Published on April 10th, 2020
There are more people choosing to be cremated rather than buried than ever before.
According to the Cremation Association of North America, about 53% of people are being cremated these days. And that number is expected to jump to almost 60% within the next few years.
As a result of this, there aren’t as many Americans asking, “How do people get cremated?”, as there used to be. Most people are at least vaguely familiar with how cremation works in this day and age.
If you’re still confused about how cremation works, you should take the time to learn about the process. It’ll help you figure out whether or not cremation would be the best option for you.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how the cremation process works from start to finish.
1. The Deceased Person’s Body Is Properly Identified
When a crematory is getting ready to carry out a cremation, it’s obviously very important for them to make sure that they’re cremating the right body.
They could get themselves into a world of trouble if they accidentally cremate the wrong body during cremation.
With this in mind, most crematories have lengthy processes in place that allow them to properly identify a deceased person’s body prior to cremation.
They’ll work their way through these processes at the start to ensure they cremate the right body.
2. The Person’s Family Signs Off On Their Cremation
In addition to properly identifying a person’s body prior to their cremation, it’s also essential for a crematory to obtain the necessary authorization to cremate a person.
A person’s next of kin will often be asked to sign off on their cremation before it can take place.
If a crematory carries out a cremation without having someone sign off on it, it could come back to bite them later.
A family might dispute the fact that they wanted their family member to be cremated, which could lead to a legal battle between a crematory and a family.
3. The Person’s Body Is Prepared For Cremation
Once a deceased person’s body has been identified and their family has signed off on their cremation, it’ll be time for a crematory to begin to prepare the body for cremation.
To do this, they will:
- Remove medical devices from a person’s body
- Take jewelry off a person’s body
- Put a person’s body into whatever a family wants them to wear during their cremation
- Place a person’s body into a cremation container
After a crematory has worked its way through each of these steps, a person’s body will officially be ready to cremate.
4. The Person’s Body Is Moved Into A Cremation Chamber
When someone wonders, “How do people get cremated?”, they’re usually not talking about the preparation process. Instead, they’re often referring to the actual cremation.
That part of the cremation process will start at this point. It involves taking a person’s body, which is now inside of a cremation container, and putting it into a cremation chamber.
Contrary to popular belief, cremation chambers are not very big. They’re only designed to fit one person’s body at a time, which is why families won’t ever have to worry about their loved ones coming into contact with the bodies of other people.
5. The Person’s Body Is Cremated
After a person’s body is inside of a cremation chamber, the actual cremation will begin.
The cremation chamber will be turned on, and the temperature inside of it will spike to anywhere from 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
From there, a crematory will allow a person’s body to sit inside of the cremation chamber for at least two hours, if not longer. The body will slowly break down over time.
It’s worth noting that the person’s body is not exposed to fire at any point in time. The cremation process relies on heat, not fire, to cremate a person’s body.
6. The Person’s Remains Are Ground Up Into Ashes
Once the actual cremation is complete, a crematory will allow a cremation chamber to cool off for a little while.
When the temperature of it reaches an acceptable level, they will then open the chamber up and retrieve the remains of a person’s body.
A magnet will be used to remove any small pieces of metal that may have been left behind by a person’s body.
A person’s remains will then be ground up to create what most people think of when they picture cremated ashes.
7. The Person’s Ashes Are Placed Into A Cremation Urn
At the conclusion of a cremation, a person’s remains will be taken and placed inside of a cremation urn.
This urn will then be handed over to a person’s family so that they can decide what to do with the remains next.
There are some families that will purchase a decorative metal or wooden urn for their loved one’s remains and keep the urn at home for safekeeping.
There are others that will buy an urn for their loved one’s remains and keep the urn inside a columbarium at a cemetery.
Additionally, many families will choose to take their loved one’s remains out to a special place and scatter them.
From scattering them out at sea to scattering them high up overhead in hot-air balloons, people have come up with all kinds of creative ways to scatter their loved one’s remains.
You can do almost anything you want with your loved one’s remains once the cremation process is complete.
8. Now You Know The Answer To “How Do People Get Cremated?”
After hearing how the cremation process plays out, you shouldn’t be left asking, “How do people get cremated?”, anymore. Instead, you should be thinking about if cremation might be the right option for you.
Many people used to be scared off by the idea of being cremated. But after hearing what happens during cremation, they’re no longer afraid to choose it as their preferred method of final disposition.
You might decide that you fall into this category now that you know more about cremation.
Would you like to learn more about cremation and funerals in general? Check out our blog for additional information on these topics.