Cremation has grown in popularity dramatically over the last few decades.
In 2016, cremation surpassed burial as the most common choice in the United States. As cremation gains in popularity, it is important to clarify a common misconception. Many people assume that their cannot be a funeral service, visitation, or viewing of the body when cremation is selected. On the contrary, the full range of funeral celebrations is still available when you choose cremation. Many families appreciate the opportunity to honor a loved’s life, provide a chance for friends and family to say goodbye through a final visitation, or even hold a formal service either before or after the cremation occurs.
Permanent placement, or “final disposition,” of the cremated body is an important part of final arrangements. As families grow and spread over the generations, the cremated body can become misplaced or discarded, preventing future generations from the opportunity to feel connected to the deceased. Consider these options:
- Bury or entomb your loved one’s cremated body. A permanent site gives your loved ones a physical place to visit. This can be in the family plot, a memorial site, a cremation niche or urn garden, or in a variety of other indoor and outdoor locations.
- Graveside Services
- Similar to those celebrated alongside a traditional ground burial. The ceremony accompanying the placement of the cremated body in a cemetery plot provides family and friends with closure after the loss of a loved one.
- Allows you to spread your loved one’s cremated body in a memorial garden, a cemetery, over water, or across any other meaningful site. You can also choose to scatter some of the cremated body and retain the rest in an urn for interment or another form of disposition.
- Placing cremated body in multiple urns
- Allows family members who are separated by distance to each feel the comfort of having their loved one’s final resting place in a nearby location.
- Permanent placement
- Provides future generations with a location to visit when researching heritage.
Some common methods of final disposition of the cremated body are:
- Cremation Niche
- An above-ground space to accommodate a cremation urn.
- Often located within a mausoleum or chapel and constructed of numerous niches designed to hold urns.
- Cremation Garden
- A dedicated section of a cemetery designed for the burial, scattering, or other permanent placement.
- Memorial Benches
- Benches that either simply memorialize a loved one scattered or buried in a cremation garden, or actually contain the cremated body within.
- Some cemeteries allow upright headstones, called “monuments,” to be used with ground burials. Headstones that are flat against the ground are called “markers”. In some cemeteries, only flat markers are used to preserve the natural appearance of the landscape.