Showing posts with label Cremation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cremation. Show all posts

Oct 25, 2014

Funeral Celebrants

Funeral Celebrant is an interesting and relatively new profession. They can help plan a festive or somber ceremony, and work with families to develop a eulogy. Some celebrants perform a whole ceremony while some families prefer to perform a ceremony themselves. Celebrant funerals are funeral ceremonies that are a true celebration of the departed one’s life.

Many people are choosing to forgo traditional funerals and cremation is growing as an alternative to funerals with half or more people now choosing it. Unlike funerals with the somber process of casket, service, and internment, the cremation process is more personal, less costly, as well as more positive and celebratory. Cremation typically costs less than one fourth the cost of a funeral (if not done by a funeral home). Most states have cremation societies, which can take care of paperwork for insurance, VA, Social Security, obituary, etc., having the body moved to a facility, and assist with all aspects of the process, just as a funeral director traditionally did.

Scattering of ashes is now the most popular thing to do with cremation ashes. Family and friends are having private memorials, scattering ashes, and having a party in the backyard. In fact, you can now buy a "Loved One Launcher", which is a CO2 cartridge filled tube, including confetti that launches ashes into the air. There are also personalized mementos containing bits of ash used in jewelry, lockets, pictures, action figures, and more. You can even get an urn that can be used as a birdhouse after the ashes have been scattered. Seems like an oxymoron with an action figure made of ashes.

Jun 20, 2014

Embalming Facts

This was something of a surprise to me. No state requires routine embalming and some do not require it at all. It is also not required for cremation if performed immediately. Some states require embalming for remains that are to be shipped out of state. Embalming provides no public health benefit, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Canadian health authorities. Hawaii and Ontario forbid embalming if the person died of certain contagious diseases.

Modern embalming consists primarily of  washing with a germicide-insecticide-olfactant. removing all blood and gases from the body and the insertion of a disinfecting fluid.  Funeral home effluent is not regulated, and waste is flushed into the common sewer system or septic tank. Embalming does not preserve the body for any great length of time. It also serves no useful purpose in preventing the transmission of communicable disease. Refrigeration is just as effective as embalming for short periods of time, such as for viewing.

The US Federal Trade Commission says, "Except in certain special cases, embalming is not required by law. Embalming may be necessary, however, if you select certain funeral arrangements, such as a funeral with viewing. If you do not want embalming, you usually have the right to choose an arrangement that does not require you to pay for it, such as direct cremation or immediate burial." Refrigeration is an alternative to maintain a body while awaiting a funeral service or when there is a delay in making arrangements.

Charges for embalming, dressing, and cosmetology can be covered under one charge and can vary from $500 to $1500, or more. Sheltering and refrigeration of a body for up to 3 days can vary from no charge to a few hundred dollars.