Overview of Cremation
The number of people choosing cremation has increased significantly in the past few years, yet cremation carries a long tradition and remains largely unchanged.
Cremation simply expedites the process of reducing a body to bone fragments through application of intense heat.
What is done before or after the cremation is up to the survivors, or up to you. You can relieve the burden of these decisions by pre-planning your arrangements in advance of need so that your wishes will be honored.
Contrary to what some people believe, Cremation does not limit choices, but, in fact, increases one’s options. It is a process which is performed in a respectful and dignified manner and can be memorialized in many ways.
Cremation and Funerals
Choosing cremation neither eliminates nor does it require a funeral service. Traditional or contemporary services are often planned before or after the cremation process. A funeral service followed by cremation may be exactly the same as a funeral service followed by ground burial. They can be elaborate or simple and traditional or nontraditional. Arrangements and ceremonies tend to be as individual as the persons for whom and by whom they are made. They may be personalized specifically to reflect the life of the deceased, and thus have a special meaning. Iles Funeral Homes is able to assist in any and all of your Funeral Service needs. To obtain more information on funeral services click here or call 515-270-8007.
The Complete Cremation Service will be just like a Complete Funeral Service except cremation will follow instead of the casketed burial. This can be accommodated by the use of a cremation casket (casket that is designed to be cremated) or the use of a rental casket. Following the viewing, service or ceremony, and eventual cremation, the cremated remains can be buried, properly scattered, or returned to the family for safe keeping. Urns are used to hold the cremated remains. Urns can be constructed out of basic materials like cardboard or plastic, or constructed out of more protective materials like basic and semi-precious metals, ceramics, and woods.
Cremation and Memorial Services
The memorial service is a gathering where the body is not present.
Some families will choose to have cremation take place after visitation and have a memorial service to follow. This may allow for final disposition of the cremate remains on the same day.
Others may choose to not have the body present during the time of visitation, but would prefer a memorial gathering. This still allows closure and the comfort of family and friends.
Most often cremated remains are present during the service or gathering in an urn. Urns come in many styles and reflect varied artistic forms. With so many to choose from, families can find something reflective of their lifestyle, faith or beliefs.
As with contemporary funerals, framed photographs, picture boards, video tributes, memorabilia, awards and personal effects are often displayed as part of the memorial service and/or gathering. The funeral director will coordinate the display of these times, as well as the choice of music, the seating of people and any other aspects of the service.
Direct Cremation Only
People who prefer not to have any service or gathering can contact the funeral director for transportation of the deceased from the place of death and the cremation.
Although direct cremation without any type of gathering or service is an option, many people later regret this decision because it ignores the need for closure. By viewing the body after death, participating in arrangements, meeting in a formal or informal setting with supportive friends and family, the ceremony or gathering becomes a meaningful ritual like a baptism, wedding or anniversary. Some people do not like the idea of a viewing, but can see the value in a gathering of close personal friends to talk, reminisce and support each other. Our staff assists families in creating services that are meaningful, not just typical funerals.
Importance of Memorialization
Memorialization provides a permanent, secure place for cremated remains to be placed, and for family members and descendants to honor the lives of the deceased.
Cremation allows families many choices for memorializing a loved one. Some families choose to keep the cremated remains with them at home, or to scatter the remains over land or water. Iles Funeral Homes allows the following memorialization options, among others, for cremated remains:
Memorialization Options for Cremation
Burial and Above Ground Entombment
Two very common disposition choices for cremated remains are burial and above ground entombment. With burial, family members can be placed to rest near one another even if another family member has not chosen cremation. The grave site provides a permanent location to visit on important occasions.
With above ground entombment in a mausoleum, families will choose a columbarium niche which will have a nameplate listing dates of birth and death. Some niches have a glass front and allow for photographs and other memorabilia. The columbarium offers families a place to visit and remember on special holidays and other important times.
Because the urn can be an attractive piece of artwork, it is not uncommon for a family member to retain the cremated remains as a cherished possession.
Scattering of cremated remains can represent a permanent oneness with an important place. Scattering in a river, lake or sea, over mountains, farms, even golf courses can be meaningful provided permission can be secured.