Burial and Cremation

Cremation and burial are both ways of dealing with a deceased body. Traditionally, these events are linked to certain traditions and rites, such as a funeral.

1,179 Questions
Burial and Cremation

How soon can the ashes be collected after the cremation?

30 minutes

Burial and Cremation

Do Mormons allow burial and cremation?

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the "Mormon" church) allows both burial and cremation, but suggests that burial is more appropriate.

Burial and Cremation

What happens at a crematorium?

A Crematorium may seem like a place of horror and death but actually it is a really interesting place. I have been brought up with death and have learned to respect it, I consider myself to be very lucky in this respect because incidentally my uncle was a funeral director but he now works as a crematorium manager. Anyway, the deceased body is brought into the crematorium by people called bearers and placed on a plynth with rollers on it called a catafalque, this usually has curtains around it and depending upon religious beliefs the coffin lid may or it may not be open for the friends and relatives to observe the body before it is cremated.

After the religious official has said a prayer and the family's arrangements are done the official presses a button and either the curtains closes or the body is moved by conveyor belt into position for cremation. The crematorium staff will open two wooden hatches and the coffin will be pulled along sets of rollers. Then a special battery powered or manual 'charge trolley' will collect the coffin, this usually is either hydraulic or it had scissor action lifts on it but these aren't as common in the better funded crematoriums however they still use these in case of an overflow.

The cremator, the furnace in which the cremation actually takes place, is heated up to 1000 degrees celcius and the coffin is pushed in where in 90 minutes time the cremation is complete. Remains will contain nails and calcium deposits, bones, prosthetic implants. The wood ignites first and then the organic materials burn away. The body sometimes sits up due to the heat reacting with the structure of the body.

The cremated remains are then left to cool in a fan assisted box before they are crushed by a cremulator which has lead balls in it.

The remains are then put into an ashes transfer cabinet and put into a plastic or family selected urn. The ashes are scattered by the crematorium staff if requested or if there are no next of kin. The family may opt to receive the ashes.

Extra Info:

For the Greens in the crowd, the energy use by a crematorium may seem to be wasteful, but is offset by reducing the amount of land needed to be dedicated to burial vaults. Some locations have been taking steps to recover the heat for more useful purposes (See link) .

Regarding pollution, the crematoriums use air pollution systems to burn any odours from off gases and remove ash and particulate before discharge. Burial on the other hand (According to "Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater") may pose a significant groundwater pollution risk and at any rate involves the dedicated use of cemetery land.

Other fine points:

  • No clergy are required.
  • No family are required. Here in Calgary one site offers a no frills pick up and disposal service.
  • During the burning process the corpse is often prodded with rods to ensure rapid and complete burning - just like a campfire log.


I don't want to offend anyone who has taken their time to write an answer on here so I will provide my own answer rather than make alterations to someone else's. I am in the process of applying for a job at a Crematorium and came across a few of the answer sites while trying to check up some facts about the job on Google; In short, I have never read so much nonsense about one subject as I did while searching; I was fortunate enough to spend a day at a Crematorium in London where I met a wonderful group of staff, all of whom were quite happy to explain everything to me and show me how the whole process works. I am in the UK so the process I will describe relates to cremation in the UK (some countries vary the process, although I imagine it is essentially the same basic process anywhere in the world).

When the Funeral Directors arrive at the Crematorium, they hand a number of documents to the Crematorium staff (usually a service co-ordinator) which include the permission to cremate the deceased (on behalf of the family) and a copy of the death certificate. The coffin in brought into the crematorium on a low trolley, or carried in by friends (usually called Pall-bearers) and placed on a plinth called a Catafalque (pronounced CAT-a-falk).

A short service is usually held, depending on the wishes of the family and the particular religion practiced by the deceased, then the service usually ends with some music. At this stage, one of two things will happens . . . most usually, curtains will close in front of the coffin. If there are no curtains, you may see the coffin roll along the catafalque and usually through a small doorway to an adjacent room. If the catafalque does not work automatically, the coffin will be taken off by crematorium staff, usually behind the curtains to avoid distress to the family and friends.

Note that if the catafalque does roll the coffin through a small doorway IT IS NOT rolling it into the cremator so don't expect flames to come shooting through the doorway as the coffin goes through. The coffin is either placed straight onto a trolley (sometimes called a charger) or placed in a lift, sent down to a lower level and then placed onto the charger.

