For centuries, death rites have been closely tied to tradition. Even people that don’t consider themselves religious are familiar with viewings, funerals and memorials. These death rites have long been associated with burials, and often take place just before a person is laid to rest at a cemetery.
But what about cremation? Are these death rites possible for people who choose to be cremated instead of buried?
Many people mistakenly believe that funeral services are reserved for burials, but that’s a misconception that’s far from true. When you look at the different types of funeral rites you’ll find all the options and more are possible with cremation.
Can You Have a Viewing If You Choose Cremation?
Yes, it’s completely possible to have a viewing if you choose cremation. The viewing typically occurs a day or two before the body disposition, which means no matter what you prefer a viewing is most likely an option.
Can You Have a Funeral Service If You Choose Cremation?
If you would like to have a formal funeral service you can. The body can be preserved for up to 3-4 weeks before cremation.
Can You Have a Memorial Service If You Choose Cremation?
One of the reasons some families prefer cremation over burial is because they have more time to plan a memorial and more control over the process. With cremation, a memorial can be scheduled before the disposition or it can be a post-cremation memorial with the cremains present.
Can You Have a Wake If You Choose Cremation?
Yes, you can have a wake if you choose cremation. A wake can refer to a few things. It could be a viewing or visitation in a family member’s home. A wake could also be simply a gathering to honor the deceased. Traditionally, during a wake family and close friends looked over the body until the funeral and burial or cremation. A wake usually takes place before a funeral, but it can be held afterward with the cremains present.
Can You Have a Burial If You Choose Cremation?
Yes. It’s actually fairly common for families to bury the cremains of a loved one after the cremation. There are even special parts of some cemeteries exclusively for burying cremains.
If you choose cremation you can have all of the same funeral services as a person who chooses burial. The only difference is the mode of body disposition after the services. Instead of going to the cemetery after the services to lower the casket into the burial plot, the body is moved to the crematorium for cremation.
The fact that cremation makes it easier to plan some services such as memorials or a wake and gives the family more control is actually an advantage over burial. So don’t worry one bit if you’re interested in cremation but want a funeral because you can have both.
And there’s one funeral ceremony that can only be done with cremation. Scattering ceremonies to spread the cremains is only possible with cremation.
If you have questions about cremation and want a direct answer give us a call or send us a text, and we’ll get back to you.