Questions About the Cremation Process
What is cremation?
To begin with, it is probably easier to describe what cremation isn't. Cremation is not final disposition of the remains, nor is some type of funeral service. Rather, it is a process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.
How long does the actual cremation take?
It depends on the weight of the individual. For an average size adult, cremation takes from two to three hours at normal operating temperature between 1,400 degrees F to 1,600 degrees F.
What happens after the cremation is complete?
All organic bone fragments, which are very brittle, as well as non-consumed metal items are "swept" into the front of the cremation chamber and into a stainless steel cooling pan. All non-consumed items, like metal from clothing, hip joints, and bridge work, are separated from the cremated remains. This separation is accomplished through visual inspection as well as using a strong magnet for smaller and minute metallic objects. Items such as dental gold and silver are non-recoverable and are commingled in with the cremated remains. Remaining bone fragments are then processed in a machine to a consistent size and placed into the urn, selected by the family.
What do the cremated remains look like?
Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The cremated remains of an average sized adult usually weigh between four to eight pounds.
In what kind of container are the cremated remains returned?
The cremated remains are placed in the container, or urn, selected by the family.
Are all the cremated remains returned?
With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from
the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family.
What can be done with the cremated remains?
There are many options. Cremated remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or cremation garden, inurned in a columbarium, kept at home, or scattered on private property. Our staff is prepared to discuss these options with you and make any arrangements.
Concerns About Cremation
Are there any laws governing cremation?
Cremation regulations vary from state-to-state. Cremation is likely the most regulated of all death care services in the state of Tennessee.
Can two cremations be performed at once?
Never. Not only is it illegal to do so, most modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size to accommodate more than one adult. Thus it would be a practical impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.
How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?
We have developed the most rigorous set of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize our level of quality and minimize the potential for human error. Positive identification of the deceased is assured throughout each stage of the cremation process.
Questions About Urns, Caskets & Embalming
Do I need an urn?
An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or the cremated remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not selected, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container. Many families provide their own container for the cremated remains. Simply discuss this with your planning specialist when making arrangements.
Is a casket needed for cremation?
No, a casket is not needed, nor required for cremation. A minimum cremation container is often used, however a cremation casket may be used, or an approved alternative container provided by the family.
Is embalming required prior to cremation?
Absolutely not and it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise. Embalming would only be necessary if a public viewing of the deceased was arranged prior to the cremation process.
Can the body be viewed without embalming?
Yes, immediate family members may briefly view the deceased prior to cremation. The deceased is first washed, dressed and prepared for viewing. However, under certain circumstances embalming may be required, such as a public visitation.