It is now in the hands of the cremation technicians. They check that the name on the lid of the coffin matches that on the paperwork (this must be the name of the deceased and must match exactly (there are no titles on the coffin lid e.g. Lord John Smith). If the name on the coffin matches the name on the paperwork, the cremation can continue.

The charger is taken to the cremator which will be switched off at this stage - once the crematorium is running, the cremator holds the heat from the previous cremation. When the coffin is loaded into the cremator, the temperature is usually around 700 Degrees and is hot enough to begin cremating the coffin and the deceased. After about 45 minutes, most of the coffin has burnt and the body has begun to burn, the cremator is switched on and gas fired flames raise the temperature inside the cremator to around 1400 Degrees. It takes approximately another 45 minutes to cremate the rest of the body.

To ensure the final remains are those of a particular person, a name label is placed into a holder on the front of the cremator (like a label on a filing cabinet) showing the name of the person being cremated.

Once the body and coffin have been cremated, the cremator is turned off and a sliding trap door is pulled out allowing the remains to drop into a chamber below. Crematorium technicians use a 'paddle' to ensure all the ashes pass through to the chamber below and then take the name label and put it into a holder on front of the chamber now containing the ashes.

The ashes are allowed to cool and contain enough heat to finish the cremating process without adding further heat. The sliding trap door in the bottom of the cremator is then closed and ready for the next cremation.

Meanwhile, the ashes that are now cooling are dropped through a trapdoor in the bottom of the second chamber into a cooling tray and the name label is transferred with the ashes and placed into the holder on the front of the third (bottom) chamber.

The process thus far is repeated for each cremation and the cremator when fully loaded has three bodies at various stages of cremation. The next step is to take the ashes from the bottom chamber in the container into which they have fallen, and with the name label slotted into a holder on the front of the container, to a machine called a 'Cremulator'.

In short, a cremulator looks a little like a tumble dryer and the burnt remains are placed into the cremulator (at this stage, some of the remains are still fairly large, like body joints and bigger bones that have not yet been reduced to ash) so three or four steel balls (each about the size of a tennis ball) are place in the cremulator with the remains. The cremulator tumbles round, like a tumble dryer, and the steel balls gradually break up the remains into ashes.

As the ashes gradually disintegrate, they fall through the holes inside the drum of the cremulator into a container in the base. The name label is transferred to a holder on the front of the cremulator and stays there until all the ashes are broken down. The final consistency has a texture similar to coffee granules and the process is complete.

In the final stage, a magnet is passed over the cold ashes to remove any ferrous metals (small screws from the coffin lid and nameplate) and visually checked for non-magnetic metal remains which are also removed.

It is worth pointing out that many of the coffin fittings are 'crematable' so in most cases there is little metal left at the end of the process. All metal left over at the end of a cremation is collected and buried on crematorium grounds.

Finally, the cold ashes are placed into an urn or a plastic container and made ready for the family to collect. The Crematorium will scatter the ashes if asked to do so by the family, but some families have specific places where they would like to do the scattering themselves. The choice rests with the family and the process is complete.

Before finishing, it might be worth dispelling a few myths . . .

  • The body is not taken out of the coffin and the coffin resold.
  • The crematorium technicians do not open the coffin looking for valuables.
  • Ashes don't end up in a big pile and each family given a mixture of other people's ashes.
  • The ashes are not topped off with extra burnt wood.

In summary, I found the visit informative and the staff extremely professional. The general consensus among the people I spoke with is that one day, they may be cremated and treat their clients (deaceased or not) in the way they expect to be treated when their time comes.

Crematoriums are well regulated, both economically and from the point of environmental friendliness. For the most part, you can visit a crematorium and, from the outside, you wouldn't realise what was going on inside. There are no chimneys belching out tons of smoke; indeed the regulations assure that noxious emissions are properly controlled.

Whitney Houston
Burial and Cremation

What kind of casket did Whitney Houston have?

Whitney's casket was the "Millennium," manufactured by Batesville Casket Company. The casket is, as Batesville describes it, jewel polished, or call it a mirror finish. The "Millennium" is made of premium stainless steel. The raw material, stainless steel or bronze, is delivered as a large sheet, rolled into a cylinder.

