How does Cremation Work? The Cremation Process
Here's where we look at the cremation process to familiarize yourself with some potential unknowns about it. Most have a good idea of what is cremation, but for those who are curious about the details of the cremation process, this section is for you. If you're looking for additional information about the history and process of cremation, we suggest you read Making The Cremation Decision.
A Brief Overview of the Cremation Process
Cremation uses extreme heat (from 1400 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit) to reduce the human body from its familiar form to fragments of bone. In essence then, the cremation process advances a natural process, that of decomposition; accomplishing in just a few hours what would have taken months or even years to occur. Today, the cremation process involves the use of very specialized equipment called a retort, which is basically a furnace fueled by either propane or natural gas.
After death, a licensed funeral professional takes possession of the physical remains, and establishes a strict chain-of-custody to ensure the cremated body of the deceased is accurately identified following the cremation process. At this time, written authorization to cremate is completed by the responsible funeral director, and signed by the family member with legal authority. Additional paperwork identifies the personal effects of the deceased, the casket or cremation container selected, and how the cremated remains are to be handled. He or she will also complete the legal death certificate, obtain the signature of the attending physician or medical examiner, and file the document with county authorities.
Turn to the Cremation Experts
We consider ourselves cremation professionals meaning we continue to pursue excellence in all things. Certainly, we're very familiar with the cremation process; yet we add to our expertise by attending on-going continuing education courses regarding state-of-the-art crematory equipment and operations. If you have questions about any aspect of cremation–its history, the cremation process itself, or what's involved in making cremation arrangements–we're here to assist you. Simply call us at 718-892-2102, or send us an email using the form on our Contact Us page. We will be pleased to hear from you.
Kim, Michelle, "How Cremation Works", How Stuff Works, Kim, Michelle. "How Cremation Works", 2009, accessed 2014
Davis, Douglas and Lewis Mates, editors, Encyclopedia of Cremation, Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2005