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Frequently Asked Questions about Cremation

We have created a list of common questions that our funeral professional staff receive from families about the Cremation Process. Please read those questions and answers below, but if you feel your question was not answered, please contact us immediately and we will be happy to answer them right away.

What is Cremation?

Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame. Cremation is not the final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service.

What is a Basic or Direct Cremation?

A basic cremation, also known as direct cremation, would consist of just the preparation and the cremation. It would not involve any ceremonies or services.

A Basic Cremation can also be known as an Affordable Cremation or Simple Cremation.

Is a casket needed for Cremation?

No, a casket is not required, however provincial regulations require the body to be in a container for cremation. This may be constructed of wood or cardboard or a combination of the two. You may also use a casket that has been designed for cremation or burial if you wish. The difference is that a container normally will not have any lining inside where a casket designed for cremation will have a pillow, a bed and other lining inside.

Is embalming required prior to cremation?

No. In fact, it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.

Can the body be viewed without embalming?

Yes, most crematories allow immediate family members to briefly view the deceased prior to cremation.

Can the family witness the cremation?

Yes they can; some cremation providers will allow family members to be present when the body is placed in the cremation chamber. Some religious groups even include this as part of their funeral custom.

Can a Cremation Urn be brought into church?

Nearly all Protestant Churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service. Most Catholic Churches also allow the remains to be present during the Memorial Mass. It is encouraged that cremated remains be a part of a funeral as it provides a focal point for the service.

What can be done with the cremated remains?

While laws vary province by province, for the most part, remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or a cremation garden, interred in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered.

How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?

All reputable cremation providers have developed rigorous sets of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize the level of service and minimize the potential for human error. Since it is illegal to perform more than one cremation at a time, and the vast majority of crematories can only cremate one body at a time, it is next to impossible to receive the incorrect remains.

How long does the actual cremation take?

It all depends on the weight of the individual. For an average-sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

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-sized adult usually weigh between 7 and 8 pounds.

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.

Do I need a Cremation Urn?

A Cremation Urn is not required by law. However, a Cremation Urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or if the remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not purchased or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container.


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