In the beginning stages of casket manufacturing, the metal is unrolled, flattened, cut into different size sheets and, those sheets are placed into a 5,000 ton press. The press holds master forms which the sheets are pressed into or onto to form different parts of the casket body and top.

The "Millennium" begins as a standard OR7 shell, just like the "Greyson" stainless steel. The stamped sides and ends are welded together, then a bottom is welded in to complete the body, or shell. The "Promethean" is made in the same way, but out of solid bronze metal. The casket components are stamped from a roll of sheet bronze, with a thickness of 48 ounces of bronze per square inch. The "Promethean" begins as a standard "Z64 shell" 48 ounce, sheet bronze casket. But, rather than the shell and top getting a brushed and painted finish, both the "Promethean" and "Millennium" are pulled off the production line and go into labor intensive processes of grinding and polishing by hand, until all welding seams and brazing are worked down, and no longer can be seen. Once gleaming like a mirror, the caskets get a baked clear coat enamel lacquer, and can receive options like 24 karat gold plated swing bar hardware.

Every surface of Whitney's casket was gleaming silver, like chrome. It only appeared to take on bronze or copper colored tones from the ambient light it reflected. No special finish, other than gleaming stainless steel, coated with high grade clear enamel.

Burial and Cremation

What is the Jewish view on cremation?

Cremation is not allowed in Jewish practice. Jews believe that their bodies must be returned to God as they were in life - whole. Obviously, if a person has been maimed in their lifetime, that is how they are in death. But otherwise, Jews must not destroy their bodies.

Furthermore, Jews believe that in the end of days their bodies and souls will be reunited; all the righteous will be resurrected from the dead. By cremating you openly deny this and will be punished by not being part of it.

Burial and Cremation

Can a Jehovah's Witness attend a cremation?

Jehovah's Witnesses have no objection to cremation. In fact, many fellow witnesses I have known, were cremated when they died. If a witness declines to attend a non-Jehovah's Witness funeral for someone who is cremated, it will likely be due to whatever other religious ceremonies that are likely going to be taking place.

Answer 2: The Scriptures do not present any basic objection to the practice of cremation. What might influence whether one of Jehovah's Witnesses attends or not is the way the local community views funeral customs. Those who abide by Bible principles would certainly not want to do anything that would cause unnecessary offense to their neighbors. Jehovah's Witness would would not engage in a practice that might seem to indicate belief in false religious teachings, such as the immortality of the soul. Awake 3/09 p. 10-11

Burial and Cremation

What is the name of the narrator in the cremation of Sam Mcgee?

Robert W. Service

Burial and Cremation

Are Cancers cells killed during cremation?

cancer cells are immune heat, the only way to kill them is to put them in a jar of mayonnaise that has been frozen for thirteen weeks.

Burial and Cremation

Do members in the Seventh-day Adventist Church believe in cremation?

Seventh-day Adventists base all their activities on the Bible. The Bible does not state a Christian way to dispose of the dead. Many Seventh-day Adventists have opted for cremation with no problems at all with the church. Many Adventists believe that at the resurrection, Jesus will revive all saved people who have died, regardless of how they died or what state their bodies are in. They believe that if God was able to create Adam from the dust of the ground, He is also able to re-create the saved. After all, Adam's body has long since returned to dust, but most Christians believe that he will be in heaven. Based on these thoughts, some Adventists choose cremation as a cost-saving measure.

Burial and Cremation

My son was responsible for the cremation of his male partner who died without a will does that make my son the executor?

yes it does

World War 2
War and Military History
Burial and Cremation

What did they do with bodies of dead soldiers during World War 2?

Buried them. When bodies were recovered they were given proper burials. In some cases, mass graves were made, but mostly the bodies were interned individually. There are huge military graveyards all over Europe, for example, that contain the bodies of dead soldiers from both sides of the conflict.

Burial and Cremation

What is the meaning in Chinese the green bone after cremation?

Certain bones will have a lime green tint after cremation most likely due to the presence of certain metals. The Chinese believe a person with this color bone after cremation was a good person during their lifetime.

Burial and Cremation

What is the name of thing you put cremated ashes in?

A urn i believe is the term.

