Cremation offers many different options in services, selections, personalization, memorialization and final placement of the cremated remains. In fact, there are actually more considerations involved in cremation than there are for burial. However, these considerations need not be overwhelming and your funeral professional can help you understand the choices. You can also browse our Resources section for additional information or watch the helpful videos referenced below.
Services and Tribute Options
Few things help in the healing process more than a meaningful ceremony that commemorates all that made a loved one special. You may desire a funeral or memorial service at the funeral home or a place of worship before or after cremation. A service at the graveside, columbarium niche, or site of scattering is also an option after cremation.
Special music, shared memories, photo boards and a memory table all add meaning and personalization to the ceremony.
Watch this video for more information on cremation service options.
Gathering or Visitation
Family and friends generally want to come together to remember and commemorate the life of a loved one, and these gatherings can range from informal to a traditional visitation with a viewing at the funeral home prior to cremation. In many cases, a memory table is set up with pictures and mementos of your loved one, highlighting treasured thoughts and memories.
If you do choose to have a viewing, you will need to select a casket or container. Your funeral professional can provide you with various options.
Final Resting Place
Perhaps the most fundamental and personal decision when choosing cremation is the final disposition or resting place of the cremated remains. Cremation offers a number of options for final placement, with each option involving considerations from cost through the impact on future generations. Options include:
Burial – Burying an urn in a cemetery remains a popular choice for many families. It provides a permanent resting place where generations of families and friends can freely visit. When choosing burial, an urn vault is generally required by the cemetery but besides functionality, the urn vault can also play a part in the tribute committal service at the graveside. Many Wilbert urn vaults can be personalized with meaningful symbols or photos to commemorate the life of a loved one.
Columbarium Niche – An aboveground structure protected by glass, marble, granite or bronze, a columbarium niche also provides a central location where family and friends can visit and pay their respects.
Home Placement – Some families choose to display the urn in a prominent spot in their home. The closeness and beauty of the urn itself can be comforting to those residing in the home, but one consideration is the long-term custody of the remains. Others express concern about the lack of a public memorial site where family and friends can pay their respects.
Scattering – Scattering the cremated remains in a special place is a choice that is both significant yet irreversible. Land and water usage may change over time and some express concern about the lack of a defined spot for visitation. For these reasons, some families choose to scatter only a portion of the cremated remains and keep the rest for permanent placement.
Watch this video for more information on cremation placement choices.
There are also many choices in memorial jewelry and mementos that can hold small portions of cremated remains, providing multiple family members with individual mementos to treasure.