Cremation is a process that reduces the body of a dead person to ashes. The process, which often emits symbolic smoke, is seen by some as an alternative to burial or entombment with its related costs. Cremation Packages are primarily based on the ashes, while other packages are based on the casket. Cremation is a common practice in the U.S., and there are many different types of cremation packages available, each with its benefits and drawbacks. The following is a guide to understanding the different cremation packages available.
1. Direct cremation package
This type of cremation package is the least expensive option. The body is brought to the crematorium by a vehicle, most likely a hearse, and then placed in the retort (oven) for cremation. The ashes are then delivered to the family in a temporary container. The family is left on its own to decide what happens to the ashes next – scattering them or having them buried.
2. Traditional service with cremation
This traditional service normally follows the steps of a direct cremation package. However, there are some variations to it and the level of involvement from the funeral director. It is possible to have a visitation and viewing of the body before cremation. There is also more flexibility in terms of the type of service, as cremation can take place immediately after. The cremated remains still need to be placed in an urn, but these options are also available. The family still needs to arrange for final disposition (burial or scattering).
3. Urn burial package
In this cremation package, the body can be embalmed and viewed by the family before being brought to the funeral facility by a hearse (or another similar vehicle). It can be brought directly from home on a gurney. It is possible for the family to decide on the type of casket and where the body is to be buried, although, ultimately, remains have to be placed in an urn. All remains are placed in an urn upon cremation and kept as a family memento.
4. Grave or niche side service with cremation
In this cremation package, the body is not present during the service. The remains are placed in a gravesite or niche by the funeral director. The family can also opt to have a separate memorial service. In this case, the urn is left in the funeral facility or delivered to a family member’s home. If a memorial service is being held, the urn can be brought and placed at the service site for viewing.
5. Spiritual Provider Package
This type of cremation package is aimed at individuals who do not wish for any form of final disposition and want their remains returned solely to nature. The body is cremated in a simple cremation container, placed in the casket cremator, and the remains are returned to nature.
6. Simple Direct Cremation
This type of service is offered by funeral homes that do not offer a traditional service after a routine direct cremation. The family may be given the option to come in before or after for viewing, but no formal visitation or funeral is required. If you are interested in this option, contact a direct cremation provider in your area.
7. Funeral with Services Package with Cremation
These packages have many similarities to traditional funerals but are specifically directed toward those choosing cremation as their final disposition instead of burial. The deceased’s body will be brought to a funeral home for preparation and visitation. Some funeral homes may offer a service in the funeral home chapel before cremation. In contrast, other funeral homes may offer a traditional service at another location, with cremation immediately following the service.
Benefits of Cremation Packages
1. Less expensive compared to a traditional burial
2. Shorter time frame for the family to arrange for final disposition
3. Less stress on the family, as they do not need to plan a funeral or make arrangements for interment. A funeral director can help with this if needed.
4. Allows families to gain closure by holding an emotional service and viewing their loved one before cremation occurs.
5. Allows bodies to be returned to nature, making the final resting place of ashes less permanent than a tomb or grave.
6. One less thing for family and friends to deal with in the immediate aftermath of a death.
7. No impact on property surroundings other than a small plot of land (if used), no encroaching on neighbors’ space and property (if used).
8. Family can choose which type of container they would like for the remains, from simple urns to caskets and casket boxes, to urns placed in niche areas or even a simple rectangular shell-shaped container.
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