Burial and Cremation

Metaphors in the cremation of sam mcgee?

That will make your blood run cold.

Burial and Cremation

How much does cremation cost?

Cremation is a personal choice for many due to the econmoical cost and the "think green" mentality. Cremation costs fluctuate as most items do. It's like asking how much does a car cost? You may say, that depends, what type of car, new or old, leather seats or vinyl, and all of these variables will alter the price of a car. A complete cremation package with everything you need with no additional or hidden costs or upselling should run no more the $2,000 as opposed to a tradional funeral which may cost $10,000 or more.
The basic cost of cremation varies significantly from as low as $500 in major cities to over $2000 in rural settings. Variables: the weight of the decedent (It will take longer to cremate the person and will cost more- someone under 300lbs will be cremated in around an hour and a half), whether family wants viewing, medical examiner fees, death certificate(s).

Burial and Cremation

Do ashes from cremation contain DNA?

Because no two funeral homes or crematoriums are the same, the only way to know if DNA is present in cremated remains is to test them in a laboratory that specializes and uses the latest technology in forensic cremation. Finding DNA in cremated remains is contingent upon the amount of oxygen that was available, length of time in, and of course the temperature of, the incinerator. These all drastically vary because each funeral home & crematorium have different models and types of incinerators and each will vary in age and quality of maintenance which will affect the overall effectiveness of the cremation. No funeral home or crematorium have the same incinerator and do not cremate a body the same way.

The majority of the cremated remains sent and tested by Private Lab Results typically will have large fragmented bone and or teeth that can be tested for trace amounts of DNA.

In the past five years new research has greatly heightened forensic scientists' knowledge of how to detect and extract DNA from skeletal remains that have been subjected to extreme heat. However, most forensic scientists and laboratories around the world still struggle to retrieve usable DNA. This is because many do not have access to, or are unaware of, new alternative approaches which can undeniably increase the amount and quality of DNA information drawn from cremated human remains.

DNA is typically destroyed by high temperature when a proper cremation is conducted. However because of the inconsistencies of funeral home and crematorium industrial cremators or incinerators, Private Lab Results labs has been successful in doing so.

If you want more information please go to privatelabresults.com

Burial and Cremation

How would the Egyptians have felt about cremation?


Burial and Cremation

Is Christian cremation OK?

Some opinions from the community

  • Speaking as a Catholic cremation is now accepted however if the deceased has requested a burial mass in the church the body must be brought to the church for the mass and then cremation may be done after that mass has taken place the ashes of the deceased must be buried in a cemetery and not strewn, lets say, on a beach or on the ocean...
  • The Eastern Orthodox Church does not allow cremation. The Church from the earliest times practiced burial of the dead, as the Roman catacombs reveal. Christ resurrected the bodies of many people during His ministry on earth (such as Lazarus) and His disciples also performed many miracles and even resurrected the dead (Acts 9:36-41). So the Church views cremation as a mockery of Christ and His Apostles who resurrected human bodies, not ashes. During the great earthquake that happened immediately after Christ's death on the Cross, the graves opened up and the bodies of the saints were raised from the dead (Matthew 27:51-54). Cremation has also been the custom of most atheists and the pagan religions, which do not believe in resurrection, and that is another reason why the Christian Church has always been against it.

Answer2: The Scriptures do not present any basic objection to the practice of cremation.

There are Biblical accounts relating that the bodies or bones of dead people were burned. (Josh. 7:25; 2 Chron. 34:4, 5) We can see this from the account of the death of King Saul and his three sons. The four of them died battling the Philistines. One of the sons was Jonathan, the good friend and loyal supporter of David. When valiant Israelites living in Jabesh-gilead learned what had happened, they recovered the four bodies, burned them, and then buried the bones. David later praised those Israelites for their actions.

The Scriptural hope for the dead is the resurrection-God's restoration of the person to life. Whether a dead person is cremated or not, Jehovah is not limited in his ability to restore the person to life with a new body. The three faithful Hebrews who faced death in a fiery furnace as ordered by King Nebuchadnezzar did not need to fear that if they were thus destroyed, God could not resurrect them. (Dan. 3:16-18) That was also true of faithful servants of Jehovah who faced death and subsequent cremation in Nazi concentration camps. Various loyal servants of God have perished in explosions or in other ways that left no trace of their remains. Still, their resurrection is assured.-Rev. 20:13. Jehovah does not have to reassemble a person's former body in order to resurrect him. That is shown by God's resurrecting anointed Christians to heavenly life. Like Jesus, who was "made alive in the spirit," anointed Christians are resurrected as the same person but with a spiritual body. No part of their former physical body accompanies them to heaven.-1 Pet. 3:18; 1 Cor. 15:42-53; 1 John 3:2.

