrive at Crematorium: Guests assemble either outside, awaiting the hearse, or take seats in the chapel before the coffin is brought in.
Seating Before the Service: A cremation service typically lasts 30 to 45 minutes before the actual cremation process occurs away from the attendees.
The Service: A cremation order of service may include hymns, musical pieces, eulogies, and prayers or poems if desired.
The Committal: As the service concludes, the coffin is often obscured from view, allowing mourners to pay final respects before the cremation.
Mourners Leave the Service: Attendees offer condolences, view flowers, and proceed to the wake.
The Wake: An optional gathering to celebrate the life of the loved one, featuring food, drinks, music, and displays of photographs in a relaxed atmosphere.
While the cremation process may seem mysterious, especially compared to burial, it is straightforward. Frequently asked questions include clarifications on the difference between cremation and committal, the possibility of having a cremation without a service, and the required paperwork for the cremation process.
Preparation of the Deceased
Before cremation, the deceased, under the care of a funeral director, undergoes cleaning, dressing, and may be embalmed. Special attention is given to religious traditions, and items like jewelry and artificial limbs are removed to prevent reactions in the cremation chamber.
Crematorium staff diligently check the coffin's nameplate at the end of the cremation service, ensuring the correct ashes are returned to the loved ones.
Coffin and Cremation
A variety of coffin options, including veneer, wooden, cardboard, and environmentally friendly choices, are available. The coffin is burnt during the cremation due to its highly perishable materials.
What Goes in the Coffin for Cremation?
Perishable items like wooden toys, books, flowers, and photographs can be cremated with the deceased, provided they are non-combustible and do not produce harmful fumes.
Under UK law, individuals must be cremated separately, with exceptions granted in special circumstances.
Cremation Duration and Code of Practice
The cremation process typically lasts between one and three hours, with an additional one to two hours for cooling. Crematoriums adhere to a strict code of conduct, prominently displayed in public areas.
Ashes are placed in a basic container for return to the family. Families can choose from various options such as urns, caskets, or scatter tubes.
Return Time for Ashes
While most crematoriums can return ashes within one working day, and sometimes even on the same day, depending on the timing of the cremation process, it's important to note that the entire process of receiving the ashes may take around a week.
Ashes Ownership and Disposition
The person who signs the cremation application form is the only one authorised to collect the ashes. While no clear law dictates ashes possession, families often designate the executor of the will or those in contact with funeral directors for this responsibility.
What to Do with the Ashes
Options include scattering or burying in the crematorium garden of remembrance, private garden burial, or retaining the ashes in a memorial piece of jewelry.
Memorials and Scattering
Crematoria offers various memorial options for gardens of remembrance, providing a peaceful place for families to remember their loved ones.
Arranging a Cremation
Every family's circumstances are unique. To explore personalised cremation and cremation service options, contact your local Barnsley Municipal Funerals director. Whether seeking a simple unattended cremation or a full-service arrangement, we are here to assist you at every step.