Our hope in the resurrection rests, not on what might be done with the physical corpse, but on faith in God's ability and desire to fulfill his promises. (Acts 24:15) Granted, we may not fully comprehend how God has performed the miracle of resurrection on past occasions or how he will do so in the future. Still, we put our trust in Jehovah. He has provided "a guarantee" by resurrecting Jesus.-Acts 17:31; Luke 24:2, 3.

Christians do well to take into consideration social norms, local sentiments, and legal requirements regarding the disposition of dead bodies. (2 Cor. 6:3, 4) Then, whether the body of a deceased person is to be cremated or not is a personal or family decision. Watchtower magazine 6/15/2014

Burial and Cremation

What is a onomatopoeia in the cremation of Sam McGee?


Burial and Cremation

What rights do siblings have concerning their brother's cremation?

You haven't mentioned who the other next of kin are. Generally, if there is a surviving wife, you have no right to any input. If there is no surviving wife but there are surviving children, they are next in line, then parents if there are no children. See related question link.

You haven't mentioned who the other next of kin are. Generally, if there is a surviving wife, you have no right to any input. If there is no surviving wife but there are surviving children, they are next in line, then parents if there are no children. See related question link.

You haven't mentioned who the other next of kin are. Generally, if there is a surviving wife, you have no right to any input. If there is no surviving wife but there are surviving children, they are next in line, then parents if there are no children. See related question link.

You haven't mentioned who the other next of kin are. Generally, if there is a surviving wife, you have no right to any input. If there is no surviving wife but there are surviving children, they are next in line, then parents if there are no children. See related question link.

Burial and Cremation

What do you put cremated ashes in?

Some people even put a small amount in a necklace container.

State Laws
Consumer Rights and Protection
Burial and Cremation

Is it legal to cremate your own deceased family member or yourself?

I do not know about the family member but it is not illegal to cremate yourself nor is suicide illegal, however the attempting to do either of these is illegal.

Burial and Cremation

Why don't Jews cremate?

There are several major reasons why Jews do not cremate their dead. Some of them are the following:

1) Dignity of the Human Form: The first and most important reason is that humans are made in the image of God, as it says in Genesis 1:27. This means that the human form is itself a reflection of the divinity of God and should not be desecrated by putting the flesh to fire. Similarly, texts that bear the name of God are hallowed and also must be buried. The Divine essence that pervades both these documents, through their etching of the Divine name, and humans, through their construction in the image of God, is too holy to subject to flame.

2) Resurrection of the Flesh:
According to Ezekiel 37:1-14, Isaiah 26:19, and Daniel 12:2, at the End of Days, God will resurrect the dead in bodily form. In Ezekiel, the actual process of attaching sinew to bones and skin to sinew is discussed. In both Isaiah and Daniel, the text discusses that the resurrection will occur to those who sleep/lay in the dirt, which would imply intact and buried bodies. In any case, a resurrection makes much more sense when there is still a body to resurrect.

3) Cemetary Visits:
Jews value remembering the dead and will often go to cemeteries on the Yahrzeit or death anniversary to pay respects to their dead ancestors. While burial in a cemetery is theoretically possible for a cremated person, many cremated people have their ashes stored in an urn outside of a cemetery or scatter the ashes into the sky or water. This violates Jewish traditions about how to remember the dead.

4) Ceremonies of Mourning:
There are many important ceremonies that Jews practice concerning morning, including specifics about how a person is to be placed in the burial area, how dirt is to be placed on him/her, what things the mourners should say, and so forth. Many of these traditions, at a minimum, require a buried entity, if not a corporeal body.

Germany in WW2
History of Europe
Burial and Cremation

What is a crematorium?

A crematorium is the same thing as a crematory. Here, any corpses are cremated (turned to ashes). There were many of these during Holocaust, because of all the death camps.


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